Sabtu, 24 November 2012

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Bangladesh garment factory fire kills 120

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 08:29 PM PST

DHAKA (Reuters) - At least 120 people were burnt to death as a fire swept through a garment factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital, the chief of the fire brigade said on Sunday.

The fire at the nine-story factory in the Ashulia industrial belt started on the ground floor late on Saturday and quickly spread, trapping hundreds of workers.

A firefighter tries to control a fire at a garment factory in Savar, outskirts of Dhaka November 24, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

A firefighter tries to control a fire at a garment factory in Savar, outskirts of Dhaka November 24, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

"This morning we have recovered 120 dead bodies and the death toll could rise," Abu Nayeem Mohammad Shahidullah, director general of the fire brigade, told reporters.

Bangladesh has around 4,500 garment factories that make clothes for brands including Tesco, Wal-Mart, JC Penney, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Kohl's and Carrefour.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul ; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Four injured in fire at U.S. State Department

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 04:45 PM PST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A fire broke out during routine maintenance at the U.S. State Department on Saturday, injuring four maintenance workers, officials said.

The fire began inside ductwork on the building's eighth floor at about 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) as workers were replacing insulation, State Department and fire officials said.

Workers doused the fire with hand-held extinguishers before fire department personnel arrived, District of Columbia Battalion Chief Edward Mills said.

Mills, who was one of the first responders to the scene, told Reuters TV the cause of the fire remained under investigation but did not immediately appear suspicious.

As firefighters tackled the fire, State Department personnel were evacuated to a nearby facility, where around-the-clock operations continued, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

"The fire was quickly extinguished and the main building has been reopened for normal weekend operations," Nuland said in a statement.

The firefighters' association Facebook page said three of the injured were taken to Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman could not immediately provide details about the conditions of the injured.

Washington Fire and EMS spokesman Lon Walls said the injured were all maintenance workers, and that one suffered serious injuries, according to the Washington Post. Walls did not immediately return a call for comment.

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Additional reporting by Alina Selyukh and Peter Cooney; Editing by Tim Gaynor and Bill Trott)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Iraqi Kurds send more troops into standoff with Iraq army

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 04:32 PM PST

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's Kurdish region has sent reinforcements to a disputed area where its troops are involved in a standoff with the Iraqi army, a senior Kurdish military official said, despite calls on both sides for dialogue to calm the situation.

The second military buildup this year illustrates how far relations between Baghdad's central government, led by Shi'ite Muslim Arabs, and ethnic Kurds have deteriorated, testing Iraq's federal cohesion nearly a year after U.S. troops left.

Baghdad and Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region earlier this week began sending troops to an area over which they both claim jurisdiction, raising tensions in a long-running feud over land and oil rights.

More Kurdish troops and tanks were mobilised on Saturday and headed towards the disputed areas, the deputy minister for Kurdish military affairs said late on Saturday, adding that they would hold their positions unless Iraqi forces made a move.

"If they overstep the line, we will strike them," Anwar Haji Osman said.

The Iraqi army and Kurdish troops have previously come close to confrontation only to pull back at the last moment, flexing their muscles but lacking any real appetite for a fight.

Iraq's speaker of parliament, who visited Kurdish President Massoud Barzani on Friday, said "significant progress" had been made towards defusing the standoff and that a meeting between military leaders from both sides would be held on Monday in the Defence Ministry in Baghdad.

Washington intervened to end a similar standoff in August and is again in contact with Iraqi and Kurdish officials to ease tension mounting over the formation of a new command centre for Iraqi forces to operate in the disputed areas.

Kurds say the Dijla Operations Command is a threat to them and an attempt by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to seize control over the oil rich territories along the internal border that demarcates the Kurdish region from the rest of Iraq.

Maliki says the Dijla Operations Command is necessary to keep order in one of the most volatile parts of the country.

Barzani on Saturday turned down an invitation from Shi'ite cleric and lawmaker Moqtada al-Sadr to meet with Maliki to discuss the situation.

In a statement posted on the Kurdistan regional government's website, Barzani's spokesman said he had refused because the matter was not personal, but rather a result of Maliki's "constant non-commitment to the constitution".

The latest flare-up began one week ago when Iraqi troops went after a fuel smuggler who had taken refuge in the office of a Kurdish political party in Tuz Khurmato, 170 km (106 miles) north of the capital, sparking a clash with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in which one passerby was killed.

Maliki has sparred more aggressively with Barzani since the withdrawal last year of U.S. troops who had served as a buffer between the federal Baghdad government and Kurdistan.

(Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Paul Simao)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters


The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Spreading cheers

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 11:56 PM PST

Astro Hua Hee Dai celebrates its fifth anniversary with Hua Hee Family.

ASTRO Hua Hee Dai is celebrating its fifth anniversary in a big way this month and the 24-hour Hokkien channel will be rolling out some new programmes, including the all-new family entertainment show Hua Hee Family.

Hua Hee Family is a family-oriented variety show comprising Hua Hee Youngster, Hua Hee Mama and Hua Hee Papa.

Hua Hee Youngster is an extension of the popular cooking show Hua Hee Makan and aims to dish out culinary tips and share special hand-me-down recipes of home-cooked Hokkien cuisine with the younger generation.

Hua Hee Mama aims to make a difference in homemakers' lives and offers to boost their confidence with a makeover by helping them improve their self-grooming as well as culinary skills.

Hua Hee Papa highlights the tools of the trade in household DIY by offering quick-fix tips as well as creative ideas to the men in simple handy work such as repairing household items and refurbishing old furniture.

Each episode of Hua Hee Family is hosted by a Hua Hee Dai personality and some of the hosts include the "Hua Hee 5 Lucky Charms" – Freddie Ng, Allysa Law, Phoebe Yap, Jentzen Lim and Vicky Tan. The hosts make their way to their guests' houses in different states in the multi-purpose Hua Hee mini-truck.

At a press conference held recently in Kuala Lumpur, Ng and Law shared their experiences shooting Hua Hee Family.

A versatile stalwart in the local Hokkien entertainment scene, Ng, spoke of how much he enjoyed shooting a variety show like Hua Hee Family that took him straight into viewers' homes.

"In Hua Hee Family, we visit people's homes and checks out their needs and try to fulfil them. For instance, in Hua Hee Papa, if there is a faulty appliance or leaky tap that requires fixing but you don't have the time or know-how, we will step up to the job. Our entourage will include a handyman who will provide tips while we attend to the repairs," offered Ng, who also plays the leading role in the long-running series Hua Hee Everyday.

"I filmed one episode of Hua Hee Youngster, where we visited a young man in Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur, who was brought up by his father single-handedly after his mother passed away. His father prepared three meals for him every single day without fail. He wished to cook a few of his dad's favourite Hokkien dishes to show his gratitude so we made chai dao (salty stewed rice), assam hu (tamarind fish) and sambal sotong (spicy squid).

"Coincidentally, I am good at cooking, so it was an easy episode for me to shoot," continued Ng, who is a deft hand at wokking up some fried rice, herbal soups, preparing bak kut (short ribs), and even making vegetarian char siu (barbecued meat).

"It was the first time the young man had cooked for his father and his dad was really moved that his son's first culinary creations tasted like the traditional Hokkien fare that he is familiar with. It was also the first time the son said 'I love you' to his dad, and the first time they hugged each other," mused Ng, who felt is was a very touching episode.

Law, who also features in Hua Hee Everyday and Home, shared how she filmed an episode of Hua Hee Mama in a fishing village at Kuala Gula in Perak. "Nowadays, lots of women go to work to help out with the family income. So, the young homemaker who featured in our show, was one of those rare ones who would even accompany her fisherman husband to sea to help out during his fishing trips. In addition to that, she had to cook three meals for 10 people and also guide her four children on their homework.

"Although she was younger than me, she looked much older because she had no time to pamper herself. So, our shoot required more work as we had to give her a makeover and provide cooking tips. Village folks are also very adorable. When we prodded her husband to say 'I love you' to his wife after the makeover, he found it really hard to do so. Even the children would turn from chatty to teary when the cameras started rolling. It was quite a strange experience for me as city folk are not at all like that," Law concluded.

Hua Hee Family will air on Hua Hee Dai (Astro Ch 333) at 9pm every Sunday, starting today.

Lucky number 13

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 03:36 PM PST

Kay Kwok plays Thirteenth Aunt in the new season of Hua Hee Everyday.

REMEMBER the beautiful Thirteenth Aunt in those Wong Fei Hung movies from Hong Kong?

The new season of Hua Hee Everyday that airs on the 24-hour Hokkien channel, Astro Hua Hee Dai, will also be doling out the laughs by unveiling a hilarious new character played by local singer-turned-actress Kay Kwok (pic).

In the fourth season of Hua Hee Everyday, Kwok will portray an emotional girl from China who constantly courts mischief and trouble with her uncontrollable nature.

Her character will be introduced as the Thirteenth Aunt of village grocer Tan Kim Chui (Freddie Ng). Thirteenth Aunt makes her appearance when she is sent by her native Fujian family to further her studies in Malaysia in order to stem her trouble-making ways.

At a press conference held recently in Kuala Lumpur, Kwok, who is the leading actress in Hokkien drama series Home, recounted how she made her debut in the TV series.

"I play a rib-tickling character whose real name is Chia Kim Lian, but she insists on being called Jap Sa Ee (Thirteenth Aunt) instead. However, her nephew Tan Kim Chui flatly refuses because he thinks it will sound strange for a grown man to do so. He even keeps his distance to avoid acknowledging our family ties," shared the pretty Kwok, whose character is an ugly country bumpkin.

"This girl actually means well and always tries to do good. Unfortunately, all her good intentions seem to get others into trouble and result in those around her getting hurt. So, people become very worried when she makes an entrance, and they even label her Jap Sa Diam (Thirteen O'clock), meaning ditzy girl," added Kwok, who started acting after winning the third season of Project Superstar Malaysia in 2008.

It is Kwok's first time acting in a sitcom, and she says it is a big difference from the drama series that she had starred in. "In a drama series, the characters mostly behave normally and act naturally. For sitcoms, you have to exagerate every emotion and action. I was not prepared for such craziness, but I quickly got the hang of it. I hope viewers will have fond memories of my character," said the 26-year-old lass, who is now filming the fifth season of Hua Hee Everyday.

"The directors seemed to think that I am a tough girl who can fight as they made me fight and gave me action scenes and expected me to do all my own stunts. I still remember having to hit a tree. Other action scenes I'd done usually employed camera angles and editing to achieve the effect the directors wanted. But this time, the director asked me to punch the tree twice with all my might.

"I wanted to test it out first, but the director said testing would hurt so I should just do it and punch the tree as hard as I could. I did exactly as requested and everyone was shocked when I pounded the tree with resounding blows. Even the sound effects team was surprised at how loud it was. My hand was badly bruised," Kwok playfully groused, adding that her upcoming projects included shooting video clips for lunar new year songs.

The new season of Hua Hee Everyday will air on Hua Hee Dai (Astro Ch 333) at 9.30pm every Sunday, beginning today. Astro Hua Hee Dai is now also available on Astro On-The-Go, where viewers can catch their favourite Hokkien shows via their smart phones, tablets or laptops). For more information, visit Astro Hua Hee Dai official Facebook

The travelling lensman

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 11:59 PM PST

Scott Woodward is adept at telling picture stories.

PHOTOGRAPHER Scott Woodward fell in love with Asia during his very first visit to the continent more than a decade ago.

He was then a college student when he followed his roommate back to Hong Kong during a semester break. Having never been out of Canada – it was just his second time on an air plane – Woodward wasn't quite prepared for the vibrant sights and sounds he encountered in Hong Kong. It was an experience that changed the course of his life.

"I come from a little town in Ontario, Canada, where you see the same faces everywhere you go. Everyone looks the same and even the streets all look the same. My roommate Jamie used to regale me with tales about his life back home and his experiences around Asia – trekking in Nepal, attending a full moon party on some island in Thailand ... they all sounded so interesting and so different.

"So, at the end of my first year at university, I borrowed US$1,700 from my father and went to Hong Kong with Jamie. It was an eye-opening experience. I was overwhelmed by the smells, the food and the energy of the people and I thought, 'Man! What a life Jamie had!' I was captivated from the moment I set foot in Hong Kong and I made a promise to myself that I would return," says Woodward in a telephone interview from Singapore.

Woodward did just that after he graduated from university in 1996. He packed his bags and travelled all over Asia for a year. It was during this time that he developed a passion for photography; he wanted to capture and document all the places he visited and the people he met.

"I learnt the basics about photography from my father who is an avid and accomplished amateur photographer. When I was a young boy, he taught me the fundamentals of photography – how to operate a manual camera, interpret light, compose an image, and so on. But I never really went into photography. Then, I came to Asia and there were so many interesting stories to tell. I met many different people with such different experiences. I fell in love with the place and also with photography because there were just so many wonderful photos to take." Soon after his year-long adventure, the 37-year-old Canadian decided to move to Asia permanently. He set up home and shop in Singapore, where he lives with his wife and has a photography studio in Chinatown.

Woodward's favourite subjects to photograph are people and places. How fortuitous for Woodward then that his latest gig was to shoot a short series for the History channel titled Around The World With Voyager.

In the series, Woodward travels on the John Walker & Sons yacht to five Asian cities and traces the evolution of the cities through the eyes of a local icon. The series sees Woodward visiting Mumbai in India, Taipei (Taiwan), Manila (the Philippines), Ho Chih Minh city (Vietnam) and Hong Kong where he not only captures the milestones in the development of each city, but also milestones in the lives of the icons he meets.

"This show is really up my alley. It is partly a travelogue and partly a biography of the five icons. It's been wonderful to be able to spend time with these people whom I would never have ordinarily had the chance to meet. I get to listen to their stories, what inspires them and what makes them tick," he relates enthusiastically.

Among the five icons Woodward took pictures of were Taiwanese entrepreneur/restaurateur Sean Xu An Sheng (he owns, among other things, Ma Shan Tung restaurant in Taipei), actor/director Stephen Fung Tak Lun from Hong Kong (he wrote and directed Hong Kong flick Heroes In Love which starred Nicholas Tse) and acclaimed Filipino director Brillante Mendoza (winner of Best Director for his film Kinatay at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in 2009).

"It's truly inspiring to follow these men to places that are important and special to them, places that have helped shape them. Obviously, it is quite an emotional journey. As they tell me their stories, they are reliving their experiences and it sometimes gets really personal and emotional.

"For example, Sean took me to this beach where he meditates as well as the place where he shot his very first scene for his very first movie. This was a milestone in his life.

"Mendoza took me to his university where he studied art. It was a very emotional moment for him as he stood in his old classroom. He really feels strongly about his homeland and it was very inspiring to be there with him. It made my job so much easier ... I didn't have to draw anything out of any of them and I got some brilliant portraits as they got lost in their memories," relates Woodward whose work has been featured in National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveller, Vogue and New York Times.

He reckons that the show also fits his philosophy in photography, which he calls "choose your own adventure photography".

Woodward explains: "When I was a boy, I used to love reading the Choose Your Own Adventure storybooks. They were my favourite books. In them, the reader is the protagonist and gets to make his own choices about how he wants the story to unfold. Readers are presented with a series of choices – and whichever one you take will lead you to a different adventure. That's the sort of approach I take with my photography as well. When this opportunity came up, it was perfect as it was like a Choose Your Own Adventure opportunity and I was interested in the adventure and where it would take me."

Apart from his handy Nikon digital camera which he uses for most of his professional photography work, Woodward says he also takes many photos with his iPhone.

"I enjoy taking photos with my iPhone immensely. It takes some great photos and sometimes it's easier ... people react differently when you approach them with a big camera, but it's easier with an iPhone. You know, I would love to do an entire shoot with an iPhone," he says excitedly.

"Equipment does not make a photograph good or bad. It's the person. My tip to budding photographers is to pick a subject they love and start shooting. If you love what you are shooting, it will show. For me, it's people. I have immense respect for people who take pictures of running shoes or buildings or things but I prefer subjects that can speak and have character."

Around The World With Voyager will premiere on History Channel (Astro Ch 555) tomorrow at 11pm. The series comprises five half-hour episodes that will be aired once a month until March.


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Mr OCM speaks his mind

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 04:43 PM PST

DATUK Sieh Kok Chi's greying hair and wrinkled face say it all. Age has certainly caught up with him but the good news is that he has not lost his fervour and passion to keep Malaysian sports abreast of the times. The 74-year-old veteran administrator is still as vocal as before. He still stands up for the downtrodden. He still steps on the toes of many, standing firm on his principles, beliefs and values. Kok Chi celebrates his 20th year as the honorary secretary of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) on Nov 28. He talks to Starsport's RAJES PAUL in a no-holds-barred look at Malaysian sports.

Q: What has kept you going all these years?

A: My transition from an athlete to administrator and then honorary secretary of OCM was, to me, a natural process. I kept going because what I'm doing is very challenging, satisfying, fulfilling and beneficial to sport and the athletes. As a volunteer, I'm totally independent but, at the same time, I have heavy responsibilities. Since I have a vision on what OCM should be, I have set myself targets to fulfill.

Q: What has been your most significant contribution?

A: It has to be my promotion of the concept that OCM are a "Games" organisation and not a "Sport" organisation. Our properties are the Olympic, Asian, Commonwealth and SEA Games and all the National Sports Associations (NSAs) become members of OCM because of their desire to participate in them.

Although I'm the elected honorary secretary of OCM, I'm basically a volunteer worker who has been clocking in at least eight hours a day for six to seven days a week, for the last 20 years. I don't have much power nor do I need any power because my work is sufficient to justify my role in OCM.

Q: In what way have you changed as a person through all these experiences?

A: Through sports, I have had the opportunity to closely associate and be involved with all sorts of people. I got to know the best and the worse of them. I have a better understanding of people and their character, which enabled me to understand them better and relate to them more effectively.

I made many friends all over the world, who, like me, are trying their best to do a good job against many similar challenges.

I have also learnt that to be an effective and efficient sports official, one cannot hold too many posts. Some sports officials hold 10 or more posts and they can't do much because time is against them. I decided long ago to concentrate only on OCM. Of course, it is glamorous and beneficial to hold many international posts and be jetting all over the world, sometimes with attractive per diems as well.

Q: What challenges have you faced and why?

A: Due to my years of experience, I have first-hand and in-depth knowledge of the sports environment in Malaysia in general and of OCM in particular. I would like to highlight three main challenges;

Firstly, on funding. I remember the days when OCM were very poor and my predecessor Thong Poh Nyen was always worried whether he had enough to pay the salaries of the four staff members. We now have 16 staff.

I have learnt that OCM must be thrifty to carry out their basic responsibilities without having to face uncertainties. Fortunately, OCM have managed to have some surplus funds to undertake their operations without having to beg. The amount is, however, still insufficient and OCM have to depend on government grants to participate in the various Games. We have to raise more funds to be self-reliant.

Secondly, OCM's relationship with the government. OCM, in general, and I, in particular, try our best to maintain and strengthen good relationship with the government because we are partners. While our objectives are the same, our approach and style are different because one of the fundamental roles and missions of a National Olympic Committee (NOC) is to preserve its autonomy and resist all pressures of any kind — be it political, legal, religious or economic. As such, we often agree to disagree.

Thirdly, the shortage of dedicated volunteer sports leaders. There are fewer volunteers, especially the younger ones, coming forward to stand for elections as office bearers at all levels. From my experience, there are four types of volunteers in sports. The first are those with ideas and passion and always propose and implement viable and good programmes. The second are those with not so much ideas or creativity, but still are passionate. The third are those who holds posts for the sake of holding posts and will always criticise any programme and do nothing to implement them. The fourth are those who propose nothing, say nothing and do nothing. It is the first type of sports leaders we are lacking very much today.

Q: Do you have any suggestion to improve Malaysian sport?

A: OCM have not really initiated or implemented any new ideas or concepts on the issue of funding. OCM are sitting on a property worth over RM50 million. With the MRT station being constructed in front of Wisma OCM, its value will increase. What are we doing about it? Nothing!

I have suggested that OCM take a loan of RM25 million and invest the money in 10 shop houses and assign them to 10 NSAs. The NSAs can then rent out the shop lots and pay the OCM. Unfortunately, OCM are just not interested.

Sadly, the OCM executive board is just interested in petty matters, such as where and when the delegates are to attend meetings; where to get the Olympic Games tickets and souvenir watches; and OCM having their annual dinner at a 5-star hotel and not Wisma OCM.

We should be good in follow-up work as well. Usually, after OCM have submitted the proposals and have had a meeting with the Youth and Sports Minister, we all come out feeling very good and happy. But six months later, everything is forgotten because nothing has moved even an inch.

Q: Any last thoughts Datuk?

A: Recently, there was a massive cut — by 80% — in Greece's sports allocation. Only salaries for staff at the Ministry of Sport and Hellenic Olympic Committe (HOC) were preserved. I'm worried that if sport becomes over dependent on salaried staff and not on volunteers, a similar situation could occur in Malaysia should there be an economic downturn in the future.

This is the reason why OCM and the NSAs have to change and identify new and more innovative ways of raising funds.

OCM and the NSAs need more and better quality volunteer sports officials. Those who are prepared to contribute their time and their brains for the development of sports. We don't require sports officials with big egos who don't have any ideas or vision for the future.

Related Stories:
Some other challenges highlighted by Kok Chi

Some other challenges highlighted by Kok Chi

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 03:07 PM PST

1. The 1997 Sports Development Act should be amended.

2. The transformation of Malaysian sports into an industry has not been achieved despite all the hype. RM6 million was spent on a study by the University of Stirling but only one report has come out of it.

3. The sports development model of Malaysia has not changed very much since the 1950s. The NSAs are established under the state-federal system and the State Sports Associations (SSA) have become very weak as a result of too strong a centralised role of the Federal Government. Most SSAs are no longer motivated to develop their athletes because of lack of funds and ownership of the athletes they train.

4. It is wrong for the Sports Commissioner's office to impose on NSAs to form District Sports Associations. This would lead to elections of office bearers at three levels instead of the existing two. Finally, the elected office bearers would be the same people who will now hold office at district, state and national levels.

5. Unlike in the past, office bearers are focusing more on minor matters, such as overseas trips, allowances etc, than sports development.

6. Lack of development by NSAs. The NSAs are the roots of the big tree called OCM. If the roots die, the tree will also die. Many of the office bearers do not seem to understand this.

7. Too many Games. OCM participated in only four multi-sports events — the Olympic, Asian, Commonwealth and SEA Games — in the past. Today, OCM are involved in 12 events every four years, with the addition of at least five Youth Games and the Asian Indoor Games, the Asian Beach Games and the Islamic Solidarity Games. Imagine the money spent.

8. The NSC Act is being amended to include provisions for them to solicit and source sponsors from private firms and GLCs. This would be a big threat to OCM and the NSAs. Unfortunately, no one seems to be worried.

9. Lack of communication between NSC and OCM. While OCM are represented in the executive board and council and all our plans are discussed in a transparent manner, the same cannot be said of NSC. Although OCM have representatives in the NSC management board, nothing is reported to OCM.

10. OCM's lack of a role in Sukma (Malaysian Games). OCM established Sukma in 1986 and in 1988, it was changed to athletes under-21 years. However, since NSC took over in 1990, OCM's role has been reduced to just being the technical organisers.

Related Stories:
Mr OCM speaks his mind

Chong Wei beats Kenichi to book a spot in Hong Kong Open final

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 03:11 PM PST

PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei continued his red-hot form in Kowloon as he beat Japan's Kenichi Tago to book his place in the men's singles final of the Hong Kong Open.

The top seed easily won 21-19, 21-15 in 45 minutes to set up a clash with world No. 2 and second seed Chen Long of China who beat Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto 21-18, 21-10 in the other semi-final.

This marks Chong Wei's fifth appearance in a Super Series final this season. And after scoring wins at the Denmark Open, Japan Open, Malaysia Open and Korea Open, a win in Hong Kong will crown him king of the Super Series.

But national singles coach Rashid Sidek chose to play down Chong Wei's chances against Chen Long.

Rashid said Chong Wei faces a difficult task against his younger rival.

"He had a tough first game against Kenichi but managed to turn the tie around by increasing the pace and utilising his smashes. He didn't have much problem in the second game and controlled it till the end," said Rashid in a telephone interview from Hong Kong.

"Chong Wei is a little under-prepared, with his wedding and all. I think it's going to be a very tough match which could go either way," he cautioned.

World No. 2 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong made short work of Taiwan's Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin to book their place in the men's doubles final.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong took just 37 minutes to win 22-20, 21-13 and will face their London Olympics conquerors Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China, who beat compatriots Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan 18-21, 21-17, 21-16.

This will be the Malaysian pair's third appearance in a Super Series final after the Denmark Open and Japan Open and national doubles coach Tan Kim Her hopes the duo will end their long title drought with victory today.

But it is not going to easy as Cai-Fu hold a 10-4 win record against the Malaysians.

"This is their third Super Series final since the Olympics. I hope they win and prove that they are still a formidable pair," said Kim Her.

In the mixed doubles, top Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying failed to make the final, falling to China's top seeds Xu Chen-Ma Jin 16-21, 18-21 in a late match yesterday.


The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Wall Street Week Ahead: Political wrangling to pinch market's nerves

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 07:23 PM PST

NEW YORK: Volatility is the name of this game.

With the S&P 500 above 1,400 following five days of gains, traders will be hard pressed not to cash in on the advance at the first sign of trouble during negotiations over tax hikes and spending cuts that resume next week in Washington.

President Barack Obama and U.S. congressional leaders are expected to discuss ways to reduce the budget deficit and avoid the "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and spending cuts in 2013 that could tip the economy into recession.

As politicians make their case, markets could react with wild swings.

The CBOE Volatility Index <.vix>, known as the VIX, Wall Street's favorite barometer of market anxiety that usually moves in an inverse relationship with the S&P 500, is in a long-term decline with its 200-day moving average at its lowest in five years. The VIX could spike if dealings in Washington begin to stall.

"If the fiscal cliff happens, a lot of major assets will be down on a short-term basis because of the fear factor and the chaos factor," said Yu-Dee Chang, chief trader and sole principal of ACE Investments in Virginia.

"So whatever you are in, you're going to lose some money unless you go long the VIX and short the market. The 'upside risk' there is some kind of grand bargain, and then the market goes crazy."

He set the chances of the economy going over the cliff at only about 5 percent.

Many in the market agree there will be some sort of agreement that will fuel a rally, but the road there will be full of political landmines as Democrats and Republicans dig in on positions defended during the recent election.

Liberals want tax increases on the wealthiest Americans while protecting progressive advances in healthcare, while conservatives make a case for deep cuts in programs for the poor and a widening of the tax base to raise revenues without lifting tax rates.

"Both parties will raise the stakes and the pressure on the opposing side, so the market is going to feel much more concerned," said Tim Leach, chief investment officer of U.S. Bank Wealth Management in San Francisco.

"The administration feels really confident at this point, or a little more than the Republican side of Congress may feel," he said. "But it's still a balanced-power Congress so neither side can feel that they can act with impunity."


Tension in the Middle East and unresolved talks in Europe over aid for Greece could add to the uncertainty and volatility on Wall Street could surge, analysts say.

An Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into force late on Wednesday after a week of conflict, but it was broken with the shooting of a Palestinian man by Israeli soldiers, according to Palestine's foreign minister.

Buoyed by accolades from around the world for mediating the truce, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi assumed sweeping powers, angering his opponents and prompting violent clashes in central Cairo and other cities on Friday.

"Those kinds of potential large-scale conflicts can certainly overwhelm some of the fundamental data here at home," said U.S. Bank's Leach.

"We are trying to keep in mind the idea that there are a lot of factors that are probably going to contribute to higher volatility."

On a brighter note for markets, Greece's finance minister said the International Monetary Fund has relaxed its debt-cutting target for Greece and a gap of only $13 billion remains to be filled for a vital aid installment to be paid.

Still, a deal has not been struck, and Greece is increasingly frustrated at its lenders, still squabbling over a deal to unlock fresh aid even though Athens has pushed through unpopular austerity cuts.


Next week is heavy on economic data, especially on the housing front. Some of the numbers have been affected by Superstorm Sandy, which hit the U.S. East Coast more than three weeks ago, killing more than 100 people in the United States alone and leaving billions of dollars in damages.

The housing data, though, could continue to confirm a rebound in the sector that is seen as a necessary step to unlock spending and lower the stubbornly high unemployment rate.

Tuesday's S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for September is expected to show the eighth straight month of increases, extending the longest continuous string of gains since prices were boosted by a homebuyer tax credit in 2009 and 2010.

New home sales for October, due on Wednesday, and October pending home sales data, due on Thursday, are also expected to show a stronger housing market.

Other data highlights next week include durable goods orders for October and consumer confidence for November on Tuesday and the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index on Friday.

At Friday's close, the S&P 500 wrapped up its second-best week of the year with a 3.6 percent gain. Encouraging economic data next week could confirm that regardless of the ups and downs that the fiscal cliff could bring, the market's fundamentals are solid.

Jeff Morris, head of U.S. equities at Standard Life Investments in Boston, said that "it's kind of noise here" in terms of whether the market has spent "a few days up or down. It has made some solid gains over the course of the year as the housing recovery has come into view, and that's what's underpinning the market at these levels.

"I would caution against reading too much into the next few days."

HP says does not sell products to Syria

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 07:20 PM PST

NEW YORK: Hewlett Packard Co said it does not sell products to Syria, but acknowledged in a letter made public on Friday that its products could have been delivered there through resellers or distributors.

The letter was in response to a Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Global Security Risk request that asked whether HP's products were sold in countries where they would be subject to U.S. sanctions.

HP had requested confidentiality, even as it insisted that it had not authorized the sale of its products to Syria in its October 9 response.

Instead, HP said Italian surveillance company Area SpA had likely obtained its products from an HP partner that was unaware of their ultimate destination.

In another October 9 letter to the agency, HP said that it had ended its contract with Area SpA in April.

Calls to HP seeking further comment were unanswered as were calls to Area SpA.

HP's overseas subsidiaries ended sales of printers and related supplies to third-party distributors and resellers with customers in Iran in early 2009, the company wrote.

But because its products are often sold by others through indirect channels without its knowledge or consent, "it is always possible that products may be diverted to Iran or Syria after being sold to channel partners, such as distributors and resellers," HP said.

Reuters has documented how banned computer equipment from U.S. companies has made its way to Iran's largest telecom firm through China-based ZTE.

Networking equipment maker Cisco Systems has since cut its ties to ZTE.

HP said in both letters that it would continue to work with ZTE, but that it had conducted an internal investigation relating to an alleged sale of its products to MTN Irancell, Iran's second largest mobile carrier.

HP is eager to avoid more negative publicity after surprising the market on Tuesday with an $8.8 billion (5.5 billion pounds) write-down on its $11.1 billion acquisition of software group Autonomy accusing the British company of improper accounting to inflate sales.

Autonomy has denied any wrongdoing. - Reuters


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Buddhist mass blessing ceremony attracts thousands

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 07:10 AM PST

SHAH ALAM: Thousands of Buddhists took part in a mass blessing ceremony organised by the Malaysian chapter of the internationally-renowned Mahayana Buddhist monastic order Fo Guang Shan at the Shah Alam Stadium.

The order's founder, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, who also established the Buddha's Light International Association, presided at the gathering that was dubbed the Buddhist Cultural and Dharma Blessing ceremony on Saturday.

Fo Guang Shan is the largest Buddhist monastry and one of the biggest charity organisations in Taiwan while the 85-year-old Hsing Yun is said to be one of the most influential Buddhist monks in the world.

He is on a five-day visit to Malaysia and had called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday.

The evening's event, which started at around 7pm and ended about three hours later, was aimed at strengthening the faith of Buddhists and to propagate divine qualities taught by Buddha.

Halfway through the prayer session, the chief monk and priest told the participants they were now officially Buddhists.

Education Ministry answers Dong Zong's queries

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 06:28 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Education Blueprint 2013-2015 does not intend to sideline any vernacular schools which exist in this country, said Education director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.

Abd Ghafar emphasised that the Education Ministry will ensure that every government and government assisted school received access, equity and quality education.

"The existence of National Type Schools (SJK) is also enshrined in the Education Act 1996 (Section 28) and further strengthened in the Blueprint (Chapter 7, pages 7 - 16)," he said in a statement on Saturday.

The statement was issued in response to a memorandum from the United Chinese Schools Committees Association of Malaysia or better known as Dong Zong, querying the status of Chinese education.

A total of 20 Dong Zong, led by its chairman Dr Yap Sin Tian, had presented the memorandum to Minister in Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, on Sept 26.

Abd Ghafar said the government had no intention of changing the status or features of national-type schools and that even the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister had mentioned that Malaysia had the edge from various legacies, being the only country, outside of China, to have national-type Chinese schools.

Abd Ghafar also said it was not accurate to say that additional time given to Bahasa Malaysia, to 570 minutes a week, may jeopardise their mother tongue.

He said the additional time was only for students in rehabilitation classes at SJKC who were weak in the language, who were only about 30 per cent of the students.

"The Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) has been implemented in stages since 2011 beginning with Year 1. In 2014, this 2011 Year 1 cohort will be in Year 4 (Level 2 KSSR).

"The increase in Bahasa Malaysia learning time for the Level 1 SJKC is from 270 to 300 minutes, while for Level 2, from 180 to 270 minutes, " he said.

However, he said, the differences should be seen in the context of two systems, namely the time allocated for level two, which were 180 minutes for KBSR and 270 minutes for KSSR.

He said the longer period of up to five hours a week or 300 minutes allocated for remedial classes was only compulsory for SJKC students who required them.

Hence, the time increase allocated to Bahasa Malaysia for Year 4 to Year 6 was actually from 180 to 270 minutes, he explained.

"The length of time is increased by one hour a day with the aim of improving Bahasa Malaysia proficiency among students who have not attained the minimum proficiency from Years 4 to Year 6 in SJKC and SJKT. "The ministry feels that it's better for students who have not mastered the language to be identified at an early stage in Years 4, 5 and 6.

"The availability of remedial classes for an hour each day for those who have not attained the minimum level of proficiency, will help them master the language before they complete primary schooling," he said.

At the same time, he said, the government admitted that the mother tongue was important and thus encouraged the people to master Bahasa Malaysia, English and their own mother tongue.

Abd Ghafar also explained the rationale for Year 4 to Year 6 SJKC pupils to follow the same syllabus as national schools.

"It is aimed at enabling SJK pupils to master Bahasa Malaysia faster before they enter secondary schools where Bahasa Malaysia is the main medium of instruction," he said.

He added that this would also ease their transition to secondary schools and prevent them from dropping out. - Bernama

Subramaniam: Don't squeeze the life out of workers

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 04:17 AM PST

JOHOR BARU: Employers have been urged not to force their employees to work excessive long hours and outside job tasks which contravene the Employment Act 1955.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said under the act, employees were required to work for eight hours per day and an additional four hours considered as overtime.

"Employers should not squeeze the life of their employees. Usually, employees are willing to work longer hours to earn more to feed their families.

"Treat them fairly," he said when met at an international research seminar on Tamil education here.

He was commenting on an Expedia 2010 Vacation Deprivation Survey that apparently, some 90 per cent of the nation's workforce were so dedicated that they even work when they were on holiday.

Subramaniam said the Labour Department was studying the survey, which placed Malaysia fourth in the world for the most dedicated workforce, behind India, Brazil and Italy.

Meanwhile, Subramaniam, who is also MIC deputy president, said the Indian community had registered its protest against an invitation extended to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIFE) at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre from Dec 4 to 6.

The objection has been conveyed to the Cabinet and Prime Minister Datuk Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said Subramaniam. - Bernama


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S. Africa film industry boom draws Charlize Theron home

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 04:22 PM PST

CAPE TOWN: South Africa's fast-growing film industry has hit a milestone with its largest commercial production to date, starring homegrown Hollywood actress Charlize Theron, the trade minister said Friday.

South African-born, Oscar-winning actress Theron is currently shooting a fourth "Mad Max" film, "Fury Road", in Cape Town - which has also hosted the likes of fellow Academy Award winners Hilary Swank and Denzel Washington.

"This film is significant because it is the largest commercial film that has been produced in South Africa," said Minister Rob Davies at the Cape Town Film Studios, which opened two years ago.

"It's a major Hollywood production. Its presence here is going to be creating 800 jobs in South Africa for the duration of that particular film. So I think this marks a milestone in an evolving programme of support for the film industry."

South Africa's film industry has more than trebled its contribution to the economy to eight billion rand between 2008 and 2012, up from 2.4 billion rand over the previous four years.

The country offers incentives to draw films and hosted 49 productions between 2004 and 2008, of which 52 percent were foreign. Since 2008, it has approved 271 productions.

The incentives include rebates on local spending, such as 20 percent for investments by foreign films - which Davies said had made the country a competitive destination. He said more than 30,000 jobs had been created.

"South Africa is now very, very well-positioned, and that is beginning to have an impact in terms of the films that are produced here and the jobs that those films create in South Africa. So this is a significant growth sector," said Davies. - AFP

Hit Paraguay movie to miss out on Oscars

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 04:21 PM PST

ASUNCION: Paraguay's most successful movie of all time will miss out on a chance to win an Oscar because the country doesn't have a selection committee recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Tana Schembori, the director of "7 Boxes" - seen by more people in this South American country than Hollywood blockbuster "Titanic" - told AFP that culture officials had called for the creation of such a panel and asked the academy to make an exception in the meantime.

But, according to a spokesman for the production, this did not happen.

"Unfortunately, this exception was not granted," Macarena Galindo told AFP.

The film, which premiered in the capital Asuncion in August, has drawn 250,000 filmgoers, according to the firm Ultracine, which compiles data on film attendance in Latin America. By contrast, "Titanic" attracted 150,000.

"It was really a phenomenon... all cinemas were full," said entertainment journalist Maripili Alonso.

Set in the country's busiest market in the capital Asuncion, a metropolis of some 2.5 million people, the movie combines action, suspense and humor.

The storyline centers around a teenager named Victor who is offered 100 dollars to transport a mysterious parcel from one section of the market to another.

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, countries can submit their best motion picture after its selection is made "by one organization, jury or committee that should include artists and/or craftspeople from the field of motion pictures."

"A list of the selection committee members must be submitted to the Academy no later than August 1, 2012, except newly formed committees wishing to enter the competition for the first time, which must submit their paperwork to the Academy by April 1, 2012," it says on its website.

There is still hope however for snagging other high-profile prizes.

The film, which had a budget of $650,000 and has a style similar to that of award-winning hit film "Slumdog Millionaire," will try to compete for a Golden Globe, said Schembori.

It may also vie for Spain's Goya Awards in the "Best Latin American Film" category. - AFP


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Events and crisis still haunting the United States

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 04:00 PM PST

Age of Greed: The Triumph of finance and the decline of America, 1970 to present
Author: Jeff Madrick
Publisher: Vintage Books

BY now, most people would have experienced the effects of the global crisis which started in 2007 in the United States. The rise in prices of food, rent, petrol and properties is part of the global economic puzzle today. Some may think that inflation is part of daily routine – and to a certain extent, they are right – but it is the speed and quantum of the rise that is an issue today.

But above and beyond price increases, the volatility of global stock markets and the high gold price, there are other fundamental issues at stake here.

In Age of Greed, author and economic journalist Jeff Madrick does not write so much about the nature of mankind pertaining to this human condition as he does about the personalities that make up that 1% of the American society. Beginning from the 1970s to the present, he writes about the people whom, in his view, have in some ways, contributed to the present US economy and politics, some 40 years later.

The Occupy Wall Street movement and 99% versus the 1% form the bedrock of this book. While this movement took place only last year, the author goes back to history to tell how this unhappiness with the 1% began way back in the 1970s.

Each chapter is a long profile of a personality. It could be a past president, a former Federal Reserve chairman, an investment banker, an arbitrageur, an economist, a fund manager, or the chairman of some American multinational company.

All in all, the book covers three former American presidents – Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, and two former Fed chairmen, Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan. There are mentions about the rise and fall of other presidents and leaders.

While these men head the American economy, other personalities played their roles in how policies were formed - and dismantled - and these included lesser known, but no less important personalities.

Bankers like Walter Wriston and Walter Wriston II, Sam Walton, best known for Walmart and Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup and Hungarian investor George Soros and Jack Grubman, the former managing director of Salomon Smith Barney and research analyst for the telecommunications sector are some of the personalities profiled.

Madrick tells a story about each of them beginning from their growing up years, their education and their entry into the job market or politics, and subsequently their influence and impact on broader America.

He interconnects each of these personalities starting from the 1970s because it was during that period that the United States experienced punishingly high inflation, as it is experiencing today.

Keeping the lid on wages of the masses, the Nixon government allowed prices to escalate phenomenally. Incomes became highly unequal and the wealthy gained undue political powers with campaign contributions. Americans began to think that the government has gone too far.

This huge unhappiness and discontentment with the government was a great contrast compared with the 1950s and 1960s when Americans believed that the federal government was good for them.

There is also the expenditure on the Vietnam War and various public spending on social programmes which took a heavy toll on the economy.

At what point the disenchantment began is difficult to say, but Madrick begins the story of the American greed with a little known personality called Lewis Uhlers and his conservative ideology.

At each chapter of a country's growth – and the United States is no different - there is the spark of an idealogy, which, given time, may gain strength and popularity. Sometimes, this idealogy becomes a movement and so Madrick begins with the conservatives.

He connects the dots for us, who Uhlers met and worked for, how his idealogy affected Reagan's political career, what Onassis told a banker and how the various wars brought about changes in policies and rules.

Greed will always be within each of us, to varying degrees and there is no denying that. It rises and falls with the times. But although the book is entitled as such, Madrick does not judge. Instead, he presents a here-are-the-facts and this-is-what-happened sort of scenario.

Madrick writes with the intensity of a researcher and the result is a book that is robust in both details, events and crisis that have haunted – and are still haunting – the United States. The fall of Enron, the rise of debt, the social needs of the 1% are wrapped within the volume.

The summary says it is an indispensible guide to understanding the 1% and how this small group shaped the economy.

This is only partially correct because as Madrick highlights the lives and times of this 1%, he also inadvertently brings into focus the needs of the 99% to have a leader, or whom they perceived to be a leader.

At the end of the day, it is not about personalities who lead, but the values and integrity behind the personality that is important, hence the title.


Posted: 23 Nov 2012 03:59 PM PST

I'd Rather be in Charge
Author: Charlotte Beers
Publisher: Vanguard Press

A book about the author's part personal, part history, part guide to being a leader in a man's world. She shares lessons from her peers such as Martha Stewart and Suze Orman and the transformation she sees in her "students" as they embark on the road to becoming leaders at home, in their work place and in their lives.

HBR Guide to Finance Basics for Managers
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Whether you are new to finance, or you just need a refresher, this guide will give you the tools and confidence you need to master the fundamentals, as all good managers must. Learn the language of finance, compare financials of rivals, revenue vs profits and using financial data to defend budget requests are some of the areas covered.

Dark Market: How hackers became the new mafia
Author: Misha Glenny
Publisher: Vintage

The benefits of living in a digital, globalised society may be enormous, but so too are the dangers. Banking, shopping, dating, working and learning on-line have become routine to many. But have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets learned to protect us from the cyber criminals? This book examines the rise of hackers and the dangers they pose.


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Saturday Events

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 04:34 AM PST

Santa's park

REVEL in this festive season with a myriad of entertainment to engage the child in you at Berjaya Times Square Kuala Lumpur. Make your way past toy soldiers, polar bears and Santa's magical helpers to the majestic 40ft Christmas tree at the centre of Santa's North Park, Lower Ground Concourse and Ground Floor Central. Gift redemption, free makeover and a chance to win more than RM35,000 worth of prizes are offered with a minimum spend at the mall. For details, call 1-300-888-988 or visit

Enthralling Christmas

SUNWAY Pyramid invites shoppers to celebrate the Christmas festivities amidst the sparkles and lights of the mall's mosaic art decorations. There will be a 10m high Christmas Tree at LG1 Concourse, complete with glittering baubles and trinkets and Gaudi-inspired mosaic lizard sculpture and reindeers. Shoppers will be rewarded with two tickets worth RM180 to watch Beauty and the Beast The Musical in Sunway Lagoon when they spend RM800 and above in two receipts (RM700 for MasterCard cardholders) until Dec 25. For details, call 03-7494 3100 or visit

Family fair

NALANDA Buddhist Society is organising its Family Fun Fair 2012 tomorrow, from 10am to 4pm, at Nalanda Centre, Jalan 18/31, Taman Sri Serdang. Proceeds will be channelled to the Nalanda Building and Development Fund and to support the educational programmes of Nalanda Free School, Nalanda Institute and Nalanda Dhamma School. For details, call 016-235 9333 (Lee), email or visit

Meet the fans

KOREAN boyband Vixx is in town for a meet and greet session with fans today from 1.30pm onwards at the Concourse Level of Sungei Wang Plaza, Kuala Lumpur. For details, call 03-2148 6109 or visit

Family carnival

THE USJ3 ABCD Family Carnival 2012 will be held today, from 9am to 3pm, at the Jalan USJ 3C/5 playground, Subang Jaya. There will be food and drinks stalls, raffle draw, toy inflatables and colouring competition for children, fire-fighting demonstration and fire engine display, and free health screening. For details, call 013-363 9071 (Noel).

Charity lunch

THE BIG Group will be hosting "A Very Long Lunch" charity event today at Publika, The Boulevard, Level UG. There will be two lunch sessions and one afternoon tea session at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Tickets, priced at RM50, are available for pre-purchase at the event's ticket booth. All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards Chrystal Home Orphanage in Taiping. For details, call 03-6209 1700.

Craft promotion

KRAFTANGAN Malaysia is having a Malaysian Craft Promotion this weekend from 9.30am to 10.30pm at Giant Hypermarket Senawang, Seremban. For details, call 06-767 1388.

Open day

THE National Autism Society of Malaysia (Nasom) will have an open day this weekend to commemorate the setting up of the Nasom Kiwanis PJ Autism One Stop Centre at 25A-4, Setia Avenue 2, Jalan Setia Prima S U13/S, Section U13, Setia Alam. There will be awareness talks and fun activities for children. One highlight is a customised wall mural with inspirational messages and well wishes for all visitors which can be posted via For details, call 03-3359 0988.

Resident artist exhibition

MALAYSIAN artist and University of Malaya artist in residence Soh Boon Kiong will be holding his solo exhibition entitled Large Formats/ The Fragrance of Harmony until Dec 7 at Penthouse, Wisma R&D, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Soh's colourful and vibrant paintings display his acute understanding of Asian sensitivities while combining Western aesthetics. For details, call 03-2246 3552.

Art exhibition

REZEKI - an art exhibition featuring six Malaysian artists' interpretation of the meaning of sustenance (rezeki) will be held at Galeri Chandan Publika, Publika Shopping Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, until Dec 10. Artists include Aznan Omar, Elias Yamani Ismail, Nuriman Amri, Raduan Man and Yusri Sulaiman. For details, call 03-6201 5360 (Hasni/ Harni).

Metro Watch

Posted: 24 Nov 2012 04:34 AM PST


A briefing on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) - Sunway Line by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd will be held at 4pm today at Laman Kenanga, MPSJ Headquarters, Subang Jaya. Residents of PJS 9 and USJ 1 are encouraged to attend. Seats are limited to 200 participants. For details on the line, visit


A 1Malaysia Healthy Lifestyle Campaign will be held on Sunday from 8am to 2pm at Dewan Sri Muthumariamman, Jalan Pantai Baru, Kuala Lumpur. There will be free screenings for glucose, BMI, cholesterol and body fat rate. Participants are required to fast at least eight hours prior.


In conjunction with World Diabetes Day, Subang Eye Specialist Centre will be conducting a free eye examination for diabetics on Monday from 10am to 6pm. The centre is located at 107, Jalan SS 15/5A, Subang Jaya. This free screening is for diabetics and by appointment only. Call 03-5638 1163.


The Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) is organising an Industrial Design Diploma Show 2012 until Dec 3 at the MIA Art Gallery, 294-299, Jalan Bandar 11, Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free. The gallery is open Mondays to Fridays, from 10am to 5pm, and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. For details, call MIA at 03-4108 8100 or visit


Former students of ACS Secondary School, Kampar are invited to attend the Teachers' Appreciation Gala Night 2012 on Dec 29. There will be a 4pm cocktail reception, followed by a Chinese-style dinner at 7pm at Old Temple (Koo Miw) Hall, Jalan Hospital, Kampar. Admission price is RM120 per person, with RM20 from each ticket going towards the current school administration. For details, call 010-273 2518 (Ng Weng Wah)/ 012-373 8828 (Daniel Lee)/ 016-422 1015 (Lam Wai Peng)/ 012-303 1999 (Walter Phoon)/ 012-335 2231 (Yoke Keat) or visit the Kampar ACS 2012 Teachers' Appreciation Night page on Facebook.


Tun Tan Cheng Lock College of Nursing (TTCL), also known as Assunta College of Nursing, will be having its Open Day from 9am to 1pm today at the college's Multipurpose Hall, just behind Assunta Hospital, Petaling Jaya. Come learn how you can become a successful nurse after your completing your SPM. For details, call 03-7872 3106 (Ms Lim) or visit or


Shelter Home for Children is having their annual sale of desk top calendars, drawn by the Shelter's residents with the theme Children - Leaders of Tomorrow. Each calendar is going for RM10 a piece. For details, call 03-7955 0663 (Roland/Edwin), e-mail or visit


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