Isnin, 2 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Nation

AirAsia named best budget carrier


PETALING JAYA: An international travel award has named local budget carrier AirAsia the "World's Leading Low-Cost Airline" for the year.

According to the World Travel Awards website, AirAsia beat eight other budget flight nom­inees worldwide to get to the top of the list.

The airline surpassed companies such as British-based easyJet and the US-based Southwest Airlines.

In a statement, AirAsia executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said it was a great honour to win the award as it placed "brand Malaysia" on a great pedestal.

"As such, it could achieve its mission to develop the country into a major aviation hub like Dubai," he said.

He added that the company was going to turn 12 in a few days and expressed pride over what he called "a Malaysian-grown dream" that turned into a "world-class airline".

"As a home-grown airline, we feel responsible to propel our nation's aviation industry further. And, we would need the support of our Government and Malaysians alike to achieve that," he said.

AirAsia director Datuk Aziz Bakar received the award on behalf of the airline.

It was previously nominated under the awards' 2012 World's Leading Low-Cost Airline, 2010 World's Leading Airline to Asia and 2007 Asia's Leading Budget/No Frills Airline categories.

The World Travel Awards also saw national carrier Malaysia Airlines beating 11 other conventional airlines in Asia for the "Asia's Leading Airline 2013" award.

MAS previously won the same title in 2011, 2010 and 2009.

It was also nominated for the "World's Leading Airline 2013", but lost to the United Arab Emirates' Etihad Airways.

The awards, which saw its grand finals held in Doha, Qatar, on Nov 30, saw dozens of companies nominated and winning amongst various travel categories worldwide.

Monitor your kids, parents urged


PETALING JAYA: Children's rights groups have called on parents to monitor their children's movements outside the home.

Suka Society executive director Anderson Selvasegaram said parents should also monitor their children's online habits.

"They should know who their children are talking to on Facebook or Twitter. It is impossible for the police to protect them outside the house at all times," he said yesterday.

It was reported that a startling average of 15 young people were reported missing daily in Malaysia in 2012. Nearly a quarter of them were Malay girls aged between 13 and 17. In 2011, 5,961 people had been reported missing.

Asked whether the authorities should be stringent in preventing child pornography, Selvasegaram said it is hard to tell if there is any link between child pornography and the rape and murder of youngsters.

He also said the mass media should highlight more cases involving prosecution of child rape offenders to send a strong message that such crimes would not be tolerated.

Yayasan Chow Kit founder Dr Hartini Zainuddin said more should be done to improve law enforcement to protect children.

She said the National Urgent Response (NUR) early alert system for missing children currently does not apply to children above 12 years old.

"This system should be extended to those under 18," she added.

She said children under 18 should not be allowed to roam freely without supervision.

"They should go out only in groups including people above 16 years old and with more than three people in a group. Anyone under 16 should be accompanied by at least one adult," she said.

All Women's Action Society Malaysia president Ho Yoke Lin said a national safety awareness campaign for children should be introduced by the Education Ministry at the kindergarten level.

"We should teach children how to respond to emergencies such as when they are sexually abused by those close to them," she said.

Engage Indian community to strengthen BN support, urges Najib


MALACCA: The MIC must continue to engage constructively with the Indian community to raise the level of support towards the ruling coalition.

Barisan Nasional chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said although the community had backed the Barisan in the GE13, the level of support was still inadequate.

"GE12 was a watershed in the Malaysian political landscape and the Barisan Government knew that it should not take the support of Indians lightly. Post GE12, the coalition overcame its shortcomings and managed to win the hearts of the community but the support has yet to reach a desirable level," he said in his keynote address at 67th MIC national convention held at a hotel here yesterday.

Najib said the MIC should be steadfast in providing services to the community to win their support, adding that the Government had taken efforts to tackle the problems faced by the community.

"The MIC should work in tandem as there is room for improvement. I am confident that the new MIC line-up will be able to take the community to greater heights," he added.

MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel sought a RM3bil allocation for the community, adding that the allocation would be used for training, education and business purposes.

"The Indian community today holds only 1.3% of the country's equity. This is not proportionate to the population of Indians in the country. The Government is aware of this but has not been able to resolve the issue," he said.

Palanivel, who is the Natural Resources and Environment Minis­ter, said allocations made in the previous budgets were not enough to improve the community.

"The strengthening of the Indian community's economy is important as it will also help to eradicate issues pertaining to education, religion and crime," he said.

Meanwhile, the party passed seven resolutions including a pledge to give full support to Najib and Palanivel.

The party also pledged to work to increase the number of students in Tamil schools, as well as identify and help problematic Indian students in secondary schools.

Related story:

Sothinathan is top MIC VP


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