Khamis, 22 November 2012

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

“Jeon Woochi” Nabbs 1st Throne on Wed-Thur TV Chart

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 07:15 PM PST

KBS' new period drama "Jeon Woochi" has kicked off smooth start on Wednesday and Thursday ratings chart while MBC's "Missing You" is closing a gap between the chart-topper.

The fantasy action series took over superiority of the preceding No. 1 "The Innocent Man," earning an average rating of 13.5 between November 21 and 22, TNmS' [Total National Multimedia Statistics] data showed Friday.

Actor Cha Tae-hyun's witty depiction of unmanly official Ichi [later became hero Jeon Woochi] and harmonious ensemble of supporting actors seem to bring enough amount of joy to cover up cheesy graphic of Taoist magic.

With a small gap between the comic actioner, MBC's "Missing You" [tentative title] sat at No. 2 after attracting an average 11.1 percent of total viewers.

Starring Park Yuchun and Yoon Eun-hye, the melodrama has been catching more attention with the pitiable couple's love story getting on its present track after showing past stories in four episodes.

At the bottom of the chart was SBS' period-set series "The Great Seer," which registered only 7.9 percent ratings in the same time frame.

In the meantime, AGB Nielson Media Research's data showed the three dramas in same order yet slightly different figures from TNmS' during the fourth week of November.

While "Jeon Woochi" nabbed the top status with 14.1 percent, "Missing You" and "The Great Seer" ranked at the following spots after posting 10.6 and 7.9 percent of ratings, respectively.- Reuters

Rock with JLo

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 04:16 AM PST

Tickets to JLo's concert in Malaysia will be among the goodies to be won on Red FM.

DANCE queen Jennifer Lopez (pic) or JLo will be gracing our shores for a high-energy concert on Dec 2 in Kuala Lumpur.

Red FM wants to give you the opportunity to catch the famous artiste in action.

This highly anticipated concert will be her first ever performance in Malaysia. JLo's The Dance Again World Tour is in support of her greatest hits album Dance Again ... The Hits (2012).

Fans are guaranteed to be mesmerised by the 43-year-old mother, actress and former dancer as she belts out her famous hits.

To top it off, lasers and costumes will be enriching her stage performance.

The Red Breakfast show (Mondays to Fridays, 6am-10am) with Lil' Kev and Sarimah will be running a mini contest to put you in the draw to win tickets to the concert.

Every morning from Nov 26 till 29 the breakfast team will play a clip of her song.

Just identify the song correctly and you will stand a chance to win those coveted tickets.

The winner will be announced live on The Red Fix on Nov 30 at 4pm at Studio Lounge, Tropicana City Mall, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.On that day, Red FM will also be giving out JLo's latest album every hour. What are you waiting for? Stay tuned to Red FM so you don't miss out on the opportunity to catch her live in action at Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.

For more information, log on to Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page on and follow them on Twitter @iloveredfm.

Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.

Red FM's Station Frequencies: Taiping, Kedah, Perlis and Pulau Langkawi: 98.1FM; George Town and Seberang Prai: 107.6FM; Ipoh, Perak: 106.4FM; Klang Valley, Negri Sembilan and Tapah: 104.9FM; Kuantan, Pahang: 91.6FM, Batu Pahat and Malacca: 98.9FM; Johor Baru and Singapore: 92.8FM


The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

South Korea urged to restore trust in nuclear power

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 08:17 PM PST

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea needs to rebuild public trust in nuclear power by boosting transparency and improving regulation, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday, after safety scares have closed reactors and threaten to trigger blackouts over winter.

Asia's fourth-largest economy lacks its own energy resources and depends heavily on oil and gas imports while 23 nuclear reactors usually supply a third of its power. The country plans to add 11 more by 2024.

But the nuclear sector has suffered a big blow after an investigation into fake safety documents for parts led to two reactors being shut and after an extended shutdown of another reactor where microscopic cracks were found.

Unveiling a report on South Korea's energy policies, the IEA backed the country's nuclear programme, but said more needed to be done to restore faith in a sector also facing greater global scrutiny after last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

"Given the growing demand for energy and Korea's lack of indigenous energy resources, this is a logical policy," Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA's executive director, said in a statement.

"Nonetheless, recent incidents at Korean nuclear facilities should serve as a timely reminder to the government that the nuclear regulatory authority must maintain an enhanced profile, be well-resourced and able to take independent decisions."

The IEA, which advises industrialized nations and represents 28 oil importing countries, last released a report in South Korea in 2006.

There is a lot at stake for South Korea, which also wants to play a growing role in the global nuclear industry, and aims to export 80 nuclear reactors by 2030, which could be worth a total of $300 billion, according to government plans. A $20 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates has already been signed.

Van der Hoeven said the government needed to openly deal with concerns of local communities hosting nuclear facilities.

The South Korean government has been criticised for a lack of transparency over safety in its nuclear programme and for the dual supervisory and promotion roles of its regulators.

The country's public is traditionally seen as pro-nuclear, although an opposition lawmaker has pressed the government to resume publishing polls on nuclear safety after a loss of public confidence in the sector in the wake of Fukushima.


Highlighting the vulnerability of its energy sector, South Korea has warned it may have to bring in rolling power blackouts during the harsh Korean winter due to a lack of nuclear power.

Six reactors are currently offline, with one restarting earlier this week, according to government data.

Van der Hoeven said the country needed to increase competition in its power and gas markets.

"The lack of a clear, long-term vision for electricity and natural gas markets is one of the greatest energy-policy challenges facing the Korean government," she said.

"The IEA strongly urges the Korean government to establish a framework that allows the development of effective competition in the electricity and natural gas markets."

South Korea is the world's fifth-largest crude oil importer and second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyer.

More consumers should be given the choice of buying gas at market prices from other sources and not just from state-run Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS), the world's largest corporate buyer of LNG and the country's sole gas wholesaler, South Korea's economy ministry quoted the IEA's full report as saying.

"Energy markets are dominated by incumbents and have been slow to open up to competition while consumers face the threat of electricity supply shortfalls."

Another state-run utility, Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), is the sole electricity transmitter and distributor, buying from six fully-owned power generators.

Both KOGAS and KEPCO are suffering billions of dollars of losses as the government tries to hold down power charges to curb inflation.

(Additional reporting by Somang Yang and Jane Chung; Editing by Anthony Barker and Ed Davies)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

New Zealand joins Australia in court against Japanese whaling

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 08:12 PM PST

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand has joined Australia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said on Friday.

McCully said New Zealand would support Australia's case in the ICJ after diplomatic initiatives have failed to halt Japanese whaling in the region.

"New Zealand has worked hard with Japan for over three years to try and find a permanent solution to whaling in the Southern Ocean," he said in a statement.

"The government will continue to use all avenues possible to try to bring a halt to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean."

Australia filed a complaint against Japan at the ICJ in 2010, arguing that Japan was violating the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling by killing whales for research purposes. A decision is expected in 2013 or later.

In December 2010, the New Zealand government decided in principle to intervene in the case. Intervention is a procedure that enables a non-party to the case to put its legal views before the court.

Japan, Iceland and Norway are the only countries to engage in whale hunting. Japan introduced what it described as scientific whaling to skirt the commercial whaling ban under a 1986 moratorium and argues it has a right to monitor the whales' impact on its fishing industry.

Anti-whaling activists regularly harass Japanese vessels in their annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean off Australia and Antarctica, with the two sides sometimes clashing violently. At least one activist boat has sunk in recent years.

(Reporting by Mantik Kusjanto; Editing by Ron Popeski)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Gunmen kill seven in Guatemala in attempted hit on drug dealer

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 08:02 PM PST

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Gunmen dressed as police officers shot dead seven men at a Guatemalan health clinic on Thursday in a brazen attempt to kill an alleged drug trafficker, who managed to escape the firefight, the government said.

Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez told reporters a gang of men entered the clinic in an upper-class neighbourhood of the capital looking for frequent client and alleged Guatemalan drug trafficker Jairo Orellana.

When security turned the men away, the assailants opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles, killing six men thought to be Orellana's personal security and one clinic guard before speeding away in five sport utility vehicles.

"The attack in the capital could be the product of a power struggle between drug traffickers," Lopez told reporters. "It was directed at Jairo Orellana."

Orellana escaped from the clinic unharmed, Lopez said.

Officials said one of the victims was a man from Alta Verapaz, a rural province roughly 75 kilometres north of the capital, where the government declared a 'state of siege' in December 2010, suspending constitutional rights to try to wrest control from the powerful Mexican cartel Los Zetas.

Mexican drug gangs have spread their operations deeper into Central America in order to smuggle South American cocaine toward the United States.

In May last year, Los Zetas beheaded 27 innocent farm workers in the northern border region of Peten in a dispute with the farm's owner over drug trafficking routes.

Guatemalan president and retired General Otto Perez took office in January promising to crackdown on violent drug gangs in one of the world's most murderous countries.

(Reporting By Mike McDonald; editing by Christopher Wilson)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Vettel seeks to deny Alonso and seal treble

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 12:17 AM PST

SAO PAULO: After helping his Red Bull team claim a stunning third consecutive constructors' world championship in Texas last weekend, defending drivers' champion Sebastian Vettel will seek, once again, to become the youngest triple champion in Formula One history in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.

In his 101st race, the 25-year-old German has a clear goal - to finish in the top four and thereby make it impossible for his only rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari to overhaul his 13 points deficit and take his own third title.

On paper, for Vettel, it sounds simple enough after a sequence of results that recently saw him reel off four straight wins before finishing third in Abu Dhabi, after starting in the pit lane, and then second in Austin last Sunday.

But he knows that Alonso, 31, and Ferrari will do all they possibly can, within the rules, to seize the Spaniard's first title triumph since he joined the team.

He will be aware, too, of the threat from both McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in the season finale.

Hamilton, in particular, has made it clear he wants to mark the 20th and final race of the year and of his career with McLaren on a high note as he races in their colours for the 110th time before transferring to Mercedes next year.

"Brazil has been the scene of some epic races for me during my time at McLaren and, for many reasons, this weekend will be a very big race for me," said Hamilton, 27.

"As my final race behind the wheel of a McLaren, I vow to the whole team that I'll give it my all on every single lap."

The Briton will know he has the team behind him again, for the last time, as they want to end the season on a high with both drivers on the podium if possible.

That will make life difficult for Vettel and Red Bull whose frailties were exposed last Sunday when Mark Webber had to retire with alternator failure, the team's third in races.

In response, the team are planning to run with updated parts and to attack throughout the weekend.

Even if the weekend turns into a battle for survival in the rain, as forecast, Red Bull have declared they will not be taking a cautious approach.

Team chief Christian Horner said they know no other approach than racing to win.

"We just have to approach the next race as we have the previous 19," he said.

"We have to go there, attack the weekend, and get the best out of ourselves; the car, the strategy, the drivers, and reliability.

"Anything can happen, as we have seen this season, but it is good to be going there with a lead, and we go there determined to close the job off."

Alonso and Ferrari, who demonstrated their pragmatism in Texas by deliberately sacrificing Brazilian Felipe Massa's grid position for the benefit of Alonso, by breaking the seal on his gearbox, are equally focussed on raising their performance for what promises to be an exciting end to a long season.

Team chief Stefano Domenicali said: "Pragmatically speaking, we know that the result has to be better.

We have to be in front of Sebastian and we need some drivers in the middle, without thinking of the worst-case scenario.

"And this is the approach that we have to have. We know that it's not easy because he's driving very well and has a very quick car, but that doesn't change what we have to do.

"We have seen that Mark (Webber) had a reliability issue and that can happen every time. But I want to stay concentrated on the job we have to do, and prepare the car in the best way we can."

For Ferrari, it will be critical to improve their qualifying performance at a circuit that has fond memories for Alonso, who won the 2006 title for Renault at Interlagos after a tight duel with old rival Michael Schumacher, then in his last season with Ferrari.

This time around, Schumacher will be retiring again, but now for good, after a lacklustre return in 2010.

At 43, and after 306 race starts, he will making his final exit, to be replaced alongside Nico Rosberg by Hamilton.

"My departure will probably be less emotional for me this time than in 2006, when we were still fighting for the championship and everything was much more intense," said Schumacher.

"This time around, I will be able to pay more attention to my farewell and hopefully savour it too.

"I have had fantastic years in Formula One and a lot of support from fans around the world and I wish to particularly thank them for that." - AFP

Durant helps lift Thunder over Clippers in OT

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 08:32 PM PST

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma: Three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant sank 19 of 21 free throws and finished with 35 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-111 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday.

Durant shot just seven of 19 from the floor and had six turnovers, but he performed well enough to help the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City win their third straight game.

Durant also had a half dozen rebounds, grabbed five steals and dished out five assists for the Thunder, who have won eight of their last nine games and are 9-3 on the season.

Russell Westbrook posted 23 points and nine assists, while Serge Ibaka added 15 points and 12 boards in the victory.

Blake Griffin poured in 23 points, but Chris Paul recorded just nine points on two-of-14 shooting for the Clippers, who had their six-game winning streak halted.

First place Oklahoma City will now head east for contests with Boston and Philadelphia.

The Thunder, who lost to Miami in the NBA finals last year, had lost three of four meetings with the Clippers last season.

Paul also had nine assists for the Clippers, who are off to an impressive start to the season and have scored 100-plus points in nine of their first 11 games.

The Clippers won their sixth game in a row Monday with a 92-87 decision against the San Antonio Spurs in the opener of a four-game road trip.

Los Angeles will visit Brooklyn and Atlanta next on their road trip.-AFP

Australian chief quits after London debacle

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 08:30 PM PST

SYDNEY: Swimming Australia chief executive Kevin Neil quit his post Thursday in the wake of the team's poor showing at the London Olympics, which was tarred by reports of pranks and ill-discipline.

Australia's swimmers won just one gold, six silver and three bronze in London, their lowest tally in the pool since the 1992 Barcelona Games, and were without an individual gold medallist for the first time since Montreal in 1976.

"I have witnessed great changes and seen how swimming continues to be Australia's premier Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport," Neil said in a statement.

"Following the below-expected results at the London Olympics, swimming is now undertaking various reviews to set the new course for the future and it is therefore appropriate to step aside to allow the sport to progress to its next exciting phase."

Earlier this month, Australian swimming officials announced an independent review of the sport's culture at elite level after rumours of initiation rituals involving prescription drugs in London.

Swimming Australia, the sport's governing body in the country, said consultancy Bluestone Edge would lead a probe of top level "culture and leadership", in parallel with a broader post-Olympics review already under way.

That review launched in August is examining why the once-dominant swimming team fell so short.

In the lead-up to the Games, reports suggested some members of the much-vaunted but ultimately unsuccessful six-man freestyle relay team had an initiation ritual that involved taking the sedative Stilnox.

Stilnox was banned by Australian Olympic officials ahead of the London Games.

There were also claims of swimmers upsetting teammates and coaches by prank-calling and knocking on their doors late at night at their camp in Manchester, two days before the team went to London.

Neil was appointed to Swimming Australia's board of directors in February 2008, taking over as chief from Glenn Tasker later the same year.-AFP


The Star Online: Business

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Malaysia's Zelan shares fall after RM771m UAE job axed

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 06:35 PM PST

Published: Friday November 23, 2012 MYT 10:36:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Zelan Bhd fell to a low of 30.5 sen on Friday after its UAE contract for the RM771mil property project was terminated.

At 10.18am, it was down 2.5 sen to 31 sen. There were 1.97 million shares done at prices ranging from 30.5 sen to 32.5 sen.

The FBM KLCI fell 4.37 points to 1,614.18. Turnover was 163.51 million shares valued at RM140.14mil. There were 119 gainers, 209 losers and 225 counters unchanged.

Zeelan's Meena Plaza project in Abu Dhabi, ran into trouble after project owner Meena Holdings LLC's decided to end the contract.

Its unit Zelan Holdings (M) Sdn Bhd's Abu Dhabi branch received a letter dated Nov 21, 2012 from Meena Holdings LLC which gave a 14-day notice to terminate the contract and to liquidate the performance bond.

In March 2008, Zelan had announced that the contract value to build the Meena Plaza mixed-use development was 925.3 million dirhams (RM771mil).

Court orders disclosure of Apple-HTC deal details

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 06:04 PM PST

SAN FRANCISCO: A US judge has ordered Apple Inc to disclose to rival Samsung Electronics details of a legal settlement the iPhone maker reached with Taiwan's HTC Corp, including terms of a 10-year patents licensing agreement.

The South Korean electronics giant had earlier filed a motion to compel its US rival with whom it is waging a bitter legal battle over mobile patents across several countries to reveal details of the settlement that was reached on Nov 10 with HTC but which have been kept under wraps.

In August, the iPhone maker won a US$1.05bil verdict against Samsung after a US jury found that certain Samsung gadgets violated Apple's software and design patents.

Now, legal experts say the question of which patents are covered by the Apple-HTC settlement, and licensing details, could be instrumental in Samsung's efforts to thwart Apple's subsequent quest for a permanent sales ban on its products.

Samsung has argued it is "almost certain" that the HTC deal covers some of the same patents involved in its own litigation with Apple.

The court on Wednesday ordered Apple to produce a full copy of the settlement agreement "without delay", subject to an Attorneys-Eyes-Only designation.

Representatives for the US company could not immediately be reached for comment.

Samsung also requested the California court to add three newly released Apple products the iPod Touch 5, the iPad 4 and the iPad mini to the list of devices that it claims to have infringed on some of its patents, according to court documents.

The settlement of Apple and HTC ended their worldwide litigation and brought to a close one of the first major flare-ups in the global smartphone patent wars.

Apple first sued HTC in 2010, setting in motion a legal conflagration that has since circled the globe and engulfed the biggest names in mobile technology, from Samsung to Google Inc's Motorola Mobility unit. - Reuters

Malaysian equities off on weaker note

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 06:03 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips fell in early trade on Friday, dragged down by some mild selling of Petronas related counters and MAHB, through the broader market was mixed.

At 9.20am, the FBM KLCI was down 0.76 of a point to 1,617.79. Turnover was 48 million shares valued at RM21.31mil. There were 75 gainers, 67 losers and 130 counters unchanged.

Maybank KE Equities Research said after the KLCI fell 4.42 points to close at 1,618.55 on Thursday, the resistance level of 1,618 and 1,640 would cap market gains, whilst weaker support areas were at 1,600 and 1,614.

"The KLCI made an all-time high of 1,679.37 on 29 Oct 2012 with a Bearish Engulfing Pattern for its weekly chart in early November. As such, all rebound rallies should be sold.

"Despite the European markets' minor upbeat tone; expect the local index to remain weak ahead of the weekend. We sighted the dreaded SMA 'Dead Cross' signal on Wednesday. Sell as we believe that the index is surely headed towards the 1,597 and 1,574 downside target areas," it said.

Petronas Dagangan fell the most, down 48 sen to RM22 with 7,600 shares done while Petronas Chemical shed three sen to RM6.28.

FGV lost five sen to RM4.62, Aeon and Aeon Credit two sen each to Rm12.18 and RM12.50 while MAHB was down two sen to RM5.51.

Hard-disk maker JCY was the most active with 6.64 million shares done, slipping one sen to 69 sen.

Consumer stocks recovered some ground, with Carlsberg and Dutch Lady adding 18 sen each to RM12.76 and RM46.18. SP Setia gained five sen to RM3.45 and IBhd four sen to RM1.40.


The Star Online: Nation

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Najib: Global community must have courage to reject all forms of violence

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 07:20 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The international community must have the courage, guided by moral clarity, to reject violence in all its forms wherever it occurs and whoever it affects, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the determination of those who spoke out against conflict, those who dedicated their lives to measuring its effects on health and well-being, served as an inspiration, not just for this generation but future generations, as well.

"It is incumbent on us, the governing generation, to make the changes that the children here today deserve. To show through our actions that to be a broker for peace is infinitely greater than a driver of conflict," Najib said in his speech at a dinner held in conjunction with an International Conference on War-Affected Children at Dewan Tun Dr Ismail in Putra World Trade Centre here Thursday night.

Also present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, former prime minister and Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, who is also founder of Criminalise War Clubs (Malaysian chapter).

Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and his wife Datin Seri Masnah Rais also attended the dinner.

Najib said he also believed Malaysia has a strong story to tell, as the nation had sent doctors to Kabul, and peacekeepers to the Congo in the 1960s, as well as playing a key role in the Bangsamoro negotiations.

He noted that Malaysia stood ready to help resolve conflicts, whether in the Middle East or close to home, and this readiness had been tested over the past few days as the violence in Gaza intensified.

"Last week, I spoke with President Morsi of Egypt about the prospects for a ceasefire and called for greater international efforts to stop the violence. On Tuesday, the Malaysian Parliament passed an emergency motion, condemning Israeli military aggression. I have raised the matter with President Barack Obama, urging him and the United States to act," he said.

Najib also expressed great relief to the news of a ceasefire in Gaza Thursday morning, and called on both sides to now stand true to the agreement and ensure there was no further destruction of property or loss of life.

"I join with other leaders for a total removal of the blockade of Gaza, so that Palestinians can enjoy the right to life and livelihood that they deserve," he said.

In expressing thanks for the ceasefire, Najib hoped it would hold, and looked forward for a long-term solution as it was time to break the cycle of violence.

"We should focus now on the broader Middle East peace process, in ensuring that the region moves from conflict to stability, so that its people have the security and dignity they deserve," he said.

At the same function, Najib, together with Rosmah, Dr Mahathir, Dr Siti Hasmah, Dr Rais and Masnah, signed the Children's Charter to Criminalise War.

Rosmah also presented a cheque for RM1mil to the Gaza Emergency Fund to KLFCW. The donation, from various parties, was initiated by Rosmah since 2008, under the flagship of Gaza Appeal. - Bernama

Uncollected garbage hot topic at Selangor state assembly

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 06:02 AM PST

SHAH ALAM: The issue of uncollected garbage in Selangor caused a heated debate between a state executive councillor and two assemblymen at the state assembly here Thursday.

The debate broke out when Saari Sungib (PAS-Hulu Kelang) said Local Government, Research and Development Committee chairman Ronnie Liu Tan Khiew did not comprehend problems pertaining to garbage collection in the state.

He also alleged that Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) contractors did not collect garbage according to schedule.

"Does the exco know about the problem of garbage in Hulu Klang? By right, (he) should be appreciative of the people who pay taxes to MPAJ," Shaari said, after standing up to interrupt Liu, who was winding up debate on the 2013 Supplementary Supply Bill.

Liu countered by saying the problem of garbage collection in Hulu Klang was not caused by the weakness of the system used by the local authorities but by the appointed contractors.

Meanwhile, Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz (BN-Semenyih), who stood up to interrupt, said Liu's excuse was not acceptable.

He said the appointed contractors had been working for eight months and should have been able to provide good service by now.

"For example, my own area in Desa Mutiara is experiencing the problem of garbage not collected for months. Residents told me they have complained many times but the contractor still fails to carry out his duty properly," he said. - Bernama

Woman dies after getting baby’s passport done

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 05:39 AM PST

JOHOR BARU: A woman died at the state home ministry complex in Setia Tropika here Wednesday, after having a passport done for her 11-day-old baby boy.

Johor Immigration Department enforcement officer Muhammad Acil said a counter officer saw the 33-year-old woman suddenly slide off her seat and sprawled on the floor about 5.30pm.

He said a medical officer at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital certified the woman dead, about 30 minutes later.

At the time of death, the deceased's friend was carrying the baby.

The body was sent to the hospital mortuary while the baby was handed over to the woman's husband who returned from Singapore where he was attending to work-related matters. - Bernama


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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Ken Loach turns down Italian film prize over worker rights

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 04:05 PM PST

ROME - British director Ken Loach on Wednesday turned down a prize from a festival organised by Italy's National Museum of Cinema in Turin in protest over the rights of cleaners and security guards at the museum.

"It is with great regret that I am obliged to turn down the prize assigned to me by the Turin film festival," the internationally acclaimed filmmaker said in a letter to organisers that was sent by his Italian distributors, BIM Film.

Loach, who is well known for his social activism and films about labour disputes, said workers hired for cleaning and security services at the museum had been mistreated, threatened and sacked after protesting over salary cuts.

"The workers who were worst paid and therefore most vulnerable lost their jobs for opposition to a reduction in pay," he said. "It is unfair that the poorest to pay the price for an economic crisis they are not responsible for."

Loach drew a comparison with his award-winning film "Bread and Roses" (2000) starring Adrien Brody, which is about the struggle for better working conditions and unionisation by poorly paid janitors in Los Angeles.

"How could I not respond to a request for solidarity from workers who were sacked for fighting for their rights? Accepting the prize and just making some critical comments would have been weak and hypocritical," he said.

Loach had been due to receive a lifetime achievement award at the festival, which said a screening of his latest film "The Angels' Share" - a comedy-drama about a young Glaswegian father - had also been cancelled by BIM Film.

Organisers said that Loach had been "badly informed" about the dispute and his comments "do not correspond in any way with the reality of the facts".

"The museum cannot be considered responsible for the behaviour of third parties, either directly or indirectly," the museum said in a statement, adding that it had always engaged in "ethically irreproachable" labour policies.

Alberto Barbera, director of the Turin museum, said he had been taken aback by the decision.

"I couldn't believe it!" Barbera, who is also head of the Venice film festival, told AFP, saying Loach only informed him on Monday and had received a ticket to attend the festival last month.

"I've known Loach since 1998. We know each other really well" he said, adding: "He's really made a big mistake. He's completely missed the point!"

Italy's economy is stuck in a painful recession and Italians are feeling the pinch from a series of budget cuts and tax rises, leading to an increase in union activism with protests and strikes by workers in many sectors.

The Torino Film Festival runs from November 23 to December 1. - AFP


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German hair care company launches new hair colouring

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 06:23 AM PST

GERMAN cosmetic expert Henkel AG, brand owner of Schwarzkopf, and cosmetic and pharmacy chain Watsons recently announced a channel-exclusive parnership to promote Schwarzkopf's Freshlight hair colour series at a launch event held at the Sungai Wang Plaza.

"We are delighted that we found the right partner here, sharing the same goals and assisting us in achieving the desired result. We are confident that we will be strengthening our position to reach out to the masses by making our presence felt at Watsons," said Henkel Beauty Care, Malaysia and Singapore general manager Markus Daburger.

The event gambit saw models, dressed up as popular Blythe Dolls, showcasing the different shades of the Freshlight selection.

"Usually, the hair colouring and styling will complement the elaborate outfits and accessories representing certain characters in the cosplay performance art.

"Cosplay has also been injecting the excitement into Japanese street culture and fashion. For the event, we adopted a similar concept to create awareness of quality hair colour choices at affordable prices," said Daburger.

Created in Japan, there are two application types for the hair colour, crème and foam, which are further divided into 10 different shades.

Inspired by their status as the retail market leader in the hair colour category in Thailand Daburger said they would strive to repeat the achievement in Malaysia.

Following the brand's success in stamping its mark in professional hairdressing salons, the brand entered the retail market in Malaysia at the end of May.

Other products introduced to the market in June were its Extra Care series of shampoo, conditioner and treatments; Palette colouration series and Got2b styling series.

The event ended with a flash mob dancing to Psy's Gangnam Style.

Mackerel offers adrenaline-pumping action on the hook

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 06:20 AM PST

THE tenggiri are in! It is that time of the year again when many enthusiastic anglers head for the northwest of the peninsular to seek some excitement at sea.

For some reason, October to December is the season where these pelagic species could be found in abundance in the waters off Kedah.

But this year, the season arrived later than expected, probably due to the erratic weather patterns or the late inter-monsoon period.

For me, visiting Yan in Kedah, which is renowned for its day-trip tenggiri outings, is like a pilgrimage of sorts. It is a ritual that I have observed faithfully over the last four years to fulfil my fishing lust and get the adrenaline pumping fighting the fish.

I always enjoy travelling to Yan in the morning, admiring the serenity of the countryside. I make it a point to reach Kuala Dulang early to have my breakfast at one of the local nasi lemak stalls in the little fishing village and leave the jetty at Sungai Dulang Kechil before sunrise.

Watching the sunrise while at sea always excites me. It is a rewarding experience to see the breaking of dawn as the sky changes into multiple colours slowly.

The journey from the river mouth to the nearest tuas or unjam, a type of fish-aggregating device where artificial reefs have been dropped on the seabed and bunches of coconuts leaves, tied to bamboo poles, are placed to attract smaller fish like kembong, selar, tamban or sardines to play and hide in it, takes about an hour.

Anglers would jig for baitfish, mostly kembong and selar, here using the Apollo.

Once they have enough bait, which is usually placed in the boat's live well, the taikong would take the anglers on another 30-minute or so boat ride to the mackerel hunting ground.

Fresh and live bait is important to catch mackerel using the drifting method. The swimming action of the struggling baitfish, with a hook attached underneath its dorsal fin, would effectively attract the mackerel to prey on it.

Aside from this method, anglers could also use a special feather jig, where white duck feathers are wrapped around a small torpedo-shaped sinker attached to a hook, to catch the fish.

The moving motion of the jig as it is retrieved at a high speed from the deep gives a kind of irritating signal that would annoy the tenggiri, inviting it to attack the device.

However, this type of feather jig is confined to Yan while the spoon or other lure techniques are more effective elsewhere.

Surface lures, like top water lures, poppers and stickbaits, plugs or spoons can also be used to catch the tenggiri.

Trolling is also another method to catch this species. However, this practice is only popular among anglers from the southern and east coast states where lures or skirting are normally used.

Mackerel have razor sharp teeth and can cut a fish of any size into half without much effort. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a short wire leader is tied to the hook to prevent the line from being snipped off by this pelagic fish when it takes the bait and runs.

For tenggiri fishing, I prefer to use a medium light rod and a spinning reel with 20lb or 25lb line for the action.

Light rods give plenty of action during a hook up. The bending of the rod and the fight with the fish would definitely give one an adrenaline rush, especially when a big fish puts up a hard fight to free itself.

The best and most productive time to fish mackerel is when the sea is a bit choppy. It is during this time, especially in the morning and evening, that it usually hunts for food.

But one needs to have a good pair of sea legs to prepare them for this action.

There are three types of mackerel found in our waters — tenggiri batang (barred Spanish mackerel), tenggiri bunga or tenggiri papan (spotted Spanish mackerel) and tenggiri kikus or tenggiri musang (streaked Spanish mackerel).

Personally, I prefer the tenggiri batang, as it gives a better, longer and harder fight.

In terms of size, the tenggiri batang is also the biggest. The tenggiri kikus, which is difficult to find these days, can grow up to five feet, from head to tail. Tenggiri bunga is the smallest of the lot.

But in terms of catching technique, there is no difference among the three pelagic species.

There are plenty of thrills in tenggiri fishing. Each of these outings would promise to be a memorable trip with plenty of tales to tell.

I am looking forward to another trip out to the sea again next month to fight the tenggiri. Happy fishing!


The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

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High five designers

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 12:58 AM PST

IF I have to pick a favourite from the mini-capsule fashion show at the relaunch of Seethrough Concept Store in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, I would go for Yasmin Ramli's When Our Eyes Met collection.

It was kick-a** yet sophisticated, new and fresh, yet classic. She has managed to merge her punkish sensibilities with classy outfits that would not be out of place at any glamorous event.

She cites The Sex Pistols and Vivienne Westwood – the doyen of Brit punk fashion – as her influences. And there are heady nods to Martin Margiela and Alexander McQueen as well.

If her name sounds familiar, that's because she is one-third of the PU3 label with her twin sister Azalea and her mother Raja Noora Ashikin. PU3 has even done the Paris route. Now she's striking out with her own label.

With this pre-fall 2012 collection, it's all about fabrics that suit rock sensibility but with cuts that have an ease of movement. Lambskin leather is featured, with touches of plastic as well as studded leather with batik prints lining and jersey. Suede dominates where pants and dresses are concerned.

Another designer with some prior design background is Pearly Wong. The Malaysian had a label out in New York while studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was a collaboration called Sara And Pearly that made its debut in 2010.

She returned to Kuala Lumpur early this year and started her own eponymous label. According to Wong, it's all about androgynous design done sustainably.

"Every piece of fabric is fully utilised, and I aim to make clothes that are reusable and renewable on a frequent basis," says Wong.

White, off-white and neutral tones dominate, with some flashes of colour. There seems to be a fascination with plastic as it is pretty much a strong detailing factor. It has a 60s feel to it, with a take on futuristic-looking outfits from that era. She displayed a sense of humour with a top that had a graphic of a yu char kwei on it.

This is a sneak peak of her upcoming Spring 2013 collection. Her previous Fall collection is available in the store. It's actually a more practical one, and fits into Wong's philosophy of reusable and renewable outfits that can be worn back to front.

Zakwan Anuar, 21, has confidence that belies his age. The law student has also participated in quite a few fashion shows and competitions. His fashion outlook is also quite androgynous, with simple lines, but colourful and edgy looks.

He is not afraid of colour, but interestingly adds lots of monotones and whites into the mix. He is also not afraid of contrasts. My personal favourite was a brocade paisley suit that caught the light and sparkled. There seemed a somewhat 70s nod to his collection.

Seethrough by Yiing sees the debut collaboration with Yiing, who was first noticed when she won the MIFA Bumiputra Designers Association competition in 2009. She has since gone on to apprentice under Khoon Hooi, Cris Yong, Victor Goh and then Calvin Cheong. She is currently the in-house wardrobe designer of ImageRom Studio.

In her halting English, she notes that this collection was meant to look flowy and simple. Masculine cuts and minimal design seemed to be the philosophy.

She used draping to good effect on one of her designs that apparently could be worn in five different ways. It was snapped up later by a happy customer. The layering worked on some of the outfits but for a couple, the outfits were better served with simplicity.

Jason Yek is probably the most experienced out of the five designers. With 10 years of fashion notched on his belt, he started with a oriental designs label called Butterfly with Kenneth Wong. After six years, he went solo with his eponymous label that catered for bridal wear, oriental and evening gowns.

His strength is in bead work which he learnt as a child (as well as cutting and pattern-making from his seamstress mother). With this collection, Yek seems to cater to the Malay market with beaded kebaya tops dominating.

These are just five of the labels available at Seethrough, where choices are obviously aplenty. — S.S. Yoga

Boutique looks beyond the ordinary

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 03:20 PM PST

There's a dearth of boutiques that cater to indie fashion labels but a new store has been born to fix this.

CALVIN Cheong may sometimes come across as a space cadet, but he is truly passionate about his business. This business is bringing edgy, creative and fashionable indie labels to the Malaysian market.

Case in point was a conversation regarding his official designation − initially he couldn't quite fathom that this reporter wanted to know his position within the store.

"My position ... hmmm ... the boring word is founder. The actual word, perhaps, should be kuli (manual labourer), and the edgy name would be co-ordinator, I dunno (sic), what do you suggest?"

I suggested space cadet which prompted a big laugh from him. To be fair, perhaps it should be spaced-out as his Seethrough Concept Store in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur is run by Cheong alone.

This includes organising the media preview to the grand opening of the store, and dealing with all and sundry, and now the day-to-day operations too. So yes, it makes sense why he's spaced-out from all the work and stress.

Cheong loves to talk about the store but not much about himself. The 30-year-old was a stylist for 10 years, doing commercials and editorials.

"I had intended to open either a cafe or boutique, but KL is short of really cool fashion boutiques, so I thought it'd be nice to have a cool place to shop here. Something not too commercial; something really fashionable and stylish."

But before Seethrough was established, he started an experimental label called avantGOD in 2009 with a few friends that occupied a hole in a wall smack in the heart of Bukit Bintang in KL. That was an experiment that lasted a year. There was also another venture which saw Cheong and two others starting up another underground-style store called Never Follow Suit last year, but Cheong pulled out to concentrate on seeing Seethrough through (pun intended).

Seethrough itself was founded in Oct 2010 and it occupied a lot in a suburban area outside the city centre. It has managed to draw a curious crowd of fans who seem to have now followed it to its new location.

"It's time KL has a multi-label concept store that houses creative indie designers. Our mission is to bring in the coolest styles and update current fashion trends by looking at the elements and details hot off the runways, and interpreting them into our range of clothing," enthuses Cheong.

His vision of his "dream boutique" which is how he calls his "baby", is to have a shopping hotspot in town. A one-stop centre where you can get clothes, accessories and also fashion tips on styling, and mixing and matching.

Cheong sees his customers as those who want some exclusivity; those who want to be decked out in an outfit knowing that it is not duplicated elsewhere.

They were certainly there in droves for the opening. The store might be small, but the interior is innovative and edgy as reflected in the use of plastic wrappers made into "columns cum wall hangings" as well as stand-out "cushions".

As for the clothes − words like stylish, fashionable, cool, edgy, unique, fresh and fun all spring to mind.

Besides indie local labels like When Our Eyes Met, Zakwan Anuar, Pearly Wong, Jason Yek and Seethrough by Yiing, there are a couple of other local labels and brands from overseas. The first five designers put on a mini fashion show on the day of the launch.

The labels mainly cater to women, but there are a few that have both men's and women's clothes.

Look out for names like Max Tan (and Liquid by Max Tan), Depression (despite the name, it is anything but), Sundays, ForInsaneHuman and Possi-Tilly-Ty from Singapore, Absurd Laboratory from Hong Kong, La Douche Vita from Indonesia, Philippine's Proudrace, Thailand's Jinomo and Northern Land, Japan's Yuki Mitsuyasu and Komono from Belgium.

The store kuli also gets brands he would wear himself. So, don't be too surprised if you see Cheong decked out "Opa Seethrough Style", if I may borrow the current catchphrase.

He managed to get the local indie designers to agree to be available exclusively in Seethrough. "Most of the designers feel happy to have their own place especially at a great location in Bangsar itself! They are glad to share the floorspace with other designers, be they local or international."

How did he discover them though?

"Facebook is a very good platform for all the updates on the fashion scene in KL. Browsing through that and also through the photographers' work became one of my major sources. I usually approach them from there," he explains.

He adds that he also asks the designers directly if he knows them personally. Sometimes, he finds them through graduation shows and other fashion shows or events.

As for the international designers, he searches via the Facebook and trade shows route, or gets recommendations from friends and designers.

"Firstly, I look at their range and request for a lookbook and ad campaign. Then, I go for a price range that is within RM500, if possible, to make it affordable locally."

Most of the clothes are not so far from the RM1,000 mark, but there are quite a number of pieces that also hover around RM100 to RM200.

There's also a rack that seems out of place for an indie store, carrying labels like MMM, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, RAD and Yigal Azrouel.

But here's the deal – Cheong gets them at a steal from a model friend who travels around the world whom he feels has good taste. He has the foresight to envision working with her beyond just reselling labels, perhaps even collaborating on a capsule collection.

At the end of the day, Seethrough is his platform to collaborate with other artists − be they photographers, deejays or musicians (the band that was playing for the launch, Musica Popular Brasileira, certainly gave the party a Copacabana buzz).

As a store that serves to give different artists a leg up, Cheong is certainly hoping that when it comes to Seethrough, resistance is futile.


The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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Johor ruler and his prince will personally vet state award recipients

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 06:25 PM PST

JOHOR BARU: Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, would be strict on conferring state awards and medals in conjunction with his 54th birthday celebration.

A strict vetting process was necessary to ensure that only the deserving would be recognised, said the Sultan.

"I want to see what their service is to the state as well as to the people. As for government servants, one will not automatically get a Pingat Ibrahim Sultan (PIS) medal just because one has served 20 years or is 45 years old," he said.

The state ruler added that he would not tolerate apathetic attitude from civil servants and would be more stringent than his late father in giving out the state awards.

He would personally vet the recipients with his prince, the Tunku Mahkota and the Johor council of Royal Court.

Sultan Ibrahim said besides conferring the awards during the celebration in Muar, he would also hand them out during his visits to the various districts.

"There is no time frame. It will give me the opportunity to meet my rakyat," said the ruler, who however did not disclose the number of recipients this year.

Sultan Ibrahim said he was also unperturbed by negative comments about him or the royal family in social media sites.

He also rubbished allegations that he had directed the police to clamp down on those writing negative articles about him.

"I cannot be bothered about it. Why should I lower myself?" he said, adding that the police were only acting on their own accord and taking action after receiving reports.

The palace, added Sultan Ibrahim, had nothing to do with it.

"I do not want to think about these people. I only feel sad about their poor upbringing," he said.

In relation to the disparaging comments about the Johor royal house, there were cases where people were arrested this year for posting insulting comments on Facebook and blogs.

This includes a 27-year-old quantity surveyor who was apprehended for doing so earlier this month.

Thousands of Felda settlers granted land titles

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 06:27 PM PST

KOTA TINGGI: A total of 68% of the 27,468 Felda settlers in the state have been granted land titles as of October this year.

State Housing, Local Government, Works and Public Amenities Committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Zahri Jamil said that there were only another 8,673 settlers that have not been granted land titles as their applications were still being processed or they have still not settled payments to Felda.

"The state government has granted a total of 18,795 land titles so far and this includes settlers from 49 different settlements here," he said before presenting land titles to 631 settlers from Felda Lok Heng Barat, Lok Heng Selatan and Lok Heng Timur on behalf on Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman here on Nov 20.

Ahmad Zahri, who read out a written speech by Abdul Ghani, said that the Government understood the importance of land ownership for the Felda settlers but explained that the process was long and complicated as it involves regulations and acts according to the law.

"We understand that some settlers have even past away while waiting for their applications to be granted and we pray for their souls," he said adding that the state government through the land office was trying their best to settle all applications as soon as possible.

Ahmad Zahri said that the latest batch of land titles was also extra special as it included the name of the settler's wife or next of kin as owners as well.

"This follows a decision made by the Government in 2003 and this is the first batch of land titles that include a second name.

"The second name is important to ensure that the land continues to stay in the family even if something happens to the settler himself," he said.

He added that land for an important asset for the state and urged settlers to be cautious and not fall into get rich quick traps and sell their land for short term profit.

"Other than that, the state Government has also heard that there are some settlers who have lost their land title and the land has been auctioned off because they have failed to settle their loans with the bank," he said.

He said that this was sad as many of these settlers had toiled on the land for more than 30 years and it was a shame to allow someone else to reap the benefits.

"I suggest that Felda take over the land of these settlers and come up with another agreement which will allow the settlers to repay the money owed and still retain their land," he said adding that there were a total of 45 such case in Johor Baru alone.

Ahmad Zahri also said that the government would continue to address the needs of the Felda settlers and this would include the second generation settlers here.

"The state Government thanks the Felda settlers for their continual support towards us and we hope that they will continue to give us their support especially with the General Election drawing near," he said adding that the support of the settlers was important in ensuring a comfortable win for the Barisan Nasional government in the state.

Place importance on eye health

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 06:28 PM PST

TEMERLOH: Parents should give due attention to their children's health and wellbeing including sending them for regular medical check-ups and other physical examinations.

Mentakab assemblyman Datuk Chuah Boon Seong said some symptoms or defects could not be detected visually.

"For example, parents should send their children for an eye check-up if they are having difficulties to see and read properly.

"If left unattended, it could affect the children's studies and worsen their condition," he said after launching a Crystal Eye programme in SK Bandar Mentakab here recently.

Also present were Temerloh Education officer Abdul Rahman Halip and East Coast Economic Region Development Council general manager (social development division) Zulkifli Yaacob.

Chuah said due to the advent of technology resulting in early exposure to many ICT gadgets, parents should take their children for a yearly check-up to ensure they were not having vision problems.

He said those detected with shortsighted or longsighted should get a pair of glasses to assist in correcting their vision.

The programme mooted by the council with the co-operation of Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital saw about 500 pupils getting their eyes examined for free.

Chuah commended the council for assisting poor students under its empower programmes in the district for the past two years.

Speaking on the event, Zulkifli had urged parents to pay more attention to their children and seek prompt assistance to ensure they were not affected by any defects.

"Suffering from poor vision may cause students to perform badly in their studies.

"As such, parents must be alert and quick to seek to necessary assistance," he said, adding that the council would provide spectacles to all those who were found to have visual problems under the programme.


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