Sabtu, 26 Oktober 2013

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Students assemble robotic bomb disposal rover for science festival


KUALA LUMPUR: Defusing a bomb is risky business, but advancements in robotics have greatly reduced the chances of injury or loss of life.

Robotic technology might not be new, but that didn't stop a group of engineering students from the Multimedia University from designing a robotic arm as their main exhibit at the Petrosains Science Festival 2013 at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, Suria KLCC.

"The structure was made from 3D printing, which allowed us to conceptualise the entire design in detail before we put the whole thing together," said Gary Yap, 21, a telecommunication engineering student at the university.

Looking somewhat like the Lunar Rover with an arm, the structure is made of plastic, remote-controlled motors and wheels.

In another exhibit, audiovisual equipment company Nova Spectra displayed its LED screens that would enable Formula One circuit spectators to watch and listen to the races live.

The firm is contracted to supply the screens in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and the United States racing circuits.

The festival was abuzz with students, children and adults walking around the exhibition spaces in Petrosains and KLCC's Centre Court area, which now displays a pair of Petronas F1 car simulators.

Chief executive officer of Petrosains Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim was pleased with the number of visitors the festival has attracted so far, saying that it exceeded expectations.

The weekend's attractions promise to be exciting, with Mejar (Dr) Faiz Khaleed – who was trained as an astronaut – debunking the myths of gravity, celebrity fitness guru Kevin Zahri presenting his fitness regimes, a talk on bottles and polycarbonates aimed at parents, and a studio lighting demo by SEGi College's art faculty.

The six-day festival, themed Bringing Science Alive, incorporates the three key elements of discovery, play and innovation, making science a holistic learning experience.

Petrosains Science Festival 2013 also aims to make science casual and fun by incorporating workshops, science shows, contests and stage performances.

Key partners for the inaugural festival include Petronas, Google Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia, The Star – the event's official newspaper, and Nova Spectra.

Petrosains Science Festival 2103 is held at Petrosains, as well as Suria KLCC's Centre Court and Esplanade from today to tomorrow.

Festival hours at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, are from 9.30am-5.30pm on weekdays and closes at 8.30pm from Friday to Sunday.

Activities at Suria KLCC's Centre Court are from 10am-10pm daily while the fun at the Esplanade lasts from 4pm-7pm.

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MASwings to increase capacity


KOTA KINABALU: Three more European-made ATR72-600 will be added to MASwings' fleet in its bid to increase capacity and flight frequencies.

MASwings chief commercial officer Shauqi Ahmad said the three aircraft were expected to arrive in March, July and September next year.

"The new additions will help MASwings expand its network and increase its frequencies," he said.

MASwings had, two months ago, received one new ATR72-600, which is now being utilised to operate additional services from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau, Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Labuan in Sabah.

However, the rationalisation exercise would see its twice-weekly Kota Kinabalu–Balikpapan service suspended temporarily.

"MASwings gives assurance that it will honour all forward bookings ticketed prior to Oct 27," Shauqi said.

Passengers who have purchased their tickets for travel after Oct 27 will be offered either a refund or make self-arrangements for return trips for those who have used one of their two-way ticket.

Shauqi also said MASwings was planning to introduce three times weekly services of Kota Kinabalu-Puerto Princesa (in the Philippines), effective Nov 19, and four times weekly services of the Mulu-Bandar Seri Begawan route from Nov 7.

Under the new schedule, MASwings will add three more flights to the existing daily services on the Kuching-Pontianak route, starting Nov 8.

"Linking Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan with Kota Kinabalu will facilitate tourist movement between these two resort cities," Shauqi said.

He said the Pontianak route was one of the strong destinations for MASwings.

Fong: Allegations are utter lies


KUALA LUMPUR: Allegations relating to the sale of assets by Star Publications (M) Bhd are lies, spread with the intention to tarnish the image of the company and its management.

Company chairman Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn said the reports circulating on the Internet were actuated by ulterior motives and rigged with unfounded accusations based on unsubstantiated facts and figures.

"It has come to my attention that there has been news circulating on portals with regards to the selling of assets by the company as well as other serious allegations pertaining to the management.

"These reports are an attempt to put the management in bad light and bring it into disrepute," he said in a statement.

"I do not wish to go into details about these reports. This is for the simple reason that they are all utter lies, defamatory and crafted with deceitful intention."

Dr Fong said the management advised those who have read these reports or received them via email to not reproduce them as the reports are all misleading, mischievous, malicious and defamatory in nature.

He added that the management had lodged police reports and consulted its lawyers, with a view to taking legal action against all those propagating false, misleading, defamatory and malicious reports.

"All those reproducing, republishing and recirculating these reports are also equally liable," he warned.

Dr Fong also defended the sale of Tunku Abdul Rahman's former residence in Bukit Tunku, which appreciated substantially in value after it was acquired by The Star.

"It was only sold to one of Tunku's relatives, a senior member of the royalty, and even then at a substantial profit. It was certainly not sold to a developer," he said.

On newsprint, Dr Fong said the material was bought at a competitive price after going through a transparent process, and not at US$650 (RM2,037) per tonne as alleged.

He added that the company did not make any purchase of newsprint in the third quarter of 2013 due to a group-wide cost control exercise.

Dr Fong said the purchase of LiTV was to secure the future of the business, with Star expanding its wings to various platforms to further generate revenue.

"Star acquired LiTV because TV (and screen business) is the future and the gestation period will take a few years," he said.

"LiTV is Asia's new lifestyle TV channel on High Definition, available across six countries, specifically Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan," he said.

Dr Fong said LiTV had already attracted interest from companies in the United States and South Korea, which had offered a much higher price for control of the channel.

"LiTV's purchase was an arm's length transaction," he said.

"According to the founder, there was never an offer from Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN) at RM15mil or at all. In fact ABN launched its service this year when LiTV was acquired two years ago," he said.

Dr Fong also hit out at the attempt to mislead the public on its circulation and readership numbers.

"In fact The Star's circulation has recorded a steady increase in numbers since 2009," he said.

"The Star's readership of 1.62 million is the highest among all English dailies. Anyone who needs to know the truth can check with the Audit Bureau of Circulations and AC Nielsen," he added.


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