Sabtu, 5 Januari 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

Japan finance minister says won't insist on policy accord with BOJ

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 06:17 PM PST

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso stressed on Sunday the need for bigger monetary and fiscal stimulus to revive the economy, but said the government will not insist on issuing a written policy accord with the central bank on a new inflation target.

New Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called on the Bank of Japan to share a 2 percent inflation target with the government, double the bank's current price goal, to show its determination to beat deflation. Under pressure, the BOJ will debate setting a higher inflation target at its next rate review on January 21-22.

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso speaks at a news conference in Tokyo December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso speaks at a news conference in Tokyo December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Aso said cabinet ministers will be able to discuss monetary policy regularly with BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa at the Council of Economic and Fiscal Policy, a top government panel that will kick off this week and meet at least once a month to map out long-term fiscal and economic policies.

"As long as there's talk (on monetary policy) at the council meetings, there's no need to issue a policy accord (with the BOJ)," Aso told public broadcaster NHK.

His remarks suggest the government will not necessarily demand issuing a joint statement with the BOJ on measures to beat deflation, as long as the central bank sets a higher inflation target for itself.

"What's important is for the government and the BOJ to share a price target and show markets our determination of achieving it," Economics Minister Akira Amari also told NHK.

Amari also said that, while the government's short-term priority would be to boost the economy with fiscal stimulus, it would debate setting a long-term fiscal discipline target to ensure markets of its efforts to fix Japan's worsening finances.

The BOJ set a 1 percent inflation target in February and eased monetary policy five times last year via an increase in asset purchases in an effort to beat deflation that has plagued the country for much of the past 15 years.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Paul Tait)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Indian rape victim's father says he wants her named

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 04:30 PM PST

LONDON (Reuters) - The father of an Indian woman whose brutal rape and torture provoked international outrage said in an interview published on Sunday that he wanted her name to be made public so she could be an inspiration to other victims of sexual assault.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy student died on December 28 in a Singapore hospital, two weeks after a gang rape on a bus in New Delhi that ignited street protests across India and prompted promises from the government for tougher punishments for offenders.

"We want the world to know her real name," the woman's father told Britain's Sunday People newspaper.

"My daughter didn't do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself," he added.

"I am proud of her. Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks. They will find strength from my daughter."

The paper named the father and his daughter, saying that the father had given his permission, but added that it would not publish a photo of her at the family's request.

The father had already called for new legislation on sex crimes to be named in honour of his daughter.

Reuters has opted not to identify the victim because Indian authorities have banned the media from doing so.

Five men have been charged with her gang rape and murder and will appear in a New Delhi court on Monday.

(Reporting by Tim Castle; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Assad to make rare speech as Syrian rebels draw nearer

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 04:06 PM PST

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will deliver a rare speech on Sunday about the uprising against his rule, which has killed 60,000 people and brought civil war to the edge of his capital.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walks out of his office to welcome his counterpart from Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo at al-Shaeb presidential palace in Damascus March 22,2009. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walks out of his office to welcome his counterpart from Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo at al-Shaeb presidential palace in Damascus March 22,2009. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

With insurgents fighting their way closer to the seat of his power, state media said in a statement that Assad would speak on Sunday morning about the "latest developments in Syria and the region", without giving details.

It will be the 47-year-old leader's first speech in months and his first public comments since he dismissed suggestions that he might go into exile to end the civil war, telling Russian television in November that he would "live and die" in Syria.

Insurgents are venturing ever closer into Damascus after bringing a crescent of suburbs under their control from the city's eastern outskirts to the southwest.

Assad's forces blasted rockets into the Jobar neighbourhood near the city centre on Saturday to try to drive out rebel fighters, a day after bombarding rebel-held areas in the eastern suburb of Daraya.

"The shelling began in the early hours of the morning, it has intensified since 11 a.m., and now it has become really heavy. Yesterday it was Daraya and today Jobar is the hottest spot in Damascus," an activist named Housam said by Skype from the capital.

Since Assad's last public comments, in November, rebels have strengthened their hold on swathes of territory across northern Syria, launched an offensive in the central province of Hama and endured weeks of bombardment by Assad's forces trying to dislodge them from Damascus's outer neighbourhoods.

Syria's political opposition has also won widespread international recognition. But Assad has continued to rely on support from Russia, China and Iran to hold firm and has used his air power to blunt rebel gains on the ground.

With the conflict showing no sign of abating, Syria's deputy foreign minister visited Iran on Saturday to seek to maintain the support of Assad's main ally in the region.

Iran's Fars news agency said Faisal al-Makdad would meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials.


Despite the estimated death toll of 60,000 announced by the United Nations earlier this week - a figure sharply higher than that given by activists - the West has shown little appetite for intervening against Assad in the way that NATO forces supported rebels who overthrew Libya's Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

But NATO is sending U.S. and European Patriot surface-to-air missile batteries to the Turkish-Syrian border.

The United States military said U.S. troops and equipment had begun arriving in Turkey on Friday for the deployment. Germany and the Netherlands are also sending Patriot batteries, which will take weeks to deploy fully.

Turkey and NATO say the missiles are a safeguard to protect southern Turkey from possible Syrian missile strikes. Syria and allies Russia and Iran say the deployments could spark an eventual military action by the Western alliance.

Syria's war has proved the longest and bloodiest of the conflicts that arose out of popular uprisings in Arab countries over the past two years and led to the downfall of autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

The war pits rebels mainly drawn from the Sunni Muslim majority against Assad, a member of the Shi'ite-derived Alawite minority sect, whose family has ruled Syria since his father seized power in a coup in 1970.

Syria's SANA state news agency said a journalist, Suheil al-Ali from the pro-government Addouniya TV, had died of wounds sustained in an attack by terrorists, the term government media use to refer to rebels. Syria was by far the most dangerous country for journalists last year, with 28 killed.

The opposition-linked Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict from Britain through a network of activists on the ground, reported fighting and shelling on Saturday in the eastern Euphrates River town of Deir al-Zor and near the central city of Hama, as well as near Damascus.

Assad's last formal speech was delivered to parliament seven months ago, in early June. "If we work together," he said, "I confirm that the end to this situation is near."

(Editing by Roger Atwood)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters


The Star Online: Sports

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Sports

Sainz claims Dakar opener

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 05:01 PM PST

PISCO, Peru - Former champion Carlos Sainz opened his campaign for a second Dakar Rally title by taking the opening 13km special stage between Lima and Pisco on Saturday.

The Spaniard, who won the gruelling race in 2010 in a Volkswagen, drove his Buggy to victory in a time of 7min 40sec, beating Argentina's Lucio Alvarez, in a Toyota, into second, with French driver Guerlain Chicherit, in an SMG, claiming third.

Sainz enjoyed an eight-second advantage over Alvarez and a 10-second gap on Chicherit.

His Qatari teammate, Nasser al-Attiyah, who was the 2011 champion, also in a Volkswagen, but was forced to retire in a Hummer 12 months ago, finished fourth.

The two Buggys, backed by the financial might of Qatar but prepared in California, gave an early glimpse of their strengths.

That was bad news for defending champion Stephane Peterhansel whose bid for an 11th Dakar title, after collecting four wins in the auto section and six on two wheels, got off to a disappointing start.

The French driver was down in sixth place in his Mini, 34sec behind Sainz.

"It feels great to be racing after spending so much time on test drives.

So I'm quite happy just to start the Dakar with this car," said al-Attiyah.

"I put the pedal on the metal from the start and I'm happy with the time I posted in such a short special. Of course, everyone drove really hard today, but I think we're well placed for tomorrow's stage."

America's Robby Gordon, who was fifth last year after coming close to a disqualification, was in 87th place in his Hummer after experiencing trouble with his vehicle's GPS.

Peterhansel said his Mini would improve as the race progressed towards its January 19 finish.

"The special was quite fun, with nice dunes and high speeds, but it wasn't easy because it's been a few months since the last time we drove a race car, so we need two or three days to get used to all this again," he said.

"We hit the brakes for no good reason at the top of the dunes quite a lot, which cost us some time. We're going to ease into the rally."

Chile's Francisco Lopez, riding a KTM, won the opening motorcycling stage.

Dutchman Frans Verhoeven, on a Yamaha, was second, with another Chilean, Pablo Quintanilla, claiming third place for Honda who are making their Dakar return after a 24-year absence.

Lopez covered the 13km stage in 7min 51sec, with Verhoeven a second further back and Quintanilla five seconds off the pace.

French rider Cyril Despres, the defending champion, was in fifth place, 13sec behind Lopez.

In all, 449 vehicles (183 motos, 153 autos, 38 quads and 75 lorries), left the starting line on Saturday. Sunday's second stage is a 327km (242km timed) stage in and around Pisco. - AFP

Nicol David eases into World Series final

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 03:22 PM PST

LONDON - Seven-time world champion Nicol David (pic) eased into the title match at the World Series Squash Finals on Saturday with an 11-5, 11-8 win over France's Camille Serme.

The world number one, who won the tournament in 2012, will face England's Laura Massaro in Sunday's final in a repeat of the pair's World Open final showdown won by the Malaysian star in the Cayman Islands last month.

Massaro overcame compatriot Jenny Duncalf 6-11, 11-8, 11-9 in her semi-final.

"In our pool match, Laura was playing better on the day. She's a tough player but I just know that as the week develops you feel better and better," said Nicol, who had been surprisingly beaten by Massaro in a round-robin match on Thursday.

"I'm looking forward to playing the final and putting it all out there."

In the men's event, England's Nick Matthew was facing French world number four Gregory Gaultier in his semi-final while James Willstrop takes on Egypt's Amr Shabana. - AFP

Report: Armstrong may admit to doping

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 03:07 PM PST

NEW YORK: Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping, is weighing whether to admit he used performance-enhancing drugs, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Armstrong has told associates and anti-doping officials that in an effort to restore his credibility so he can become a competitive athlete again he is considering admitting publicly that he used blood transfusions and banned drugs during his cycling career, the newspaper reported.

The Times did not name its sources but cited "several people with direct knowledge of the situation."

The International Cycling Union (UCI) late last year effectively erased Armstrong from the cycling history books when it decided not to appeal sanctions imposed on the American by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

A damning report by USADA concluded that Armstrong helped orchestrate the most sophisticated doping programme in the history of sport. The report included hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony, emails, financial records and laboratory analysis of blood samples.

Armstrong has vehemently denied ever having doped.

Tim Herman, a lawyer for Armstrong, told the Times he was not aware of any admission plans.

"I do not know about that. I suppose anything is possible, for sure. Right now, that's really not on the table," Herman was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said the 41-year-old Armstrong is seeking to meet with both David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and USADA chief executive Travis Tygart.

Herman denied that Armstrong has tried to contact Tygart or Howman.

Cancer survivor Armstrong is the founder of Livestrong and it is believed the cancer-fighting charity is pressuring him to come clean as a way to save the organisation from further damage.

Athletes who confess to doping are eligible for reduced punishment under the World Anti-Doping code.

Not only was Armstrong stripped of his Tour de France titles but he was barred for life from competing in Olympic competitions.

The lifetime ban also extends to some of the sanctioned regional triathlons and running events that Armstrong has been competing in since he stopped racing in the Tour de France. Many of those events adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code.

Armstrong won the Tour de France from 1999-2005 but his career crashed following the USADA report, which also has caused him to lose many of his corporate sponsors.

He is also the subject of a whistle-blowing lawsuit filed by his former cycling team-mate Floyd Landis and a British newspaper, The Sunday Times, has filed a lawsuit to try and recover US$500,000 paid to Armstrong to settle a libel suit. — AFP


The Star Online: Business

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Business

Bursa queries Adventa on price surge

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 03:40 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Bursa Malaysia has issued an unusual market activity query to medical products and devices manufacturer and distributor Adventa Bhd, on the sharp rise in price and volume of the company's shares on Friday.

Adventa went up 19.5 sen or 84.78% to close at 42 sen on volume of 52.69 million shares.

On Dec 31, Adventa had told Bursa that it planned to acquire investment holding company PTM Progress Trading & Marketing Sdn Bhd for RM7.5mil.

Adventa said the acquisition was expected to be completed in two months, and would enable its subsidiaries to utilise PTM's property as warehouses for the group's distribution and dialysis business. PTM is the beneficial owner of an industrial land in Subang.

For the fourth quarter to Oct 31, 2012, the company was back in the black with a net profit of RM11.5mil from a previous loss of RM8.4mil. Revenue increased 62.7% to RM5.24mil.

The better sales were due to higher shipments of nitrile examination gloves while the lower latex prices enable latex products to regain some of the lost margins from high material costs earlier in the year. The company said that cost-savings exercises taken had improved operating efficiencies.

For the full year, net profit jumped some five-fold to RM25.25mil from RM4.19mil previously. Revenue increased 16.34% to RM14.63mil.

Egypt's Mursi to meet IMF aide on $4.8b loan request

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 03:31 AM PST

CAIRO: A senior official in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will meet Egyptian President and other top officials on Monday to discuss Cairo's request for a $4.8 billion loan, a major state-run Egyptian newspaper reported on Saturday.

The IMF loan is seen as crucial to easing Egypt's budget deficit and an economic slump caused by the turmoil that followed the popular uprising that ousted autocratic president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

"Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi will receive on the day after tomorrow Masood Ahmed, the IMF director for the Middle East and Central Asia... and it is expected that the meeting will include talks about the IMF's loan to Egypt," the Akhbar Al-Youm daily reported.

It said Masood would also meet Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, some ministers and the central bank governor. Officials from the cabinet, presidency and IMF were not immediately available to comment on the report.

Egypt's currency has lost about 10 percent against the dollar since the start of 2011. But about a third of that plunge has come in the last week alone, since the central bank began auctioning $75 million a day out of its reserves on December 30.

The pound slid further on Thursday at the central bank's fourth auction of foreign currency, with $74.9 million sold to banks at a cut-off price of 6.386 pounds, weaker than Wednesday's 6.351 to the dollar.

The cabinet spokesman said on Thursday that an IMF mission would visit in January to discuss the loan deal, which was postponed last month at Cairo's behest because of violent anti-Mursi protests raging at the time.

The IMF said last week that it welcomed steps Egypt had taken to stop a drain on its international reserves, which had driven the Egyptian pound down to record lows.

Egypt's budget deficit in the year to end-June 2013 could widen by 50 percent from the original forecast made in July, according to a figure released by the planning minister last Monday.

Obama says U.S. can't afford more showdowns over debt, deficits

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 03:26 AM PST

HONOLULU: Fresh from the long legislative fight to prevent a "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts, President Barack Obama warned on Saturday that the United States could not afford further budget showdowns this year or in the future.

Obama, who returned to Hawaii for a family vacation shortly after the House of Representatives passed a compromise bill on Tuesday, said in his weekly radio and Internet address that the new law was just one step toward fixing the country's fiscal and economic problems.

"We still need to do more to put Americans back to work while also putting this country on a path to pay down its debt, and our economy can't afford more protracted showdowns or manufactured crises along the way," he said in the address, broadcast on Saturday.

"Because even as our businesses created 2 million new jobs last year - including 168,000 new jobs last month - the messy brinkmanship in Congress made business owners more uncertain and consumers less confident."

Government data released on Friday showed the U.S. unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent in December.

Lawmakers in the Senate and the House passed legislation this week that raised tax rates for the wealthiest Americans while making Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class permanent.

It was a victory for Obama, who campaigned for re-election largely on a promise to achieve that goal.

Republicans have indicated that they are ready for another fight over the U.S. debt ceiling. Representative Dave Camp, delivering his party's weekly address, warned, at least indirectly, that they would expect spending cuts in return for raising the ceiling again.

"Many of our Democrat colleagues just don't seem to get it. Throughout the fiscal cliff discussions, the president and the Democrats who control Washington repeatedly refused to take any meaningful steps to make Washington live within its means," Camp said.

"As we turn our attention toward future discussions on the debt limit and the budget, we must identify responsible ways to tackle Washington's wasteful spending."

Obama repeated that he would not negotiate on the debt ceiling, hoping to avoid the 2011 conflict that led to a credit rating downgrade and pushed the country close to default.

"If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic," he said. "Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again."

Obama said he was willing to do more on deficit reduction and suggested that the hike in tax rates for wealthy Americans was not the last tax change he expected to make.

"Spending cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code," he said. "The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn't be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans."


The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf


Posted: 04 Jan 2013 04:04 PM PST

The Oracle Speaks: Warren Buffett in his own words
Edited by David Andrews
Publisher: B2 Books

There are quite a number of books on – and about – Warren Buffett. This one is drawn from his public statements and decades of interviews with one of the most well-known investors today. This book comprises Buffett's quotes through the decades on various issues, from investing, US policies, life lessons and Berkshire Hathaway. It's Buffett in bite-sizes, minus the business jargon.

Free Ride: Digital parasites are destroying the culture business
Author: Robert Levine
Publisher: Anchor Books

A decade ago, the media companies that make movies, TV shows and publish newspapers were the envy of the business world. As a new generation of technology companies grows rich from their products, these former titans are scrambling to find their place online. Levine analyses these conflicts and suggests ways the media business can fight back.

Man vs Markets: Economics Explained (Plain and Simple)
Author: Paddy Hirsch
Publisher: Harper Business

Author Paddy Hirsch breaks down business and economics jargon for the novice. He explains the different investment products and the financial system with candor and wit, and translates the confusing language of finance. Hirsch writes about bonds, swaps, the banking system, the stock market and the US economy. The global economic climate has generated quite a bit of interest and of late there has been quite a number of books such as this one.

The caring side of Syed Mokhtar

Posted: 04 Jan 2013 03:57 PM PST

Making a difference: The caring Malaysian
Published by Albukhary Foundation

FRESH from the publication of his biography recently, tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary has released a 195-page coffee table book on his global charity work, which many ordinary Malaysians are not familiar with.

Until the release of his biography Syed Mokhtar Albukhary: A Biography by Premilla Mohanlall, where he opened up on many issues for the first time to put the record straight, the reclusive billionaire had always shied away from the media.

He has rarely talked to journalists, except a privileged handful and even then, it is always on an off-the-record basis. This continuous distancing from the media has only put him under greater media scrutiny.

"I wonder why I get bad press when others who have abused the system for personal gains have not been subjected to such media scrutiny. Perhaps it is time to come out and defend myself," he said in his book.

Envy, jealousy, fascination and simply selfish politics may have been reasons why SM, as he is known, has found it difficult to get the kind of coverage he wants, and deserves.

Malaysians have always had a fascination for tycoons and entrepreneurs, so it came as no surprise that his biography is on the best seller's list. A Bahasa Malaysia version will be in the market soon.

Much has been shed on the life of Syed Mokhtar, who had to leave school after Form Five when the family ran out of money. His eldest brother was in Pakistan studying medicine, two sisters were in college and the other three siblings were still in school.

As the second in the family, he went into the meat trading business. He transported it to suppliers, mostly based in Kuala Lumpur.

Their Alor Star home was an attap hut with no piped water or electricity while the toilet was a pit latrine and the bathroom was an outdoor open zinc shed.

"I never forget my roots and humble days. I remembered once when my father, a cattle trader, was away for a long period of time, and there was no rice at home.

"My mother turned to our Chinese neighbour who supplied us with the rice and we returned it when my family came back."

Like many Malaysian tycoons, Syed Mokhtar has set up a charity foundation to enable his group of companies to help the needy in a professional and organised manner.

The Albukhary Foundation traces its roots to the first company set up by him in 1974, where he donated half of his income derived from his business to 15 needy families in the village.

"My mother urged me to contribute to the poor, regardless of race and religion. So I made arrangements for half of my income of RM1,500 to be donated. It is a practice that still goes on with poor families receiving RM50 each every month."

In his biography, the author Premilla Mohanlall, quoted the tycoon's friend, Peter Chong, as saying: "Maybe God wants him to be rich so that he can help the needy. He is selfless."

But action speaks louder than words. The Albukhary Foundation is an international charity with a presence in almost every continent.

"Wealth has to circulate. When you make money, you have to give it away. My mother taught us nothing is yours until you have given it away with all your heart in the hope it will make someone's life easier."

It has partnered non-governmental organisation and voluntary organisations to improve living conditions – from Afghan refugees, who are given free medical aid and free education, to building an AIDS hospital in Uganda and a school for girls in Nepal. There is even a programme to help street children in South Africa.

To some Malaysians, the foundation has always given the perception that it is only involved in Muslim-based charity work and that its beneficiaries are only Muslims.

He has supported generously the building of the main campus of the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman in Kampar as well as the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology University as well as the Wawasan Open University in Penang, where the foundation contributed RM25mil for the building of the tower block.

Via his financial backing, Malaysia is home to South-East Asia's largest museum of Islamic art, housing more than 7,000 artefacts and since its inception in 1998, it has become the world's largest private Islamic museum.

With 12 galleries, it has collections that showcased the multi-ethnicity of the Muslim world that spreads over 13 centuries and across more than 100 nations.

It has maintained its reputation by collaborating with institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, British Museum, Stibbert Museum and the National Museum of New Delhi.

Another gem in the foundation's work is the 35ha Albukhary International University in Alor Star with over 3,000 students, where the medium of instruction is English.

The coffee table book, with plenty of glossy pictures and interviews with ordinary people who benefitted from the charity, is currently in Bahasa Malaysia and English. Like his biography, there are plenty of reasons for Syed Mokhtar to make known the good work of the foundation. There is also a booklet on the work of the foundation.

Further information on the book can be obtained via


The Star Online: Nation

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Nation

RM6,700 fee for maid unreasonable, burdensome, says Mama

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 05:27 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The move to fix the cost hiring of maids from Indonesia at RM6,700, is not only unreasonable but also burdensome, according to the Malaysian Maid Employers Association (Mama).

Its president Engku Fauzi Engku Muhsein said Mama was against the move and regarded it as a serious mistake if implemented.

"I disagree if they really want to stick to the decision because it is obvious the amount is unreasonable and still high and will only burden the employers," he told Bernama, when contacted.

He was commenting on the announcement on Friday by the The Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) that the cost of hiring Indonesian maids was fixed at RM6,700 effective immediately.

The new cost structure does not include RM1,800 in loan to the maid to defray the cost on the Indonesian side. Engku Fauzi said Papa and the Human Resources Ministry should take into account the views of all quarters involved in the issue of maids before making any decision.

"We believe there are alternatives for reducing costs and we can prove that the amount can be reduced if our views are taken into account," he said.

He also demanded the details in the cost be released to ensure transparency and to assure the amount would be retained and not increased in future.

Prior to this, under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the Indonesian and Malaysian governments, the fee to bring in maid from Indonesia was was fixed at RM4,511, namely RM2,711 to be paid by the employer and RM1,800 by the maid.

Meanwhile, Malaysia National Association of Employment Agencies (Pikap) president Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan, when contacted, declined to comment further but said a press conference would be held as soon as possible to explain the costs. - Bernama

Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang told to brace for another wave of floods

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 05:08 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Flood-weary people in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang have been told to be prepared for another wave of floods as heavy rain is forecast for three days from Monday.

National Security Council secretary Datuk Mohamed Thajudden Abdul Wahab said the Meteorological Department forecasted heavy rain due to strong winds and the rough South China Sea.

He said heavy rain in the three states would cause flooding in low-lying areas and pose danger to those out at sea and along coastal areas.

"Therefore the public, especially fishermen are advised not to go out at sea and in the coastal areas," he said in a statement here on Saturday.

Residents in flood prone areas were also reminded to be mindful of heavy rain warning and advised to make early preparation in the face of possible flooding.

Mohamed Thajudden urged the public to always cooperate with the authorities if ordered to evacuate to avoid any untoward incidents.

"The people are also advised to bring along important documents and basic personal needs while at flood relief centres," he said.

The public can get the latest information on the weather conditions by visiting the website

BRIM 2.0 registration extended to Jan 15, says Awang Adek

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 04:59 AM PST

Published: Saturday January 5, 2013 MYT 9:00:00 PM

BACHOK: The closing date for the registration of the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M 2.0), which should have ended on Dec 31, has been extended to Jan 15 and payment is set to commence on Feb 2.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said the extension was to provide opportunities for eligible unmarried people aged 21 years to apply.

He told this to reporters after attending a Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) community function here Saturday.

In the 2013 Budget presentation last September, the government announced BR1M 2.0 would be extended to unmarried persons aged 21 years earning RM2,000 or less a month. They are eligible to receive RM250.

Awang Adek, who is also Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee deputy chairman, also said 30 poor residents in Bachok also had electric wiring installed in their houses under the TNB programme Saturday.

He said the programme was a pioneer project before being extended to other districts in the state. - Bernama

Related Stories:
More than 2.3 million people have registered for BR1M 2.0
Donald Lim: You can only apply for BR1M 2.0 once
BRIM 2.0 disbursement in January
PM says considering second BR1M aid payment


The Star Online: Metro: Central

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Metro Watch

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 03:29 AM PST


The National Blood Bank is having blood donation drives today at Giant Hypermarkets in Bukit Tinggi, Kota Damansara, Kelana Jaya, Bandar Kinrara and Putra Heights (11am-5pm), Mydin Mart in Seksyen 18, Shah Alam (10.30am-4.30pm), Wisma MCA Jalan Ampang (9am-3pm) and Tesco Setia Alam (11am-5pm). For details, visit


WWF-Malaysia and its Earth Hour partners are inviting Malaysian bands to participate in the inaugural Earth Hour Band Contest to build environmental awareness through music. The contest is open to three- to six-person bands comprising Malaysian citizens who have not signed up with any record labels. Interested bands can submit their videos to on Jan 22 before 5pm. For details, e-mail


University of Malaya Malaysian Centre of Regulatory Studies is having a free public talk on "Personal Data Protection Act" at the Law Faculty in University of Malaya on Jan 22, from 10am to 11am. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP before Jan 18. For details, visit


The Philharmonic Society of Selangor Choir invites singers of all ages to join in the 2013 season. Orientation will be held on Jan 14 and 21 at 7.15pm at Free Space@Kakiseni, L1-35 & 36, Level 1, SS Two Mall, 40 Jalan SS2/72 in Petaling Jaya. Rehearsals are held every Monday, from 8pm to 10pm. For details, call 012-277 8871 (Swee Chin) or e-mail


Sri Kota Specialist Medical Centre Klang (SKSMC) will be organising a free public forum on "Elderly Health Issues" on Jan 19. The programme will be scheduled from 8.30am to 1pm at SKSMC. Refreshments will be provided. Admission is free but seats are limited. For details, call 03-3373 3636 ext 7313 / 7335 / 7356.


Women Institute of Management will be having the 11th Toastmasters meeting of the term on Jan 8, at Wisma WIM, Taman Tun Dr Ismail from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Registration required. To register, call 03-7725 0268 (Jaya) / 012-210 2404 (Sharon).


Pulau Ketam Landscape Exhibition is now on at the Art Specialist Gallery in Klang, Selangor until Jan 20. Opening hours are from 1pm until 9pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). For details, call 016-253 3832 (Yeo Eng Hin).


Kuala Lumpur Divine Life Society, Sivanadhashram in Jalan Batu Caves will be organising a free meditation workshop daily from 10am to 4pm, from Jan 7 to 17. Admission is free. For details, call 012-323 0398 or SMS to 012-212 8936 (Sre).

Saturday Events

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 03:28 AM PST


Take the opportunity to see some of the finest collection of ceremonial masks from all over the world. The unique exhibition "The Mask of the World" awaits visitors at the National Museum every day from 9am until 6pm. Exhibition ends on March 20. For details, call 03-2267 1048/ 1049 (Hawa/Ruhafizah) or visit and facebook: muzium negara.


Shop and experience the best of Vietnam culture this weekend at the concourse level of Sungei Wang Plaza that runs until Jan 10, 10am -10pm daily. A variety of items ranging from liquorice, souvenirs, handicraft, paintings, figurines, vases and lanterns are among the many interesting items on sale. For those who love Vietnam's fashionable traditional wear, do also drop by the fair as colourful and delicately sewn "Ao Dai" and scarfs are available alongside accessories such as clogs and necklaces. Food lovers should try out Vietnamese food such as the famous "Pho" or noodles, "Banh Cuon" or Rice Flour SteamRolls, "Nem Ran" or Fried Spring Rolls, titbits and not forgetting their famous "Weasel Coffee". For details, call 03-2148 6109 or visit /be a fan at


Take a look at the beauty and richness of Islamic artworks by 25 artists themed "Islamic Impressions in Malaysian Contemporary Art" at Galeri Petronas, Suria KLCC which is on now until Feb 17. The exhibition titled Taman Nurani is an effort to promote greater awareness and understanding of contemporary art development that incorporates Islamic art as its influence. Admission is free. For details, call 03-2051 7770, 03-2051 9290. Exhibition is open on Tuesdays until Sundays, from 10am to 8pm. Closed on Mondays.


Participate in the free public forum on healthy aging at the Tropicana Medical Centre, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya held in conjunction with the launching of its Golden Year's Privilege Club today, at its auditorium on the seventh floor from 9.30am until 12.45pm. The forum will be conducted in English and lunch is served. For details, call 03-6287 1206 (Mei Yee) or 018-211 6789 (Huda).


Catch the solo art exhibition by Malaysian artist Zaharuddin Sarbini titled "Indah 2" at City Art Gallery in The Ampwalk, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. The aeronautical engineer by training and an artist by choice has 35 paintings of local fruits and kingfishers made in various mediums including acrylic, oil and watercolour on display. The gallery is open daily from 11am until 6pm. For details, call 03-2775 3933 or email or visit


Have MBPJ related matters but don't want to go through the hassle at the council office? MBPJ Easy Payment mobile counters is open this weekend at Jalan Cecawi 6/18A, PB6 Kota Damansara from 10am until 3pm, offering basic council-related transactions and services such as checking and paying assessment tax, compounds and other council-related bills, as well as lodging council-related complaints. For details, call 03-79563544 ext 203/204 or visit


Donate blood at the monthly blood donation campaign by the Malaysia Blood Donors Society today and tomorrow at Giant Hypermarket Bandar Kinrara, Puchong. For details, call 03-8993 9018.


The Star Online: Metro: South & East

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Power disruption in Segamat

Posted: 04 Jan 2013 04:51 PM PST

JOHOR BARU: Residents in Segamat will be experiencing some disruption to their power supply tomorrow.

The disruption is expected to last for about 15 minutes gradually at each power source point starting from 9am to 1pm on Jan 6.

The areas affected include Bukit Siput, Segamat Baru, Kawasan Perindustrian II Segamat, Kampung Jawa, Felda Medoi, Tenang, as well as Felda Kemelah.

Residential areas, factories in the industrial areas and the commercial areas of the mentioned places will experience the temporary power cut.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Johor division department head manager Datuk Ir. Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Amin said that the power cut was due to some test and maintenance work on the area's circuit breaker equipment.

For details, contact TNB hotline at 1-5454.

An effort to be proud of

Posted: 04 Jan 2013 07:35 PM PST

LABIS: Police have seized 2,082 computers, functioning as slot machines, and arrested 485 people in a string of raids across the district between July and mid of December last year.

Segamat district police chief Supt Hanafi Daud said the police confiscated RM20,654 cash from the illegal gaming centres during 116 raids conducted.

He said 351 of those held were customers while the rest were those who running the centres.

"We have successfully closed six shops by shutting off the power and water supply of the centres with the cooperation of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and local councils.

"Four of the shops shut down were located in Segamat and two others were in Labis," he said.

During a dialogue between the police and non-governmental organisations held here recently, district public order chief ASP Mansor Taip said the new strategy of disconnecting power and water had been effective.

"We thank the TNB and councils for assisting us in fighting illegal gambling in the district.

"We hope for more cooperation among us in the future and curb the illegal activities, which is a concern among the residents in the district," he said.

He added that with the support of various parties, the police were confident of reducing the operation of illegal gambling centres in the district within the next few months.

During a question raised on gangsterism activities in a few secondary schools in Labis, ASP Mansor urged school authorities and parents to report if the know of children involved in any such activities.

"It is difficult for us to trace illegal group in schools or at home without the help of teachers and parents and we hope to work as a team to curb the issues," he said.

At the event, the NGOs also voiced their concern over house break-ins, robbery and vandalism cases in their neighbourhood.

ASP Mansor said the police were enhancing patrolling with joint efforts from Rela and Civil Defense Department.

He urged members of public to report any suspected criminal activities and call the police in Labis at 07-3242222 and district headquarters at 07-9324222.

Labis MP Datuk Chua Tee Yong , who organised the dialogue, said the programme was a good platform for the members of public to raise their issues.

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry deputy minister said one of the main concerns of the people in Labis was about illegal gambling.

"We hope the police will continue to play an active role to prevent crime cases and ensure safety of the people," he added.

SK Infant Jesus Convent not being relocated to Nusajaya

Posted: 04 Jan 2013 07:36 PM PST

JOHOR BARU: Parents are delighted that SK Infant Jesus Convent decided to stay at Jalan Yahya Awal which allow them to choose the school for their daughters in the start of the new school term.

General manager John Joseph, 39, said that he had enrolled his seven-year-old daughter in the school as it is a well known school in the country which has a proven track record in terms of academic achievements.

He added that he would also register his four-years old daughter to the school, as he wants his children to receive the best education.

"I prefer the school to stay at the heart of the city centre as it is near to my house," he said.

Clerk Kharina Mohd Yusof, 26 said that she is comfortable with the current location of the school and the suggested relocation to Nusajaya would cause a hassle to her as would have to travel an extra half an hour to send her daughter every day.

"My daughter will have to wake up earlier to be on time for school, and this would affect her sleeping hours which could make her more tired," she said.

Another parent, housewife Kelly Lee, 37 said that the school is among the top preferred choices for parents to send their daughters.

"I met one of the teachers at the school who informed me that SK Infant Jesus Convent would not be relocate at all.

"I am quite pleased over the news as people know that SK Infant Jesus Convent is part of Johor Baru proud history," she said adding that she would definitely think twice of sending her daughter to the school if it was relocate.

It was reported by The Star that the school might be relocated to Nusajaya after the school administrative issued a circular to parents on Oct 30 last year.

The circular was issued to parents stating that the school had applied to be relocated after its Parents Teachers Association (PTA) agreed to the idea during its general meetings in 2010 and 2011.

There has been much controversy as to whether the 87-years-old school here should be relocated to Nusajaya for safety purposes or stay put at Jalan Yahya Awal as it is considered as a historical building in the state.

Meanwhile Johor Education Department director Mohd Nor A. Ghani said that there was an additional of two primary schools in Johor, which is located in Pasir Gudang and Masai this year.

"A total of 57,226 students registered in 891 primary schools statewide, including 36,928 students at government schools (SK), 18,185 students at SJK (C), and 2,113 students at SJK (T)," he said.


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved