Isnin, 4 Februari 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

WTF? Wake up with Red FM

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 03:02 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Now, Malaysians can wake up to a brand new day with a revamped breakfast show on Red FM.

Aptly titled The Red Breakfast WTF (With Two Fellas)?, the show runs Monday to Friday from 6am to 10am.

The Red Breakfast WTF? sees the original king of radio, Lil' Kev, teaming up with JJ, the current king of radio to rule the airwaves.

The wacky and affable duo want to conquer the country and will be working towards ensuring there is never a dull morning on Red FM.

They aspire to have the most interactive show with local content that all Malaysians will be able to relate to.

Officially launched yesterday, The Red Breakfast WTF? finds the two being paired for the first time and inevitably, they were swarmed by callers throughout the debut show.

"What we did today was to open the show to listeners, and it was fun listening to them.

"It was a great first day for us," said Lil' Kev. For JJ, it was admittedly a nervous day for him.

"Frankly, I was nervous this morning. In fact, I set my alarm at 5.15am because I wanted to be fully prepared to reach the studio on time. Driving so early in the morning, I was on auto-pilot mode, but I'm glad I got to the right station!" he said laughing.

For Lil' Kev, it got more personal when a loyal listener called him yesterday morning.

"This guy called me 16 years ago when his wife was in the midst of giving birth. I knew his wife was angry as she was screaming at him then.

"And today, 16 years later, he called just to remind me that he has been listening to me from back then, and that's really special," said Lil' Kev.

Also present at the launch at The Bee@Publika, Solaris Dutamas in Kuala Lumpur was Star Publications (M) Bhd executive deputy chairman Datuk Vincent Lee, Star Radio Group chief broadcasting officer C.K. Tan and Star Radio Group deputy chief broadcasting officer Kudsia Kahar.


The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Ex-US Navy SEAL's killing puts focus on war's psychological toll

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 08:41 PM PST

(Reuters) - The slayings of former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and another man trying to help a troubled U.S. military veteran, now charged with killing them at a Texas gun range, has renewed focus on the psychological wounds of war.

Eddie Ray Routh is pictured in this booking photo provided by the Erath County Sheriff’s Office. Routh is a suspect in the shooting and killing of former Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle. REUTERS/Erath County Sheriff’s Office/Handout

Eddie Ray Routh is pictured in this booking photo provided by the Erath County Sheriff’s Office. Routh is a suspect in the shooting and killing of former Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle. REUTERS/Erath County Sheriff’s Office/Handout

Eddie Lee Routh, 25, of Lancaster, Texas, an active duty Marine from 2006 to 2010 who served in the Iraq war, faces murder charges that could lead to the death penalty in Saturday's shootings at a gun range 50 miles (80 kilometres)southwest of Fort Worth.

Routh, a military reservist, is charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Kyle, 38, and Kyle's friend, Chad Littlefield, 35. The pair were shot at close range at the Rough Creek Ranch gun range, which was designed by Kyle, a distinguished military sniper

Routh is being held on a $3 million (1.9 million pounds) bond at a county jail, and Dallas television station KXAS reported that he was tasered by jail guards on Sunday night after becoming aggressive and had been placed on suicide watch.

Jason Upshaw, a captain in the Erath County Sheriff's Office, said on Sunday Routh's mother had reached out to Kyle to try to help her son, who Marine Corps records show served one tour of duty in Iraq.

Officials said Routh's mother may have contacted Kyle, author of the book "American Sniper," because he co-founded the FITCO Cares Foundation that tries to help veterans recovering from physical and emotional injuries.

Twice in recent months, Routh was taken to a mental hospital after behaving erratically, according to police reports from Dallas and his hometown of Lancaster.

The Lancaster police report said Routh's mother called police in September because he had been drinking and became upset and threatening when his father told the veteran he was going to sell his gun.

Police found Routh wandering and crying nearby, without a shirt or shoes, and he told an officer he was a Marine veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress, the Lancaster police report said.

Authorities were still trying to determine what led to Saturday's shooting, which took place at close range.

"I don't know that we will ever know," Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant told a news conference on Sunday.


Law enforcement officers have not said Routh specifically suffers from post traumatic stress, a severe anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or participating in traumatic events, but the killings renewed the focus on PTSD among veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated in a report released last fall that about 30 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffered from some form of post-traumatic stress.

The shooting would not be typical of a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress alone, said Dr. Harry Croft, a San Antonio psychiatrist who specializes in treating veterans for post-traumatic stress.

"Although this is very sensational and very tragic, it is at the same time, very rare," Croft said, adding that he was concerned it might stigmatize returning veterans.

Julie Wynn, a counsellor who has worked with returning veterans as well as survivors of the 2009 shooting incident at Fort Hood, said the stress of war affects everyone differently.

"Some people come home and they never have a problem, they put it behind them, they lead normal lives," she said. "Other people, with stressors like family, jobs, the economy, they don't do well with moving on."

The U.S. military acknowledged in January that suicides had hit a record last year, outpacing combat deaths, with 349 active-duty suicides.

In response, Army Secretary John McHugh on Monday told a news conference at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state that he has ordered Army officials to lay out detailed plans by February 15 to boost soldiers' "physical, emotional and psychological resilience."

"Interventions are not coming as soon as I would like to see them," McHugh told reporters.

Kyle at the time of his death was doing his own part to aid returning members of the military.

He had been volunteering to help Marine Corps veterans suffering from PTSD, sometimes taking them to the shooting range, according to a posting on a website run by members of the Special Operations Forces.

Kyle had called ahead to let staff know the group would be there on Saturday, and the three men rode together to the range in Kyle's pickup truck, officials said.

After the shooting, Routh drove to his sister's house in Kyle's truck and told her what happened, authorities said. She called police after he headed home, where he was arrested a short time later.

Kyle, who served four combat tours of duty in Iraq, won two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for bravery, according to his book, which covers his military service from 1999 to 2009.

(Additional reporting by Marice Richter in Dallas, Laura L. Myers in Tacoma, Washington, and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by David Bailey, Barbara Goldberg, Todd Eastham and Xavier Briand)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Two killed in Ecuador pro-government rally - President Correa

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 08:29 PM PST

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Monday evening said two government supporters were killed and several suffered stab wounds during a campaign rally almost two weeks before a presidential election that the leftist leader is expected to win comfortably.

"Crazy person stabs seven AP people while they were waiting for the President. Two have been killed," Correa said in his Twitter account, referring to supporters of the ruling Alianza Pais political movement, AP.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa addresses the media during a bilateral summit in Cuenca November 23, 2012. REUTERS/Erick Ilaquize

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa addresses the media during a bilateral summit in Cuenca November 23, 2012. REUTERS/Erick Ilaquize

The incident occurred ahead of a campaign rally in Quininde, a town in the western Esmeraldas province.

A video showed at a press conference at the Interior Ministry in Quito showed a man with a large knife attacking Correa supporters.

"Before the president was due to arrive ... we can see in these images how this person stabs the people that were standing up front," said Interior Minister Jose Serrano.

He said that four people were wounded and that police had arrested the person who they think carried out the attack.

Correa, an ally of socialist Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is expected to win the February 17 vote. Polls give him between 50 percent and 60 percent of votes, at least 30 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival, Guillermo Lasso, a former banker.

Correa has boosted state spending on welfare and infrastructure, which has made the 49-year-old very popular among the country's low-income majority.

The U.S.-trained economist has been at odds with foreign investors since taking office in 2007. He rattled Wall Street when he defaulted on $3.2 billion (2 billion pounds) on foreign bonds in 2008, and two years later forced foreign oil companies to sign deals granting the state a larger share of their revenues.

(Reporting By Eduardo Garcia; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Catholic hospital group apologizes for foetus lawsuit defence

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 08:15 PM PST

DENVER (Reuters) - A Catholic hospital group said on Monday it was "morally wrong" to contradict its church's teachings on the beginning of life when it argued foetuses are not people to defend itself against a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado.

Catholic Health Initiatives said it will instead use other legal theories in the case.

The legal defence the hospital group has since disavowed stems from a malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jeremy Stodghill in the 2006 deaths of his pregnant wife, Lori, and the couple's twin foetuses.

The hospital group received widespread criticism when it surfaced that its lawyers had successfully argued the claims on behalf of the unborn twins should be dismissed under a Colorado law that says foetuses do not have legal status. The argument contradicted the Roman Catholic church's longstanding teaching that life begins at conception.

The hospital group said in a statement on Monday that its lawyers were "morally wrong" to cite Colorado's so-called Wrongful Death Act in defending the lawsuit

"Although the argument was legally correct, recourse to an unjust law was morally wrong," the statement said.

The 31-year-old Lori Stodghill, who was seven months pregnant, collapsed at St. Thomas More Hospital & Medical Centre in Canon City, Colorado, and died of a pulmonary embolism.

The facility is part of Catholic Health Initiatives, which operates hospitals in 17 states.

Stodghill's lawsuit claimed that physicians failed to make any effort to save the foetuses, who also perished, by performing an emergency caesarean section.

A trial court agreed with the hospital's argument and dismissed the lawsuit's claims on behalf of the foetuses. Jeremy Stodghill has appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court, which has not yet ruled on whether it will hear the case.

The hospital group said if the case is heard by the state's high court, its defence will Centre on "causation," or whether hospital personnel were negligent in their treatment of Lori Stodghill.

After they became aware of the lawsuit last month, Colorado's top three bishops vowed to review the case "to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church" were being followed by the hospital group.

In a separate statement issued on Monday, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan and Pueblo Bishop Fernando Isern said they were assured by the hospital group that the Catholic institution was not responsible for the deaths.

"Evidence indicates that (the hospital) undertook all possible efforts to save Lori Stodghill," the bishops said, adding that hospital staff "testified that the Stodghill children tragically died before medical care commenced, so an emergency C-section would not have saved them."

Jeremy Stodghill's attorney, Beth Krulewitch, said her client was disappointed in the statement from the bishops and the hospital group, which she called inaccurate.

"It does not appear to reflect a real investigation and does nothing to address the harm done to Jeremy Stodghill in this case," Krulewitch said.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis, Lisa Shumaker and Eric Walsh)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Chile marks new start for Nadal

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 06:16 PM PST

PARIS: Rafael Nadal's return to action after a seven-month injury layoff will be the focus of attention in tennis in Chile this week. The 11-time Grand Slam champion has been on the sidelines since he was beaten in the second round at Wimbledon by Czech journeyman Lukas Rosol in late June.

During that time, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have won Grand Slam titles and, as the other member of the sport's Big Four, the question is whether the Spaniard will ever be able to compete again at the highest level.

Nadal, who will be 27 in June, has been careful to play down expectations.

Yes, he still has some pain from his troublesome knees and no, he does not expect to immediately rediscover his old winning ways in his first tournament back at Vina del Mar in Chile, the starter for the claycourt season that climaxes with the French Open in Paris in May/June.

"Of course I still feel pain in the knee that sometimes stops me from playing, but you have to start sometime and I am here to try and give my best and hope that my knee comes through it," he added.

"Undoubtedly the clay surface is a little less aggressive on my knee," he said. "My aim is to compete courageously and hopefully the knee will stand up to it.

"There is always the possibility that I will lose in the first round after so many months without competing."

The consensus is that Nadal, who had been due to return to action at the notoriously physical Australian Open in January, but who pulled out due to a viral condition, has been wise to bet on clay once again.

Seven of his 11 Grand Slam titles have come on the claycourts of Roland Garros and he has amassed an unprecedented career win record of 254 out of 273 on the surface since he first exploded onto the international scene in 2005.

Vina del Mar is an essentially low-key tournament, but Nadal is looking to progressively rebuild his confidence in claycourt tournaments in Brazil and Mexico before heading up to the United States for the Masters Series events in Indian Wells and Miami on the less unforgiving (for his knees) hardcourt classics.

After that beckon Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and on to Paris - the red clay route that Nadal has dominated like no-one else over the last eight years.

What happens after that on the grass of Wimbledon and the hardcourts of New York depends to a great extent on how his physique and mental fortitude cope with the new challenges.

Few of his peers seem to doubt his ability to get back to the top level and everyone agrees that his return will be good for the sport of tennis given the Spaniard's huge fan base.

"Can't wait to see him back playing again. The sport will be all the better for it," said Federer, whose rivalry with Nadal has marked tennis and all of sport for the last eight years.

"As far as I am concerned he will still be as difficult to beat as ever."

Nadal fans will be encouraged by the last time he had a lengthy layoff to rest his knee joints, at the start of the 2010 season.

On that occasion, he promptly made two semi-finals at the hardcourt Masters tournaments in the United States and then went on to win all three of the claycourt Masters tournaments and yet another French Open title without dropping a single set, a feat never accomplished before in tennis history.

To round off the season, he would also lift the Wimbledon and US Open trophies.

Whether he can repeat that feat, or even get near it, lies a long way down a road that will commence on the Pacific Coast of Chile on Wednesday. -AFP

Lack of top quality players stain Davis Cup

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 03:15 PM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]PARIS: Wimbledon's Centre Court, Philippe Chatrier at Roland Garros and the Taco Bell Arena, way out west in Boise, Idaho.

Matteo, Padraig and Charl join race for Malaysian Open title

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 04:50 PM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]PETALING JAYA: Italian youngster Matteo Manassero will bid to make another successful swing in the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club next month.

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

MyEG a top pick on revenue growth

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 06:59 PM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]CIMB Research: WE maintain our earnings per share (EPS) forecasts and target price, based on an unchanged 16 times 2014 price-to-earnings (P/E), a 20% premium over our 13.3 times target market P/E given its above-market three-year EPS compounded annual growth rate.

M’sia may maintain zero export duty for CPO

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 06:55 PM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia would "perhaps" maintain the zero export duty for crude palm oil (CPO) for the third consecutive month, said Plantation, Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

The job hopping phenomenon

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 06:46 PM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]DID you know? Ninety-one per cent of Gen Y employees leave their jobs in less than three years, according to the Multiple Generations @ Work survey by Future Workplace.


The Star Online: Nation

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PAS caught between grassroots demand and Opposition partners

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 08:18 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Several fiery issues have been clouding PAS recently, including hudud laws, the post of prime minister, and the latest on the usage of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims, sandwiching the party leadership between the demand of grassroot members and the desire of its Opposition partners.

To what extent are the PAS leaders able to sail in the same direction with PKR and DAP when more party members are calling for the party to return to its original route, and if need be, to go alone without the burden of its coalition partners?

Among them was Nasharuddin Mat Isa who had made it clear that PAS should return to its original struggle to uphold Islam and protect the interest of the Malays, without the cooperation of PKR and DAP which have conflicting interests.

The former PAS deputy president said the clash of interests with PKR and DAP had weakened the original struggle of PAS, adding that the party was sufficiently strong to grow as a major party in the country, without PKR and DAP.

"Lately, the PAS leadership has been caught in a chess game to prioritise political benefits away from the party's struggle to uphold Islam which the grassroot members want.

"Among the issues is the word, 'Allah', which cannot be casually used by non-Muslims for their own purpose," said the Bachok member of parliament.

The Allah issue was raised by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng who called on the Government to allow the word to be used in the Bahasa Melayu version of the Bible, and the Opposition coalition, including the PAS leadership agreed.

However, the PAS Syura council objected and issued a resolution against it.

According to Nasharuddin, the PAS leadership, in agreeing with the usage of Allah by non-Muslims, had caused great disappointment among grassroots members.

"PAS should now place the struggle for Islam at its forefront as desired by grassroots members, and not prioritise its cooperation with its Opposition allies to capture Putrajaya," he said.

The party was also disappointed when its annual general conference decision to nominate PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as prime minister was snubbed by its coalition partners as they clearly preferred Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the post.

Nasharuddin said that as far as he was concerned, Abdul Hadi was the most qualified for the post of prime minister.

Among the moves called for, by the grassroots to prevent PAS from straying from its original struggle was to withdraw from cooperating with PKR and DAP.

For Nasharuddin, it would not be a difficult decision and the move could in fact, strengthen PAS.

"There have been far too many compromises to PAS' original struggle in its pact with its Opposition partners, and it's time to heed the grassroots call to move away from the pact," he reasoned.

He was disappointed over his sacking from the Syura Council for being too vocal against the party leadership's decision.

He noted that former Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Hasan Mohamed Ali also met with a similar fate when he was sacked from the party for voicing his concern about PAS' cooperation in the Opposition front, and also the credibility of Anwar as the future prime minister of the Opposition government. - Bernama

Lebanese cops continue to detain man in Claudia Theophilus death

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 06:43 AM PST

The Theophilus family has appealed to the media not to approach them for comments or interviews until Claudia's body is brought back to Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA: The Lebanese man whose rifle went off and killed Malaysian journalist Claudia Theophilus (pix) on Saturday in Baakleen, Lebanon, remains detained by local police who are continuing investigations into what appears to be a freak accident.

The Lebanese man told the police that he was taking bullets out of his rifle when the rifle went off as he was trying to dislodge a stuck bullet.

Theophilus was rushed to the hospital in Baakleen but she could not be saved.

Ambassador Ilango Karuppannan confirmed that the man who handled the rifle was still in Baakleen police lockup.

He said the Lebanese authorities had briefed the embassy officials.

"We have provided details to Wisma Putra and they have informed the family. We are coordinating with her family members and will assist them in every way," he said Monday.

By a quirk of fate, Ilango has discovered that Theophilus also studied at Sekolah Menengah Sains Negri Sembilan that was later renamed Sekolah Menengah Sains Tuanku Jaafar in Kuala Pilah, a boarding school.

"I'm very saddened. I was in the pioneer batch 1973-77 while Claudia was from the 1984 batch. Her classmates have described her as a dynamic student and sportswoman."

Former Chairman of the Star branch of the National Union of Journalists Selvayoga Selvaretnam, who worked with Theophilus on press freedom issues, said the death of the former unionist from The Sun was devastating for her family on many levels.

"She was the mainstay of the family who are individually facing many serious medical concerns of their own.

"Finances has always been an issue and she was the family's main breadwinner," he said.

It was reported that her mother had recently suffered a stroke and a married brother was bed-ridden after an accident two years ago.

Theophilus was a producer for Al-Jazeera English Online and was based in Doha, Qatar.

She has worked for The Sun and Malaysiakini.

She had arrived in Lebanon on Jan 28 on a holiday.

Sources close to the family said that her employer Al-Jazeera had indicated that they would fund the transfer of Theophilus' body from Beirut to Kuala Lumpur for the funeral in Seremban.

Her sister Dora and a family friend will leave for Beirut on Tuesday.

"I think the earliest the body can be brought back would be Saturday," said the source.

Meanwhile, the Theophilus family has appealed to the media not to approach them for comments or interviews until Claudia's body is brought back to Malaysia.

Related Stories:
Malaysian journalist killed in freak accident while on holiday in Lebanon
Claudia's death latest in a series of misfortunes for family

Batu Kawan Umno division head dies

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 06:25 AM PST

GEORGE TOWN: Batu Kawan Umno division head Datuk Mohd Noordin Mohd Kassim died of bacterial infection and kidney failure at a private hospital here at 4.42 pm Monday. He was 62.

He leaves behind his wife, Datin Zahriah Abdul Rahman, 62, three children, Siti Hawa, 33, Jaafar Sadeq, 32, Mohamad Shukor, 27, and three grandchildren.

His second son, Jaafar Sadeq said his father was admitted to Island Hospital three weeks ago and was transferred to the intensive care unit three days ago.

"My father was unconscious for two or three hours before he breathed his last," he told reporters here.

Mohd Noordin's remains were brought to his residence at Taman Rasa Ria, Sungai Bakap before burial at the Sungai Bakap Old Mosque Muslim Cemetery tonight. - Bernama


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Flight of fantasy

Posted: 05 Feb 2013 01:23 AM PST

Malaysian comedy Once Upon A Time takes viewers on a journey through time and space.

THERE is something innately heart-warming about the phrase: "Once upon a time." These simple words evoke images of valiant swordfights and dashing heroes, and set the mood for the fantastic stories in far-off places and in eras bygone. This magic is precisely what Malaysian comedy, Once Upon A Time seeks to capture in its plot.

Jointly produced by The Film Engine and Astro Shaw, and distributed by RAM Entertainment, the movie is a fully local-made film that boasts a 1,000-strong cast and crew members, and a budget of over RM4.5 mil. With a story originating from Lim's popular radio show, Wong Kung Can Lan (Palace Stories), the Cantonese film is set in the kingdom of Wa-Lei-Wa-Lei-Har-Mo-Nei-Onn-Phat-Si-Fu-Lan (or, "A very, very harmonious and peaceful land").

Six thousand years ago, there lived a lazy and gluttonous emperor (Jack Lim) who has so many wives and kids that he can barely recognise them all. He is also obsessed with finding the secret to immortality.

Obviously, our emperor in question is no King Arthur; and despite his many wives, he is no Don Juan either (Lim, with his strident features and raggy beard, looks more like a chubby Captain Jack Sparrow on the verge of a very comfortable retirement). To make things worse, none of his people seem to like him very much. In contrast to his excessive lifestyle, they live in poverty thanks to his incompetence. His ministers, among them the intelligent and cunning Lord Turtle (Jeff Chin), are all too aware of this fact and practically run the kingdom on his behalf.

Unsurprisingly, a rebellious group soon attacks the palace in an attempt to overthrow their selfish emperor. Amidst the fracas, Lord Turtle tries to protect the emperor by hiding him in a forbidden room at a palace, where it is rumoured that a concubine from a previous dynasty had mysteriously vanished in a few hundred years ago. Predictably, the bumbling emperor too, vanishes behind the room along with his faithful eunuch and his servant, only to emerge from a time-portal into 2013 Kuala Lumpur!

Once Upon A Time capitalises on the time travelling concept by relying heavily on fish-out-of-water scenes. The vibrancy of modern-day Kuala Lumpur comes through effectively in this film, with the day-to-day Malaysian-Chinese experience especially pertinent in its delivery.

Lim certainly is a larger-than-life presence both onscreen and off. In person, the actor, filmmaker and radio deejay from Ipoh is as exuberant as his reel life royal persona. He showcased his playful side at a press event in TGV Sunway Pyramid when halfway into a group interview session, the entertainer abruptly climbed atop a table, and jumped off it!

However, there is also a sensitive side to his otherwise raucous character, and he admitted that the emperor's misdoings and excessive life feels hauntingly resonant of his own life. "I've realise that I've have been so fixated with work and chasing after material wealth, that I sometimes end up neglecting my family and friends. Most of my friends and even my parents have stopped calling me, because they know I will be busy with work," an emotional Lim recalled in Cantonese, before tearing up midway through the press conference.

In his quest to make the kingdom of Wa-Lei-Wa-Lei-Har-Mo-Nei-Onn-Phat-Si-Fu-Lan look as authentic as possible, Lim built the set of the ancient Chinese palace at the iconic Ipoh limestone hills in Perak, complete with a throne, ancient chandeliers and bamboo flooring.

The vivacious cast, made up mostly of popular personalities from the local Chinese radio industry, certainly adds to the film's appeal. Radio deejays Vivian Tok and Gan Mei Yan add a sprinkle of fun to the film - Tok plays a eunuch with breasts, while Gan makes a very visually-pleasing imperial servant. Charming radio personality Chin is equally captivating in his performance as the faithful Lord Turtle. During the press conference, the rapport between the cast members was palpable, with the common aim of bringing up the local film industry seemingly playing a part in inspiring the sense of solidarity.

Invariably, moderation and humility are values that are central to Once Upon A Time; and with a title like that, we already know how the story will end - with a happy ending. However, as clichéd as it sounds, it is not the destination, but the journey that matters, and Once Upon A Time certainly takes the viewer through a rather fun and exciting one.

> Once Upon A Time opens on Feb 7.

Meet the cast of I Love Hong Kong 2013

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 02:03 AM PST

The cast of I Love Hong Kong 2013 loves Malaysia too! Well-loved veteran comedian Eric Tsang and co-stars Michael Tse, Joyce Cheng and Koo Ming Wah will be in the country on Wednesday and Thursday to promote the upcoming Chinese New Year movie.

I Love Hong Kong 2013's storyline runs through the 1970s until the present day. It centres on families happily preparing and welcoming the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong.

Don't miss your chance to meet the cast of I Love Hong Kong 2013 on Wednesday in the Klang Valley. They will be attending meet-the-fans sessions at 1 Utama (new wing), Petaling Jaya, Selangor (7pm) and Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur (8pm) before heading to the gala premiere of the movie at GSC Mid Valley. Then, they will head to Penang on Thursday for meet-the-fans sessions at Queensbay Mall (7pm) and Sunway Carnival Mall (8.30pm).

You can also tune in to Star RFM 988, the official radio station at 5.30pm on Wednesday for a live interview with the stars; or catch The Making Of... I Love Hong Kong 2013 on Astro Wah Lai Toi at 3.30pm on the first day of Chinese New Year (Feb 10). I Love Hong Kong 2013 is distributed by GSC Movies and presented by Hotlink. For more information, visit or

Win A Good Day To Die Hard goodies

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 01:02 AM PST

Take-no-prisoners cop John McClane, for the first time, finds himself on foreign soil after traveling to Moscow to help his wayward son Jack - unaware that Jack is really a highly-trained CIA operative out to stop a nuclear weapons heist. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover that their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes.

A Good Day To Die Hard opens in cinemas 7 February. Thanks to 20th Century Fox we have movie tickets and premiums to give away.

To win, answer these questions.

1. To which country does John McClane go to in this movie?

2. John thinks he's helping his good-for-nothing son, but Jack is actually working for ….?

a. The FBI

b. The Russian mob

c. The NYPD

d. The CIA

Email your answers with your details (name, address, IC number and contact number) to by 8 February 2013. Title the subject A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. Winners will be notified by email.

Prizes to win:

1 X shoulder bag + playing cards + poster + 2 double movie passes

1 X Russian doll USB drive + t-shirt + poster + 2 double movie passes

1 X t-shirt + poster + 2 double movie passes

1 X short glasses + Russian doll USB drive + poster + 2 double movie passes

1 X phone card wallet case + poster +2 double movie passes

Rules & Regulations

1. The contest is open to all Malaysian residents residing in Malaysia only.

2. To qualify for a prize, contestants must include relevant personal details (full name, address, new IC number, contact number). Email your answers to

3. Contestants may submit only one entry each. Multiple entries will be disqualified.

4. One prize is allowed per contestant.

5. Prizes are not exchangeable for cash and the organizer reserves the right to exchange the prize with that of a similar value without prior notice.

6. Staff of The Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, sponsors and their immediate families are not allowed to participate.

7. Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entertained.

8. Judges will be from The Star Online.

9. For enquiries, please e-mail

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Metro Watch

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 04:10 AM PST


The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has opened a counter to facilitate tax payment at Jusco Metro Prima Kepong (10am to 8pm), Jusco Taman Maluri Cheras (10am to 9pm) and Mid Valley Megamall (10am to 9pm) starting now until Feb 28. A mobile counter has also been opened beside the Road Transport Department (JPJ) office, Jalan Permaisuri 8, Bandar Seri Permaisuri Cheras (9am to 6pm) from now until Feb 10. For details, call 03-2617 9950 (Zaisatul).


The Africa Asia Destitute Relief Foundation (ADRF) 5th Volunteerism Training will be held at 20, Jln 20/18, Paramount Garden, Petaling Jaya on Feb 23 from 10.30 am to 1pm. Registration is open and admission is free. There is also self-defence lesson by renowned NLP Interventionist. For details and reservations, call 03-7865 3648 (Asya) 012-210 2404 (Dr Sharon).


There is a temporary night closure at the right-most lane of Sprint Highway between the Kiara interchange and Maarof interchange (Kuala Lumpur-bound) from today until April 4, from 9pm to 6am to facilitate utility piloting and construction works. For details, visit or call the MRT Hotline at 1-800-82-6868.


The Sutra Foundation will be presenting "CON-FIGURE — seeking the essence of divinity in the human visage", an exhibition of paintings by young artists Gopal Krushna Rath and Guru Suraj. The exhibition is held from Feb 15 to March 15 at the Sutra Gallery, 12, Persiaran Titiwangsa 3, Kuala Lumpur. For details, call 03-4021 1092 (9.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) or email


A calligraphy exhibition is open to the public in conjunction with Chinese New Year at Mo-Dian Cultural Centre, 18C, Jalan Kapar, Klang starting now until Feb 8 from 11am to 4pm. Highlight is on a pair of 7ft-long couplets. For details, call 017-358 0121.


The Women Institute of Management (WIM Toastmasters Club) is having their 13th meeting of the term at Wisma WIM, Taman Tun Dr Ismail on Feb 26, 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Admission is free. To register, call 03-7725 0268 (Jaya) 012-210 2404 (Sharon).


A free talk titled "Connection to Life Purpose" will be held on Feb 7, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Silva Method Malaysia, Mid Valley City. For details, call 03-2282 9939 or email to or visit


The National Museum is organising various activities at the "World Masks Exhibition: 1001 Expression" until March 20. The exhibition includes information on the uses of clay and mask motifs. For details, call 03-2267 1111 ext 321.


Kelana Jaya Medical Centre with the National Blood Bank will be organising a blood donation drive at its premises on Feb 16 from 9am to 12.30pm. For details, call 03-7805 2111.

More than 20,000 gather at KL Football Stadium for FT Day

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 04:05 AM PST

IT WAS a fun-filled and colourful celebration as more than 20,000 people thronged the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Bandar Tun Razak to celebrate Federal Territories (FT) Day recently.

The celebration, the ninth edition for the three Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, carried the theme "Solidarity, The Thrust for Federal Territories' Prosperity".

The event kicked off at 6.30am with a bicycle convoy organised by the Federal Territories Sports Council. Some 1,300 people participated in the ride, which started at the Badminton Stadium in Cheras and ended at the football stadium.

The opening act for the event, which was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, involved 8,900 participants from 144 contingents comprising students, government departments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), residents' associations, government-linked corporations (GLCs), corporate bodies, tour agencies, vo-lunteers and uniformed units.

The first to lead the march-past was Kuala Lumpur City Hall's (DBKL) mounted horse unit comprising 35 members. This was followed by DBKL's contingent involving 40 enforcement officers carrying the Federal Territories flag, contingents from Labuan, Putrajaya and the Land and Minerals Department, among others.

Under the schools' category, 18 schools participated in the parade, including SK Sentul (1), SK Intan Baiduri, SK Convent Sentul (2), SK Taman Sri Rampai, SMK Puteri Titiwangsa, SMK Aminuddin Baki and SMK Taman Connnaught.

Bands from Victoria Institution, St John Bukit Nenas, SMK Cochrane, Convent Bukit Nenas and SM Kuen Cheng were also part of the parade.

There was also huge participation by NGOs and associations, which included the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Federal Territories St John's Ambulance, Red Crescent Association, Malaysian Ex-Army and Ex-Police Association and Residents' Associations from various areas in the federal territory.

The atmosphere was filled with excitement and there was roaring applause when Najib gave his opening speech.

The speech was followed by a colourful field performance by more than 1,200 youths with the theme Gegaran Wilayah and a spectacular air show by paragliders and hot air balloon. There was also a spectacular fireworks show, during which thousands of balloons were released.

The crowd also cheered when the announcement was made that a flat rate of RM30 was being offered for all traffic compound notices issued by DBKL from Feb 1 to 28.

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the ministry's decision to organise FT Day celebrations at parliamentary constituencies was aimed at bringing people closer to appreciate the true meaning of the day.

"It is amazing to see the response from the people at this year's FT Day celebration.

"Most of the people belong to different states and, by organising FT Day events like this, we help create a sense of belonging and togetherness among them," he said, adding that this was the first time lucky draw prizes were offered during the FT Day celebration.

Nong Chik said another difference about this year's celebration was that the ministry had invited about 20 hawkers to sell food outside the stadium.

When asked to comment on the difficulty in parking faced by people who attended the FT Day celebration at the stadium this year, Nong Chik urged the people to use public transport, in line with the National Key Result Area (NKRA) to improve urban public transport.

Also present at the event were Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers.


The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

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Flu sufferers can spread germs up to nearly two metres away

Posted: 03 Feb 2013 10:00 PM PST

Turns out that flu sufferers can emit small virus particles into the air at greater distances than previously thought -- at a whopping six feet, or nearly two metres.

Researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina screened 94 patients with flu symptoms admitted to the emergency room or care center of Wake Forest Baptist Medical during the 2010-2011 flu season.

"Our study offers new evidence of the natural emission of influenza and may provide a better understanding of how to best protect health care providers during routine care activities," the researchers wrote in the report.

The team collected air samples from around the patients at varying distances, and also jotted down the number of times the patients coughed or sneezed, rating the severity of the symptoms.

The study authors found that 65 per cent of the patients tested positive for the flu. Of this group, 43 per cent released particles containing the virus into the air. What's worse is that the sickest people released the highest levels of virus into the air. Plus some were "super emitters," as the researchers described, emitting up to 32 times more virus particles into the air than other patients.

Findings are published in the current edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. - Relaxnews

Loading up your day’s essentials with goodness from nature

Posted: 03 Feb 2013 04:00 PM PST

Protein is found in every single cell in the body. An important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood, high quality protein provides all of the essential amino acids needed by healthy adults and growing children. People who don't get enough of this important macronutrient will lack energy, and they will see their muscles and immune systems weaken.

To help people meet their daily protein needs, leading direct selling company Amway is introducing NUTRILITE™ All Plant Protein Powder which helps to load up your day's essentials by unlocking more goodness from nature. The unique tri-blend of soy, wheat and pea provides the right combination of proteins and amino acids to keep you feeling healthy and energetic, without animal products or dairy side effects.

"As one of the macronutrient foundations of a balanced diet, protein needs to be consumed each day to maintain health," says Gene Maly, Senior NUTRILITE Research Scientist. "Most people have difficulty consuming the recommended amount of protein in their diet, which is why adding a high quality protein source, like NUTRILITE All Plant Protein Powder, helps people give their bodies the fuel to power their cells, provide energy to their bodies, and with the recommended amount of 25 grams of soy protein per day, also helps to reduce cholesterol."

But most people associate protein with meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. In today's world, that isn't always what people want to hear. Many people want to incorporate as many plant-based options as they can into their diets.

A simple observation Many of the essential amino acids found in NUTRILITE's previous version of Protein Powder came from dairy, essentially from cows.

In the history of NUTRILITE, observing the diet of cows signified an "ah-ha" moment for its founder, Carl Rehnborg. After a return from China in the early nineteen hundreds he made a simple observation that the healthiest cows ate a diet of alfalfa and water -- they had shinier coats, they produced the most milk, and they gained the most weight. He realized that for cows to thrive, they needed the essential nutrients found in plants like alfalfa.

Today, NUTRILITE scientists have taken Carl Rehnborg's observation one step further by going back to the natural source, creating a plant-based protein powder that provides all of the essential amino acids people need in their diets to maintain cellular health throughout their body. This simple idea has resulted in NUTRILITE All Plant Protein Powder.

Protein keeps us feeling healthy by acting as a cell repair nutrient, it provides energy by producing hemoglobin – the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout our bodies, it builds lean muscle, and it supports the immune system by manufacturing antibodies, the substances that fight off illness.

- This article is brought to you by Amway


The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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Gutsy show despite the rain

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 01:07 AM PST

Over 1,600 participants braved heavy rain to take part in a parade to usher in the Year of the Snake

BATU PAHAT: Heavy downpour last Sunday afternoon failed to stop the enthusiasm of the people and the participants in the Chinese Year New celebration parade to usher in the coming Year of Snake.

More than 1,600 participants of the annual procession braved the rain in the 2.3km journey through Jalan Rahmat, Jalan Shahbandar, Jalan Sultanah, Jalan Ismail, Jalan Penggaram, Jalan Rahmat before arriving at Dataran Penggaram for festive lighting-up ceremony.

The parade began from Tien How Temple in Jalan Fatimah at 5pm. However, it started to drizzle shortly after the procession started.

The parade was disrupted for about 30 minutes when the skies opened up and the rain fell heavily forcing participants and marchers to run for shelter at nearby shophouses. Most sheltered themselves with dispaly boards and equipment that were used for the parade.

The participants and the public waited patiently until the rain stopped before they rejoined the parade.

The crowd that gathered since 4pm, refused to let the rain dampen their spirits and eagerness to witness the event.

Many were seen holding up umbrellas or putting on raincoats.

A total of 65 teams made up of representatives from 45 Chinese associations, schools and Malays traditional performers took part in the procession.

Each year a parade is held in the town featuring traditional Chinese lion and dragon dances, demonstrations and live musical entertainment, elaborate costumes, decorated floats, brass band from schools and others.

The people had already converged at Dataran Penggaram and the roadsides to witness the annual event, which had been held for 13 consecutive years.

Poziah Sahih, a 48-year-old housewife from Senggarang who was among the crowd gathered at Jalan Fatimah said it was a colourful and meaningful event.

"I came with my children and other family members. They enjoyed it very much and had a good time to see lion and dragon dances as well as other mascots for Chinese New Year celebration.

"It is great to be here to witness the spectacular event despite heavy rain with all others from various religions and backgrounds," she said.

Later at Dataran Penggaram, Batu Pahat district officer Ab Wahab Ridwan, Batu Pahat MP Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi and several assemblymen also joined the crowd for more cultural shows and lighting-up ceremony officiated by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Kwang Tung Hui Kwan Association hosted this year's event and more programmes such as cultural activities and competitions would be carried out till the 15th day of the Chinese New Year.

1MCA micro credit loans transform lives of the needy

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 12:58 AM PST

BATU PAHAT: Trader Ho Yih Shing was resting with his wife in a rented unit above their sundry shop when they heard an explosion one morning.

His dreams was shattered when an electrical short-circuit had caused a fire that razed down in Chaah, where he had been trading for 12 years.

"I didn't know what to do during that moment where my wife has injured her back while trying to escape the inferno," recalled Ho.

The 42-year-old trader and his sister-in-law had also fractured their legs when they jumped out of their home during the fire in May last year.

To rub salt to his wounds, Ho had to worry about his shop rental and payment owed to suppliers on top of being the sole bread winner for his family.

Following his plight, Labis MP Datuk Chua Tee Yong had came to his aid by helping him to apply for the "1MCA Micro Credit Loan Scheme".

Ho received a total of RM100,000 in loans about a month after the incident.

"The loan was a like sun beam in the winter, it helps me to rebuild my business.

"I also participated in a programme called Tukar (Retail Shop Transformation Prog-ramme), where I gave my shop a makeover.

"Now, the shop is so tidy, clean and bright, my customers spend more here to shop," he said, adding that business is much better than before.

Another micro credit loan recipient Tio Swee Siong, a 29-year-old tuition centre owner, said he was given a RM15,000 loan to expand his business.

Tio set up his first tuition centre at Jalan Soga in Batu Pahat three years ago with only afew students and teachers.

"I tried to look around for loan to expand my business but the interest rates were too high till I saw an article about the loan scheme for youths in the newspaper.

"The loan came in time for me to upgrade the facilities in my new branch in Taman Setia Jaya as well as to pay advertising cost," he said.

Tio added that his tuition centres cater to a total of 320 students with six teachers.

The 1MCA Micro Credit Loan Scheme was introduced last year to help young entrepreneurs.

It is managed by Koperasi Jaya Diri (Kojadi) that provides professional financial and administrative services to its members.

State to help strengthen agro-based industries

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 12:44 AM PST

NUSAJAYA: Johor would continue taking proactive measures to further transform, strengthen and develop its agricultural sector to ensure its relevancy.

State agriculture and agro-based industries chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Kaprawi said the sector had contributed significantly to Johor's progress for many years.

He said it contributed about RM12bil in earnings from oil palm, rubber, coffee, cocoa, pineapple, coconut and short-term crops last year, up from RM8.9bil and RM10.7bil in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

"Johor remains the main producer of fruits, vegetables, poultry and eggs in the country and we will embark on programmes to maintain our status quo,'' Abd Aziz said..

He said last year the state produced 670 tonnes of fruits worth RM739mil, 143,000 tonnes of vegetables valued at RM374mil and 200 million chickens and 300 million eggs of which 25% were exported to Singapore.

Abd Aziz said the on-going 3,642.17ha Bio Desaru Food Valley project in the Kota Tinggi district, and the soon-to-be-launched integrated farming project in Endau, Mersing on 3,642.17ha site would further boost food production.

He said the state government has recently approved the project in Endau and Johor Corp (JCorp) would be tasked to undertake the project.

"The Endau project will be the first large scale contract farming in Malaysia with the integrated crop farming and poultry and cattle breeding activities,'' said Abd Aziz.

He said under the project, JCorp would be required to allocate 70% of the entire site for local entrepreneurs – each of them would lease 20.23ha either for planting pineapples, corns, poultry or cattle breeding.

Abd Aziz said JCorp would buy back the produce from the entrepreneurs and it could either process them into value-added products or market the products fresh to consumers.

Separately, he said certain parties should stop spreading rumours that the RM60bil Petronas' Rapid project in Pengerang had caused hardship to traditional fishermen in the area.

He said of the total 100,000 tonnes catch yearly in Johor, fishermen in Pengerang only contributed 2,000 tonnes, with those in Mersing, Pontian and Kota Tinggi having the most catch.

"Plans are already in the pipeline to build the RM33mil new integrated fisherman complex on a 8.90ha site in Sungai Musuh there this year,'' he said.

Abd Aziz added that the centralised complex would have the landing, storage and processing facilities for fishermen in Pengerang as well kiosks selling processed marine products to visitors.


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