Rabu, 14 November 2012

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Petraeus mistress had substantial classified data on computer - sources

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 08:32 PM PST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A computer used by Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with CIA Director David Petraeus led to his resignation, contained substantial classified information that should have been stored under more secure conditions, law enforcement and national security officials said on Wednesday.

Commander of the International Security Assistance Force/U.S. Forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus shakes hands with author Paula Broadwell in this ISAF handout photo originally posted July 13, 2011. REUTERS/ISAF/Handout

Commander of the International Security Assistance Force/U.S. Forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus shakes hands with author Paula Broadwell in this ISAF handout photo originally posted July 13, 2011. REUTERS/ISAF/Handout

The contents and amount of the classified material - and questions about how Broadwell got it - are significant enough to warrant a continuing investigation, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment publicly.

The details about material held by Broadwell, a reserve officer in military intelligence, emerged Wednesday as the Pentagon suspended her security clearance. There are growing concerns among military and law enforcement officials about the potential fallout from the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell, who co-authored a biography of the retired general.

Late Wednesday, the House intelligence committee announced that Petraeus would testify on Friday behind closed doors about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed Wednesday on the Petraeus matter by leaders of the FBI and CIA.

During a news conference at the White House on Wednesday, President Barack Obama said there was no indication so far that any classified information had been disclosed as a result of the affair.

Obama also said that for now, he would refrain from judging whether he should have been told earlier than last Wednesday about the probe involving his CIA chief, who resigned on Friday before the affair became public.

"I am withholding judgment with respect to how the entire process surrounding General Petraeus came up. We don't have all the information yet," Obama told a White House news conference.

The president noted that had he known earlier, he might have been open to accusations of interference in a politically sensitive law enforcement matter.

Broadwell's security clearances gave her access to certain classified material, several officials said. Government rules require such material to be stored in secure locations or computers.

Two officials familiar with the case said investigators are asking whether Broadwell followed government rules for handling classified information.

FBI investigators searched Broadwell's residence in Charlotte, North Carolina, late Monday, an action that officials said occurred with Broadwell's consent.

Attempts to reach Broadwell, who has remained mainly out of the public eye, have been unsuccessful. She was seen late Tuesday at her brother's home in Washington, D.C.

During the FBI investigation that led to the discovery of the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell, both individuals denied that Petraeus had supplied her with any classified information and the FBI accepted those explanations, law enforcement sources have said.


Law enforcement officials also have said that they believe the continuing FBI probe into the matter is likely to end without criminal charges. If Broadwell is found to have mishandled classified information, she could face action under administrative security regulations.

Still, the latest developments could quash hopes among some at the Justice Department and in Congress for a quick end to a scandal that this week also ensnared the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Marine General John Allen.

In a statement late Wednesday issued by the Marine Corps' chief defence counsel, Allen pledged to resolve the questions surrounding his email communications with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, who is also at the centre of the Petraeus case.

The retired four-star Army general has made no public statement since he announced his resignation as CIA chief on Friday.

Petraeus has agreed, however, to testify before Congress about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, that killed four Americans, amid questions over the CIA's actions before, during and after the assault on September 11, 2012.

C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, ranking Democratic member of the House intelligence committee, said Congress still wanted to hear from Petraeus on the Benghazi attack.

"When a situation like this occurs with General Petraeus, we have to make sure that the CIA is moving forward on their mission and that in no way will this affect their ability to do their work," Ruppersberger said.

There is no protocol in federal law that would have required senior officials - like FBI Director Robert Mueller or Attorney General Eric Holder - to inform the president about the Petraeus investigation sooner, a former Justice Department official said.

The most recent written guidance was issued in 2007 by Michael Mukasey, then the attorney general. The Justice Department should advise the White House about a criminal matter "only where it is important for the performance of the president's duties and where appropriate from a law enforcement perspective," the memo reads. It leaves interpretation of those terms to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general.

"It's the quintessential judgment call for an attorney general to decide whether to share this information and when to share it with the White House," the former official said. "But this was Attorney General Holder's call to make."


This week, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked the Pentagon's inspector general to examine potentially inappropriate communications between Allen and Kelley, and recommended that Obama halt Allen's nomination to command US and NATO forces in Europe, which he did.

Defence officials have said Allen did not have a romantic relationship with Kelley, a 37-year-old wife and mother who is described as a prominent presence in military circles in Tampa.

She may have been seen as a rival by Broadwell, who sent Kelley a series of anonymous, harassing e-mails that touched off an investigation that uncovered evidence of an affair between Petraeus and Broadwell, according to a law enforcement source.

Kelley sought help from an FBI agent she knew in Tampa, identified by the New York Times late Wednesday as Frederick Humphries.

He set in motion the investigation that eventually led agents to uncover the Petraeus-Broadwell affair, as well as extensive email communications between Kelley and General Allen, a former deputy to Petraeus at U.S. Central Command, which is based at MacDill and oversees the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Allen and Kelley communicated often enough over the past two years to produce between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of email and other messages, which were turned over to Defence Department investigators on Sunday.

"To the extent there are questions about certain communications by General Allen, he shares in the desire to resolve those questions as completely and quickly as possible," the Marines' chief defence counsel, Colonel John G. Baker, said in a statement.

Allen remains in his post as commander in Afghanistan.

A senior defence official told Reuters the messages with Kelley were seen as inappropriate because they were "flirtatious" in nature, not because they dealt with sensitive information.

But another U.S. official said the Pentagon only decided to refer the matter for investigation after an initial look found the communications to be of "a sufficient character" to warrant further review.

(Additional reporting by Phil Stewart in Australia, Patrick Rucker, David Alexander, Rick Rothacker, David Ingram, Tabassum Zakaria, Susan Cornwell, Matt Spetalnick, Margaret Chadbourn and Dan Burns. Writing by Warren Strobel. Editing by David Lindsey, Dan Burns and Cynthia Osterman)

Related Stories:
Petraeus to testify before closed House hearing on Benghazi

Afghanistan U.S. commander pledges to "fully cooperate" in email probe

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Myanmar to free 452 prisoners ahead of Obama visit

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 08:25 PM PST

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar will free 452 prisoners, including an unspecified number of dissidents according to the government, in an apparent goodwill gesture days ahead of a historic visit to the former military state by U.S. President Barack Obama.

State media said the prisoners would be freed with the "intent to help promote goodwill and the bilateral relationship". A Home Ministry official said "prisoners of conscience" would be among them but declined to say how many.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said it was still making checks but it had yet to hear of a single political detainee being released.

Families are often told by the authorities to prepare for the release of prisoners who can be in jails in distant provinces, but AAPP representative Bo Kyi said he was not aware of any being given such notice on this occasion.

Over the past year, Myanmar, also known as Burma, has introduced the most sweeping reforms in the former British colony since a 1962 military coup. A semi-civilian government stacked with former generals has allowed elections, eased rules on protests, relaxed censorship and freed some dissidents.

The United States has called for the release of all remaining political prisoners but Myanmar has failed to acquiesce.

About 700 were freed between May 2011 and July 2012. An amnesty was announced in September but it included only 88 dissidents, the AAPP said, leaving several hundred behind bars.

The timing of the latest amnesty is significant.

Obama will meet President Thein Sein on Monday and the U.S. president risks criticism for rewarding the new government too soon, especially with political prisoners still behind bars and after security forces failed to prevent ethnic violence in the west of the country.

The election of democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner, to parliament in April helped to transform Myanmar's pariah image and persuade the West to begin rolling back sanctions after a year of dramatic reforms.

The United States eased sanctions on Myanmar this year in recognition of the political and economic change, and many U.S. companies are looking at starting operations in the country located between China and India, with its abundant resources and low-cost labour.

Obama has sought to consolidate ties and reinforce U.S. influence across Asia in what officials have described as a policy "pivot" toward the region as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.

Myanmar grew close to China during its decades of isolation, reinforced by Western sanctions over its poor human rights record, but is now seeking to expand relations with the West.

(Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Additional reporting by Andrew R.C. Marshall in Bangkok; Writing by Jason Szep; Editing by Alan Raybould and Robert Birsel)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

China Communist Party unveils new leadership with Xi at top

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 08:13 PM PST

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party unveiled its new leadership line-up on Thursday to steer the world's second-largest economy for the next five years, with Vice President Xi Jinping taking over from outgoing President Hu Jintao as party chief.

(From L to R) Standing Committee of the Political Bureau member He Guoqiang, China's Vice President Xi Jinping, top political advisor Jia Qinglin and chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress Wu Bangguo attend the closing session of 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee

(From L to R) Standing Committee of the Political Bureau member He Guoqiang, China's Vice President Xi Jinping, top political advisor Jia Qinglin and chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress Wu Bangguo attend the closing session of 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Xi was also named head of the party's Central Military Commission, state news agency Xinhua said.

The other new members of the Politburo Standing Committee - the innermost circle of power in China's authoritarian government - include premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang and financial guru Wang Qishan, who will be in charge of fighting corruption.

The number of members has been reduced to seven from nine, as expected, which should help ease consensus-building as they tackle everything from growing social unrest to uncertainty in the domestic and global economy.

North Korean-trained economist Zhang Dejiang is expected to head the largely rubber-stamp parliament, while Shanghai party boss Yu Zhengsheng is likely to head parliament's advisory body, according to the order in which their names were announced.

Tianjin party chief Zhang Gaoli and Liu Yunshan, a conservative who has kept domestic media on a tight leash, make up the rest of the group.

Xi will take over Hu's state position in March at the annual meeting of parliament, when Li will succeed Premier Wen Jiabao.

However, Guangdong's reform-minded party boss Wang Yang did not make it to the Standing Committee.

Advocates of reform are pressing Xi to cut back the privileges of state-owned firms, make it easier for rural migrants to settle in cities, fix a fiscal system that encourages local governments to live off land expropriations and, above all, tether the powers of a state that they say risks suffocating growth and fanning discontent.

With growing public anger and unrest over everything from corruption to environmental degradation, there may also be cautious efforts to answer calls for more political reform, though nobody seriously expects a move towards full democracy.

The party could introduce experimental measures to broaden inner-party democracy - in other words, encouraging greater debate within the party - but stability remains a top concern and one-party rule will be safeguarded.

(Additional reporting by Benjamin Kang Lim; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Jonathan LaPaglia talks about his role in The Slap

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 03:24 PM PST

The Slap actor Jonathan LaPaglia shares why sparing the rod may not necessarily mean spoiling the child.

GROWING up, I was quite the "home decorator". You see, my parents weren't too crazy about colours, so when it came to painting our walls, it was either in the shade of white or on their most adventurous days ... off-white.

Hence, I took it upon myself to refurbish these dull, uninspiring walls and demonstrate some creative sensibilities to my family. The artist in me began to draw (doodle), colour (scribble), paint (spill paint) and produce what can only be described as a masterpiece that was "out of the ordinary".

But for reasons unclear to me, they did not share my creative ideals. Upon discovering what I had done, my mum retreated to the kitchen (for what felt like forever) and returned with two items: A 'rotan' and a wet cloth.

At that moment, things suddenly became very clear to me about what had happened, and what was about to happen. In my subsequent childhood years, I made sure this same clarity was reflected on the surface of those walls.

"It's not something I would do to my child," actor Jonathan LaPaglia said when asked if he believes physical punishment is an acceptable form of child discipline, during a phone interview from Los Angeles, California.

Immediately, I snapped out of the musings on my childhood and began to suspect that perhaps LaPaglia – a child of the 1970s – somehow managed to escape the "old school" way of parenting and grew up in a more liberal environment.

To my surprise, he revealed that he was actually physically punished as a boy: "At school, I got slapped for minor offences like disrupting the class or talking out of turn."

However, the 43-year-old father to Tilly, eight, said he "thinks differently now".

"I think kids are learning. They don't have everything at their disposal to make sound, informed decisions.

"I feel like they are pushing the boundaries to figure out where they are. So, what seems like naughty or bad behaviour is just kids wanting to explore.

"Therefore, I don't feel any kind of physical punishment is warranted. As a parent, my job is only to show them where the boundaries are," he explained.

The actor believes in delineating those boundaries by sitting his daughter down and trying to logically explain things to her.

This hard-hitting parenting style is the subject of debate in the critically acclaimed Australian drama The Slap. The eight-episode series, based on the international best-selling book of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas, begins at a suburban barbeque party where three-year-old Hugo (Julian Mineo) throws a tantrum and swings a baseball bat violently, endangering the children playing around him.

To protect his son Rocco (Raffaele Costabile), who is playing with the group, Harry (Alex Dimitriades) intervenes. But after failing to calm him down, he delivers a resounding slap across the boy's cheek. Harry's parents Gary (Anthony Hayes) and Rosie (Melissa George) accuse Harry of abusing the child and proceed to press charges.

"The atmosphere was almost electric on the set. It was one of those remarkable moments that don't happen very often in filmmaking," LaPaglia recalled the moment the actual slap was filmed.

He added that the production team had a lot of concerns at first in determining how to shoot it, what the tone should be and whether it will work dramatically.

"When we finally shot the scene, everyone's reaction to the slap was so real and raw that we nailed it on the first take," he revealed, adding that the seemingly real slap was actually simulated.

In the series, LaPaglia stars as Hector, a likeable, financially stable family man who just turned 40 and has everything going his way. But beneath his smiley, cool-as-a-cucumber exterior, he is struggling to get through a midlife crisis.

"This is how I break down life. In your teens and 20s, it's a period of exploration; in your 30s, it's a period of acquisition where you settle down with a partner, get a car and a house. In your 40s, it's a period of reflection where you stop and ask yourself 'how did I get here?'

"That's what Hector is going through. At one moment, there was a level of unpredictability and the excitement that comes with that. Suddenly, he realises he's 40 and life is very predictable. He knows exactly how life is going to turn out from here on. That can be very daunting," LaPaglia said, describing his character.

To complicate matters, Hector's teenage babysitter Connie (Sophie Lowe) kisses him and he begins to develop feelings for her. "Connie represents that youthfulness he longs for but is slipping away. There's something very exhilarating about feeling like a tongue-tied schoolboy again when he is around her," he shared.

LaPaglia admitted he had gone through his own midlife crisis and could therefore embody Hector's struggles well. The actor, who is more used to taking on roles with tougher personas like a cop (The District) or a criminal (Underbelly: Badness), surprises many by successfully conveying gentler and subtle emotions in The Slap.

Being able to sit down and speak to author Tsiolkas for hours must also have something to do with it. "I asked him all kinds of ridiculous questions like 'What kind of underwear would he wear?' and he would have the answers. This way, I learned what made Hector tick and what his motivations are," he said.

The Slap won Most Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie at Australia's most prestigious television awards, the Logie Awards, besides a nomination for Best International Programme at the BAFTA Television Awards.

The Slap airs every Thursday at 9pm on Sundance Channel (Astro B.yond Ch 438).

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Vettel looks to make 100th race an historic one

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 07:27 PM PST

AUSTIN, Texas - Sebastian Vettel can make his 100th Formula One race the United States Grand Prix an historic one here on Sunday by being crowned the youngest ever triple world champion.

The 25-year-old German, and his Red Bull team, could make it a night for double celebrations if they take both the drivers' and teams' titles in a country where he made his debut as a baby-faced 19-year-old stand-in at Indianapolis in 2007.

That last United States Grand Prix, five years ago, was won by Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren and, this time around, he will once again be a major contender for victory in his penultimate race for the team before he leaves for Mercedes.

But both championship leader Vettel and Hamilton know they face a challenge this weekend from two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari who is 10 points behind the German in the title race and still convinced he can secure his own third title.

Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, victorious in Abu Dhabi, will also be a threat.

Vettel, who replaced Pole Robert Kubica at BMW Sauber in 2007, managed to qualify seventh and finish eighth, his single point for that feat making him F1's youngest points-scorer - a record that he still holds.

As he looked ahead to this weekend's showdown at the virtually unknown Circuit of the Americas, a purpose-built track 15 miles from Austin city centre, he admitted he could hardly believe it.

"It's all gone so quickly," he said. "One hundred is a big number - 100 grands prix sounds a lot: 100 starts, 100 times surviving the first corner. If I reflect on it, it doesn't feel so long ago that I broke into Formula One...

"That shows me that time flies when you do something that you really like and enjoy, so let's focus on the second 100!"

Typically, Vettel has not dwelt on the various permutations that could land him the title this weekend.

He knows that with a 10-point lead he can secure the title with a victory this weekend and that is his clear goal. He goes into the race with two races - worth a maximum of 50 points for two wins available - remaining.

He has 255 points to Alonso 245. In spite of his extraordinary success in the last three seasons, there are many who still find it difficult to pour praise on Vettel and this week that list grew longer with the addition of 1997 drivers' champion Canadian Jacques Villeneuve.

The former Williams driver believes Vettel still has to mature and often "reacts like a child" if things are not going his way - sufficient reason, for him, to be pledging his support to Alonso as the season reaches its climax.

Villeneuve, however, said he felt that Vettel is almost invincible if he can lead a race from the front.

"I have no doubts - Fernando Alonso is the best, that's why I root for him," Villeneuve told Autosprint magazine.

"Seb is super quick, but there is a difference with Fernando that emerges in case of an unfavourable situation. Alonso remains calm, cool, and rational, while Vettel most times gets upset, angry, screams and flicks the middle finger. He reacts like a child.

"These behaviours indicate two different states of maturity but, let's be clear, Sebastian is an ace too; however, he struggles more in critical situations.

"He looks almost unbeatable when he leads, but if he needs to catch up he becomes vulnerable."

He added that he believed Vettel's stunning drive from the pit lane to a podium finish in third place in Abu Dhabi supported his view.

"For me, it confirmed what I think about Vettel... These are facts: while recovering from the back, he made contact with Senna who was ahead of him and damaged his front wing.

"Then he lost control of his car and crashed under the Safety Car - a very serious error that had light consequences. As for the rest, he was super quick, but he was lucky and I'm not changing my mind: Alonso deserves the 2012 title more."

Vettel said he felt both he and Alonso were equally worthy of the title. "If you look at the races we've done so far I think Fernando's and my DNFs or calamities are equal," he told the official Formula 1 website.

"I still believe that the driver who deserves it most will be champion. No doubt we are in a very good position now and I hope we do well until the very end to make sure that we deserve the glory...

"Of course, the last races we had were very good for us, to put it mildly. They have helped us a lot." - AFP

Fab Four rivalries will be good for tennis

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 03:35 PM PST

PARIS: Novak Djokovic's commanding victory over Roger Federer in the final of the ATP Tour Finals in London on Monday brought the curtain down on a spectacular year for men's tennis which has rarely been in more robust health.

It was a fittingly bookend triumph for the popular Serb, who got things underway in January by defeating Rafael Nadal in a pulsating Australian Open final that took almost six hours to complete – the longest title match in Grand Slam history.

Djokovic subsequently may not have reproduced the blistering form that brought him three Grand Slam titles in 2011, but runs into the finals of the French and US Opens and the semi-finals at Wimbledon deservedly saw him finish the year on top.

It was an achievement that if anything, he said, meant more to him than what he produced in the previous year given the quality of the opposition he had to face from Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray.

For the first time since 2003, before Federer took command of the sport, the four Grand Slam titles were shared out.

Djokovic beat Nadal in five sets in Australia, Nadal beat Djokovic in four sets in Paris, Federer beat Murray in four at Wimbledon and Murray edged Djokovic in five in New York.

Murray had the added satisfaction of winning Olympic gold over Federer in London and Djokovic had the last word against Federer also in London.

Former British No. 1 Tim Henman said that the way Monday's match had finished had summed the year up perfectly.

"It was a very fitting match to finish what has been an unbelievable year and it was a very fitting last shot, Djokovic under pressure out wide, able to find the passing shot and get the victory," he wrote in his BBC column.

"I think the game's stronger than it's ever been, with Djokovic maintaining his place at the top of the game after last year, when he just dominated everything and was the clear number one.

"The margins between Djokovic, Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are so small, it comes down to just a few points when they play each other.

"I think that's the beauty of their rivalry, that they're all capable of beating each other, which was emphasised by each of them winning one of the four Slams in 2012." — AFP

Garcia sets sight on bagging Johor Open title

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 03:35 PM PST

PETALING JAYA: Fully recovered from a recent eye surgery to correct astigmatism, Spanish superstar Sergio Garcia is hoping to finish off the tailend of this season as well as he can now see.

The US$2mil Iskandar Johor Open, from Dec 13-16 at Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club, is the last of three tournaments Garcia will be competing in and he's hoping to shine in his first appearance here.

Garcia, the world No. 22 who has not played since helping Europe to victory over the United States in the Ryder Cup in Medinah in September, will feature in the DP World Tour Championsip in Dubai and the Thailand Golf Championship in Bangkok before heading for the Asian Tour season finale in Johor Baru.

"The surgery went well. I went for a check-up on Monday and was told everything is perfect. My vision is 100% now, so the doctors are very excited about it.

"I can see the difference and I have been practising a bit," said Garcia in a teleconference call arranged by the organisers yesterday.

It also helped that he has improved on his putting and consistency this year.

"I've always had good putting rounds and stretches where I've putted well but consistency wasn't great so that's nice to have now.

" I think that the great thing about the game is that you can always improve, pretty much on every aspect of your game. Mentally you can improve; physically you can get a bit better. You can always find something to tune a little bit more," said Garcia, who is excited to come to Malaysia where he has heard many good things.

"This will be my first time playing in Malaysia, so I am very excited about it. I know golfers who have played in the tournament before, like Retief Goosen, so I have been told great things about it.

"I am excited to see the golf course and enjoy my week there. It should be a great way to end the year for me.

"The goals are simple, I am going to go there and hopefully I am feeling good that week and I can fight for a win.

"A victory will be amazing but if I can play nicely and have a good chance, it will be a good way to end the year," added the 32-year-old Spaniard.

"Coming to Asia, I try to do it every year if I can. I've always said that I am a global player. This year with the eye surgery I couldn't go to China or Australia but I enjoy it.

"That's one of the reasons I am in Dubai next week, I'll go to Thailand to play there then I will go to Malaysia to play in Johor.

"I've always enjoyed that part of the globe and I am looking forward to it."

Asked about the significance of his role in the Ryder Cup team, Garcia said it was special for a couple of reasons.

"One of them, on the Saturday afternoon before we won the last two matches, we were dead. As simple as that, we were done.

"But wow, everything changed, the energy in the team room, how everything lifted up. How we were able to come back on Sunday against such a strong team and those crowds that were very rowdy and great supporters of their team.

"To win away from home, away from Europe made it amazing. To do it for our captain and also for Seve (Ballesteros). All together made it so special," said Garcia, who launched his Junior Golf Academy in Catalunya on Tuesday.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Cautious outlook for SEGi

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 05:38 PM PST


By Kenanga Research

Market perform (downgrade)

Target Price: RM2.02

WE met SEGi's founder and managing director Datuk Seri Clement Hii and its top management and came back with a more cautious view on the group's future outlook.

This is due mainly to several issues including higher-than-expected staff cost increase as a result of its ongoing faculty expansion and slower pace of net increase in the number of students due to the high number of nursing student graduating.

Also noted were the group's unfavourable decision to change its 50% dividend payout policy to a discretionary dividend policy due to business expansion and its need to solve some operational issues on its SkillsMalaysia International Technical Education and Vocational Training Programme (Invite) project before a major rollout targeted by mid-2013.

Given the limited price upside and the more cautious outlook for SEGi, we are downgrading our call to "market perform" with a lower target price of RM2.02 (versus RM2.32 previously) based on an unchanged financial year ending Dec 31, 2013 (FY13) forward price-to-earnings ratio level of 13.7 times over our revised FY13E earnings per share of 14.8 sen (versus 17 sen previously). Our FY13 share capital calculation is based on 689.4 million shares after assuming 27.6 million conversion of the group's outstanding warrants in FY13.

In line with SEGi's future expansion plans to become an integrated education player (pre-school, primary and secondary schools), the group has recently revised its dividend policy from a 50% dividend payout to a discretionary policy, where the payout will depend on the group's future cash flow ability.

Management has indicated that the change was because it needed to conserve funds for future growth with its upcoming international school project capital expenditure budgeted at approximately RM180mil (inclusive of land purchase and construction of building).

While the school is tentatively scheduled to be completed by end-2014, we believe that the group will gear up its existing net cash position at the expense of a higher dividend payout going forward.

Hence, we have revised down our dividend payout assumption for FY13 to 30% (versus 50% previously) or a 2.2% of net dividend yield, based on a more conservative view while maintaining our FY12 dividend payout assumption at 50% or a 3% of net dividend yield.

According to management, there were about 2,500 nursing students (or 9% of the total students) graduating in the third quarter of 2012, which has resulted in a sharp fall in SEGi's total student population. We believe the large graduation number was partly due to the higher number of nursing student intake during the "nursing bandwagon" in 2009. However, after the Government imposed a higher minimum entry requirement for the diploma nursing programme from three credits to five credits and reduced the value in the National Higher Education Fund Corp loan scheme for diploma students, the enrolment rate for the nursing programme has shrunk.

In addition, management also foresees an additional two batches of nursing students to graduate in FY13. It aims to replenish the shortfall with the intake of more international and local students for various other programmes. All in, we estimate SEGi to have 27,500 (increase 8% year-on-year) and 30,300 (increase 10% y-o-y) students in FY12 and FY13 respectively (16% y-o-y growth in FY11).

Recall that SEGi was appointed by the Government as project leader for SkillsMalaysia Invite back in 2011 to provide technical and skills-based training to foreign trainees and learners.

We understand that the progress of this government-to-government initiative project is currently at an advanced stage. SEGi needs, however, to solve some operational issues before a major rollout targeting by mid-2013.

Although the current number of trainees is small at this juncture, we gather that the memorandum of understanding allows for approximately 10,000 candidates from Vietnam to be trained under this project from 2012 to 2015 for various technical and skill-based courses.

Management has clarified that the higher selling, general and administrative (SG&A) cost during the first nine months of 2012 was mainly attributed to higher staff cost due to faculty expansion and salaries increase, a one-off building maintenance of approximately RM2mil and higher lease rental. After taking all the above-mentioned factors into consideration, we have trimmed our FY12 estimate to FY13 estimate net profits by 15% and 13% to RM79.7mil and RM101.8mil, respectively, mainly to impute higher SG&A margin assumptions of 52.1% (increase 2.9%) and 50.9% (increase 3.8%) for those years.


By CIMB Research


Target Price: RM10.90

GENTING Singapore (GENS) reported poor third quarter of 2012 (3Q12) numbers that were well below expectations. Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) is adjusting to find a steady state of growth in the face of tough regulation. Genting's diversified earnings base remains the best proxy for the group.

We cut our earnings per share (EPS) forecasts by 3% to 9% following our earnings revisions for

Our revised net asset value (RNAV)-based target price is lowered to RM10.90 following the revision in our target price for GENS, which makes up 45% of Genting's RNAV. Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and restructuring opportunities remain key catalysts for Genting.

GENS' 3Q12 results were well below expectations with the first nine months accounting for only 55% of our full-year estimate.

As a result, we cut our earnings estimates for GENS by 15% for financial year ending Dec 31, 2012 (FY12), 20% for FY13 and 11% for FY15. We believe RWS has not gone ex-growth but making a difficult transition where the first two euphoric years unlocked significant pent-up demand.

The next few years will involve finding a steady state of growth in the face of tough regulation both on the VIP and local mass market business.

International mass market seems to be the only avenue of growth at this at this stage and management has set up a team specially to focus on this segment. However, it will require an extended amount to build the business which we have not factored into our forecast years for GENS.

Since GENS makes up just over 40% of Genting's net profit, we cut our earnings per share for Genting accordingly. We were disappointed with GENS' performance as we had expected 2Q12 to be one-off event following the conscious effort to cut back on VIP credit. the third quarter showed underlying growth in both VIP and mass market gaming turnover was weakening.

Genting remains a top pick in the Malaysian gaming sector for its diversified earnings base. M&As opportunities are also beckoning with the latest interest in Korean legislation apparently driving the recent share price movement. We expect Genting to have unencumbered cash of RM22.4bil in FY13. At price-to-book value of 1.4 times for FY13, valuations remain attractive as the stock traded at these levels only three times in the last two decades. PERISAI PETROLEUM TEKNOLOGI

By Maybank Investment Bank Research

Buy (unchanged)

Target Price: RM1.40

PERISAI'S upcoming third quarter of 2012 (3Q12) results, due on Nov 20, will likely meet our estimates. More importantly, we are optimistic about its chances of securing a Malaysia-based floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) charter contract by end-2012, which would significantly boost its earnings, business profile and target price.

There is upside to our forecast three-year net profit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 73% should Perisai bag this job. An emerging growth stock with multiple growth catalysts, Perisai remains one of our preferred small-cap oil and gas (O&G) plays.

We expect 3Q12 earnings to be similar to 2Q12 results, with quarterly net profit of RM23mil. This would bring first nine months of 2012 earnings to RM70mil or 77% of our full-year forecast, in line with expectations. Earnings will be anchored by the charters for Enterprise 3 (E3) pipelay vessel, mobile offshore production unit (MOPU) Rubicon and eight offshore support vessels (OSVs) held under 51%-owned Intan Offshore, on a forecast 46:37:7 profit split.

Following the recent charter extension for the eight OSVs under 51%-owned Intan Offshore on a three-plus-two year contract (which started on Sept 1), Perisai will enter talks with TL Offshore Sdn Bhd soon to extend E3's contract beyond June 2013. We do not foresee Perisai encountering any difficulty in securing the charter extension considering the robust plans for O&G activities in Malaysia and abroad in 2013. E3 gets US$1.9mil per month and an additional US$20,000 a day if usage is more than 270 days under the current charter terms.

We foresee Perisai, in partnership with Emas Offshore, bagging Hess' FPSO charter for the Kamelia field. Its FPSO Arunothai, currently undergoing refurbishment works in Singapore, should be ready to meet its July 2013 work commitment. Unless the job is re-tendered, no FPSO is available in the market to meet this deadline. Our back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests a potential earnings increment of RM27mil to RM36mil per annum, based on a 50% stake in the US$400mil asset, 70:30 debt:equity financing, and 15% to 20% return on equity. This would be a major catalyst for the stock.

Perisai will only enter into contracts requiring asset ownership if the job meets its internal project internal rate of return of 15%, and will cap its gearing at sub-2x. Operations will be Malaysia-focused as it capitalises on import-substitution demand for Malaysian-owned assets and services. We are confident that Perisai will secure a charter for its jack-up drilling rig, scheduled for delivery in July 2014, as it rides on the import-substitution effect. Of the 15 jack-up rigs operating in Malaysia, only one is locally owned.


By OSK Research

Overweight (maintain)

MALAYSIA'S palm oil inventory rose only marginally in October as exports remained robust while local consumption picked up and production entered a seasonal downcycle. While inventory may peak only this month or in December, signs of inventory flattening should trigger a recovery in palm oil price. We continue to believe a structural price upcycle will occur next year, albeit from a lower base.

This will be propelled by a deceleration in Indonesia's production, coupled with sustained global consumption growth.

Malaysia's production is entering a seasonal downcycle after peaking at two million tonnes in September. The inventory downcycle should commence soon with the production downcycle having begun. We note that since 2001, the decline in inventory has been averaging 436,700 tonnes from peak to trough, which will put inventory at 2.1 million tonnes by mid-2013. In a low price environment like the current one, the inventory decline could be even faster. During the 2008 to 2009 and 2009 to 2010 inventory downcycles, stockpiles were down by an average of 903,300 tonnes from peak to trough. This may put Malaysia's mid-2013 inventory trough at just 1.6 million tonnes.

We note a marked increase in local consumption to 208,700 tonnes compared with the average 154,500 tonnes since the start of 2011. As there was no increase in oleochemical shipment during the month, the additional consumption could have been due to conversion to biodiesel in preparation for the nationwide rollout of mandatory B5 biodiesel.

Despite concerns of demand weakness, China and India have continued to snap up edible oil. As China's imports of edible oil surged 25.8% through October 2012 is poised to be the first year since 2007 that China has raised its edible oil imports, which have been steadily declining since 2008.

Hong Kong's sukuk bill on track but local interest dim

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 05:34 PM PST

DUBAI: Hong Kong's bill to facilitate the issuance of sukuk, or Islamic bonds, is expected to be ready early next year but initially at least, it may attract little interest among issuers.

In March, the government asked for industry feedback on the subject and this month, it said it aimed to introduce a bill in early 2013.

A draft bill could take three months to prepare and then be passed quickly into law provided there is no controversy, said Marcellus Wong, co-chairman of the taxation policy committee at the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong, an association of tax professionals.

But the appetite from local firms to tap the sukuk market does not appear to be as strong as it was when the idea of issuing sukuk in Hong Kong was first considered seriously.

"It is good to have the framework in place but market interest has gone. The consultation was expected a few years back; the market is not that buoyant now," Wong said. "It is already a few years late."

Previously, arrangers hoped that the main issuers of sukuk in Hong Kong would be mainland Chinese companies seeking to tap large pools of Islamic funds from southeast Asia and the Gulf.

Hong Kong's market for yuan bonds has been growing rapidly; last year it saw over 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) of issuance from 81 issuers, three times the volume of 2010, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

But recent trends within the market have not been favourable for yuan sukuk, analysts said. For one thing, the yuan stopped appreciating against the U.S. dollar in the first eight months of this year and although appreciation has resumed in the last few weeks, the market now sees greater risk of two-way movements in the Chinese currency.

This has reduced the potential appeal of yuan-denominated sukuk to investors, making any deals more expensive for issuers, the analysts said.

"Issuing sukuk is not a priority for Chinese corporates at this moment," said Ivan Chung, vice president and senior credit officer at Moody's Investors Service in Hong Kong.

"Last year, it was almost purely a currency play with lots of short-tenor, small-amount, low-yield bonds. While the change in market dynamics has prompted currency-play investors to leave the market, issuers will be more inclined to launch longer-tenor bond with larger amounts, and thus more eager to attract a larger scope of investors.

"Sukuk is more appealing to a niche investor base, which they (issuers) will likely consider after establishing the larger international institutional investor base."

For potential Hong Kong issuers of sukuk, the territory's real estate sector would probably be the main source of assets to back the Islamic bonds.

But returns on such assets have declined, making sukuk based on them less attractive. In September, monthly investment yields in Hong Kong's real estate market reached their lowest levels since data began in 1999, according to data from the government's Rating and Valuation Department.


Davide Barzilai, banking partner and Asia Pacific head of Islamic Finance at Norton Rose in Hong Kong, said of expected sukuk issuance in the territory: "I think it will only be a small number - this is never going to be a major market."

A first-mover will be needed to show how the laws work in practice, before most companies consider an issue, Barzilai noted. "It will have to stand the test from a real deal."

The idea of a Hong Kong sukuk has been raised as far back as 2008, when the territory's Airport Authority considered selling an Islamic bond of up to $1 billion, but that issue has not materialised.

"We have no further updates on both our financing plan and on the subject of sukuk financing," a spokesperson for the authority told Reuters.

The most important aspect of Hong Kong's sukuk bill will be to clarify the tax status of sukuk. Islamic bonds can face heavy taxation because they involve multiple transfers of the assets backing them; bankers hope the bill will remove this obstacle.

Amirali Nasir, chairman of the Islamic finance working group at the Hong Kong Law Association, said he expected the law to be passed within 2013.

He noted that the government had accepted the industry's recommendation to add the wakala (agency) sukuk structure to four other types of sukuk covered by the bill, in order to broaden issuers' options.

By the time the law is passed, however, many issuers and investors may have become used to issuing in other markets than Hong Kong - particularly Malaysia.

In October, Hong Kong-headquartered Noble Group, a global trader and supply-chain manager, opted to issue a three-year, 300 million ringgit wakala sukuk in Malaysia.

In September, Malaysia's mobile phone operator Axiata Group issued a two-year, 1 billion yuan sukuk, listed on the Malaysian and Singapore stock exchanges. Last year, Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah issued a three-year, 500 million yuan sukuk, listed on the Malaysian and Labuan exchanges.

Most interest in issuing yuan sukuk does not now come from Hong Kong or Chinese companies, but from Malaysian companies, said Hassan Ali Shah, special assistant to the chairman at Okasan International (Asia), a Hong Kong-based brokerage.

In April, Hong Kong signed a tax treaty with Malaysia clarifying investors' tax liabilities, which has made it easier for Hong Kong investors to buy sukuk issued in Malaysia. - Reuters

Lagarde: M’sia can achieve 4.5% growth

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 05:28 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can achieve its growth target of 4.5% this year as it diversifies away from a reliance on external trade, according to International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde.

"It is quite impressive to see Malaysia's gradual transition from an economy that was largely export-led to one that is more balanced between exports, investment and domestic consumption.

"I believe this is a sustainable pattern," she told a press conference yesterday at the start of her three-country tour of South-East Asia.

She is on her maiden visit to Malaysia as head of the IMF and will visit the Philippines and Cambodia next.

The IMF's first female chief added that she was impressed by Malaysia because of two factors.

"The first is the combination of short-term objectives and a much longer-term vision with the identification of those sectors that will be driving the economy forward.

"The second thing is that the country's economy includes many players from the real economy, whether it is the public or private sector, as well as the financial sector."

However, she highlighted three risks that Malaysia needed to address, the first being its foreign direct investment, which she said had yet to return to pre-crisis levels.

"There is a need to ask why. Next is the high level of debt and the third is inequality."

In her speech later, Lagarde said that while the country had held up well so far with growth at above 4.5%, it remained in "risky territory".

"This year, growth in emerging Asia fell to its lowest level since 2008, partly from domestic slowdowns in China and India, but also because of strong gusts from storms in the West.

"Demand from Europe and the United States each accounts for about a third of emerging Asia's net exports. Foreign participation in local sovereign debt markets has nearly doubled over the past five years.

"Again we see this here in Malaysia, where foreigners now hold almost 30% of government bonds. So, from all sides, Asia is exposed to sudden shifts in sentiment.

"Going forward, we believe growth will pick up again, and Asia will retain its position as a growth leader, expanding 2% faster than the world average next year."

On Greece, she stressed that its creditors were on the same page in their mission to rescue the debt-stricken nation, even as she fell out with eurozone finance ministers earlier this week on its deficit targets.

"All partners share the same objective and concern to make sure Greece is back on track and can return to economic stability as soon as possible. From the IMF's perspective, we expect a real fix, not a quick fix, and that means debt that is sustainable," Lagarde pointed out.

AFP reported that she and Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker had on Monday "clashed openly" in a rare public disagreement on Greece's bailout schedule.

Lagarde had insisted that Greece should stick to its original target of trimming its debt-to-gross domestic product to 120% from some 170% currently by 2020, while eurozone finance ministers are considering extending the deadline to 2022 amid crippling austerity protests in the southern European state.

Greece's debt is forecast to rise to 190% of its gross domestic product next year.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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An anchor to her children

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 03:56 PM PST

MARANG: Khatijah Mohamed is literally the "Iron Lady" of her family, providing an anchor to her children after their father passed away.

The 55-year-old mother of eight makes iron anchors to support her family after her husband Wan Abdul Kadir Wan Jusoh died of a heart attack last year.

Khatijah's world collapsed as the 73-year-old was the sole breadwinner.

"At that time, I almost gave up hope as the love of my life was gone. However, I knew I had to go on for my children's sake," she said in an interview here.

Fortunately for Khatijah, she had learned the skills behind the making of anchors from her late husband, and started her own business near her home in Kampung Rhu Dua here.

The anchors range in length from about 0.3m to about 1.5m, depending on the size of the boat.

Full story in your copy ofThe Star today.

Anne Ngasri to marry again

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 03:51 PM PST

Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this ' >'sign, it denotes a separate news item.

ACTRESS Anne Ngasri, 28, who recently broke up with singer Aliff Aziz, is planning to tie the knot with politician Mohd Sumali Reduan, 40, next month. They have been dating for a year.

Berita Harian reported that Anne wanted to move on from her old memories of her first marriage by beginning a new chapter in her life.

The mother of three was resplendent in a black lacy outfit by designer Ezuan Ismail on her engagement day at her family house in Jalan Ipoh on Sunday.

"He (Sumali) came at the right time and we complete each other.

"It is God's plan and I am just following it. I want someone who can complete my life," she said.

Anne said her wedding would take place in Pontian, Johor, on Dec 22, followed by a small ceremony the next day.

"We planned to do it in Johor as my future husband comes from that state," she said.

Mohd Sumali, who is Umno Youth executive secretary, said his upcoming marriage to Anne would not affect his political career.

> A man in his late 30s bashed up his wife after she came home late from work during one weekend, reported Harian Metro.

The incident took place at about 11pm at Pandan Ria, Ampang Jaya.

The victim was greeted by her angry husband, who swore at her before beating her up for almost ten minutes.

According to a source, the victim had a work emergency.

"The suspect, who came back around 8am, was angry to find that his wife was not at home," said the source.

The victim lodged a police report. Ampang Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Amiruddin Jamaluddin confirmed receiving the report.

Firm takes the stink out with deodorising underpants

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 03:51 PM PST

Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this ' >'sign, it denotes a separate news item.

A TEXTILE company in Japan had invented deodorised underpants that has become a hit among busy businessmen who have no time to go to the loo, Nanyang Siang Pau reported.

The underpants were initially made for patients with gastrointestinal problems who were unable to neutralise the stink caused by flatulence.

Spokesman for the company which produced the product, Nami Yoshida said the firm spent years creating the product.

"It is also suitable for daily wear," he said.

The underpants were said to contain odour-absorbing ceramic particles in the material's fibres.

The company currently has 22 products in its "odour-buster" line that includes socks and T-shirt.

> China Press reported that a man in his 30s had threatened to slit his mother's throat when she failed to prepare breakfast for him.

The incident happened on Nov 10 at about 7.30am in Cheras when the 62-year-old woman could not get up early enough as she was sick.

The man, who saw his mother lying in bed, did not ask how she felt and instead shouted at her.

When the woman asked him to buy his own breakfast, he threatened to kill her by slitting her throat.

Fearing for her safety, she lodged a report at the Pudu police station.

> Sin Chew Daily reported that Singaporean scholars were unhappy that a newspaper in China had named a new slope found in Shenyang City, China, as "Xin Jia Po", or Singapore in Chinese.

The term can also be literally referred to as "newly added slope".

Singapore's Chinese Learning Lab dean Prof Chua Chee Lay said Singaporeans would sometimes joke about the term but he claimed it was the first time he had seen it used by the media and in this particular case by Shenyang Wanbao newspaper.

He added that it might be a joke, but some readers were questioning the motive behind the use of the term and whether the paper was being disrespectful by referring to the island republic as "a small slope".

"It would be more acceptable if a big shopping mall or an entertainment city is named after Singapore," he said.

"I personally take this as a joke but would like to remind that Singa-pore is a small nation."

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Metro watch

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 06:03 AM PST


A temporary road closure along Jalan Kuching and Jalan Duta will be implemented by DBKL to facilitate construction of three-tier extruded kerbs. Works on Jalan Kuching is ongoing until May 14, from 9.30am to 4pm (first stage) and 9pm to 5am (second stage) while works on Jalan Duta is ongoing until June 19, from 9.30am to 4pm (first stage) and 9pm to 5am (second stage). Motorists are advised to be careful and observe traffic signage at the site.


A talk titled "Beyond Authori-tarianism: Malaysian Constitutiona-lism in the Balance" will be held at Graduate Centre, Sunway University on Nov 23 from 5.30pm to 7pm. as part of the Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speakers Series. It will be presented by National University of Singapore Centre for Asian Studies director Professor Andrew Harding and admission is free. For registration, visit sunway.edu.my/tsjc-dss/register, call 03-7491 8622 ext 8172 (Faslika) or email pr@sunway.edu.my


Drop off unwanted books and magazines at Wing Hin Autohaus Sdn Bhd, Jalan Balakong starting now until Nov 30 from 8.30am to 6pm. The collected reading materials will be recirculated to Pertubuhan Kebajikan Yesuvin Mahligai in Kajang. For details, contact 03-8962 6899 (Sharon / Nooramira).


Malaysia Sudoku Society is conducting a free Slitherlink puzzles workshop at Bangunan Secita, 4A Jalan SS5D/6, Kelana Jaya on Nov 17 at 3pm. For details, e-mail mysudokusociety@gmail.com or call 012-234 1492.


USJ 3 ABCD Resident Association is organising a family carnival for the area's residents at the play ground along USJ3C/5 on Nov 24 from 9am to 3pm. There will be food and drinks stalls, children colouring competition, free health screening and many more. For details, call 013-363 9071 (Noel).


Sri Kota Specialist Medical Centre Klang (SKSMC) is organising a Diabetes Day public forum on Nov 24 at the centre from 8.30am to 1.30pm in conjunction with its World Diabetes Day Awareness Campaign. Free admission with lunch. For reservations, call 03-3373 3636 ext 7313/7335/7356.


A free Diabetes and Heart Disease Seminar organised by Total Health Concept and partner Farmasi Vitacare will be held at The Space, Citta Mall, Ara Damansara on Nov 24 from 2pm to 5pm. Free gifts for early birds and limited seats available. For reservations, call 1300 882 700.


The fifith Malaysian Furniture & Furnishings Fair will be held at Viva Home Shopping Mall, Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur starting tomorrow until Nov 18 from 10am to 10pm. For details, call 03-6140 1202 or email to enquiry@mf3.my

Cricket tips for the youngsters at Royal Selangor Club

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 06:03 AM PST

YOUNG children will have a chance to learn basic cricket skills at the Royal Selangor Club (RSC) in Bukit Kiara over the year-end school holiday.

For the upcoming four-week programme, starting from Nov 19, RSC cricket section programme co-ordinator R. Devindran said they were embarking on a junior development initiative to introduce the game to boys and girls aged between eight and 15.

"It is the first time we are offering a programme of this nature to cater to the children during the school holidays. Our aim is to encourage the newcomers to discover the game.

"It is going to be a fun-filled experience to engage in a healthy outdoor activity under controlled circumstances in a safe environment. The children will also get to meet new friends," he added.

Two coaches — Hiran Wiranga and Dinesh Muthuraman — will be including the fundamental aspects of the game to guide trainees through the paces three times a week.

Considering that wet weather may disrupt the training, they have also drawn up indoor activities for the children.

The three-hour sessions are scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30am onwards.

Registration fee is RM450 for each participant. Besides providing the playing equipment, RSC is giving a T-shirt and cap to each participant.

Although they are expecting a small group of 20 participants including children of non-club members to join the introduction training sessions, they can accommodate up to 30 trainees in the group.

"We want to create a broader base of children playing the game. We are also excited about identifying new talents.

"Outstanding trainees showing potential in the camp will get to continue and take up cricket more seriously, joining their peers in the club's ongoing training programme," said Devindran, who is also the Kuala Lumpur Cricket Association secretary.

Currently, 50 juniors train twice a week under the club's programme.

This year, six of the up-and-coming cricketers from the club featured for the national Under-16 side.

The RSC Under-12 line-up also completed their campaign as the runners-up of their age-group in this season's Kuala Lumpur league.

For more information, call 014-365 9407 (Hiran), 012-237 5500 (Dinesh) or 019-241 1471 (Devindran).

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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