Khamis, 7 Mac 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Capital FM celebrates International Women’s Day

Posted: 08 Mar 2013 06:25 AM PST

It might not change the world but it's a good start. Capital FM celebrates International Women's Day with roses.

I DON'T think women receive enough flowers," says Lynette Ow, general manager of Malaysia's pioneer women's radio station, Capital FM. Lounging in the lobby of Menara Star in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, yesterday, Ow – who arrived with a troop of effervescent radio personalities like Xandria Ooi, April Kuan and Deborah Raj – was on a mission to distribute dozens of red roses to women to mark International Women's Day 2013.

"We want to remind women to take a little time off to collect their thoughts. They need to realise that they are women, they are powerful and they are ultimately the true 'architects' of society," says Ow.

This idea of giving flowers as a symbol of appreciation was fostered by the people behind the station. Kuan, host of Global Passport and Jazzscapes every weekend, says that International Women's Day is important because it reminds all women how far they've come. "We're still taking baby steps but the progress we're making is evident," enthuses Kuan. She was among those who handed out the flowers, complete with memorable quotes on girl power, to the beaming female staff in Star Publications.

"It's such a sweet gesture from my colleagues," says June Wong, managing editor of The Star. "As someone who has covered women's issues for a long time, International Women's Day is a vindication of our struggle throughout the years. Not only do we have to struggle for equality, we also have to struggle against being pigeonholed. You're either a feminist or a bimbo – that should stop."

While Wong acknowledges that women in Malaysia have it easier than those in other countries ("we never had to fight for the right to vote or to be educated," she says), she adds that there are other issues that need to be addressed. "There are certain arcane laws that we've inherited since the colonial era that need to be abolished," she says. "Also, with the coming general election, women play very important roles."

Kuan agrees. She says: "Unequal wages is an issue that's close to my heart. Time and again, we've proven that we're equally capable, so why shouldn't we get paid what we deserve?"

Capital FM, which is owned and operated by The Star, will continue to present women with flowers today at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur – look out for the flash mob organised by The Body Shop and Women's Aid Organisation (WAO).

At the same time, there is also an online campaign called Power Pouts, which invites the fairer sex to end violence against women.

"All they have to do is just put on the brightest red lipstick, take a picture and share it on our website (," says Ow.

Not only that, the station will be lending its support to UN Women, a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women and girls, by launching a song entitled One Woman. Sung by acclaimed singers and musicians from 25 different countries (including our very own Yuna), One Woman is a rallying cry that inspires listeners to join the drive for women's rights and gender equality. Yuna will, incidentally, be interviewed on the subject at 7am today.

But it's not all fun and glamour, though. Deborah Raj, who hosts Capital FM's The Jam Break, reminds readers that "a lot more work needs to be done".

"Violence against women shouldn't be happening in this day and age but it is. Many of these women can't do a thing about it, but we can," she says. Raj will be interviewing marathon runner Karen Loh for Jam Break. Loh is the perfect example of a woman who can do anything – even change the world – if she puts her mind to it. "She started in her late 30s," she says. "If she can do it, anyone can."

Meanwhile, other stations from The Star Radio Group will also be featuring interesting shows in conjunction with International Women's Day.

Red FM will run women-only competitions and share IWD messages from women like Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Daphne Iking, Sharifah Amani, Mizz Nina and Jay Menon.

Chinese radio station 988 will be celebrating women in the new Morning Up breakfast show for a week.

On Suria FM, Ceria Pagi with Adibah Noor and Halim Othman will be talking to first-time female movie directors.


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Thailand struggles to curb high teen pregnancy rate

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 09:09 PM PST

BANGKOK (Reuters) - When Mallika told her parents she was pregnant at 17, they pulled her out of school and ordered her to marry the baby's father. But the marriage didn't happen and the one-time aspiring singer now cares for her baby girl alone.

An un-named 16-year-old teenager (R) rest with her one-month-old son at the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women in Bangkok March 7, 2013. Thailand's teenage pregnancy rate is the highest in Southeast Asia after neighbouring Laos, according to the Bureau of Reproductive Health at the Thai Public Health Ministry. In fact, even though the overall birthrate is dropping, teen births are on the rise. Out of every 1,000 live births, 54 are from teen mothers aged 15-19 - higher than in the United States and ten times higher than Singapore's teen pregnancy rate. Picture taken March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

An un-named 16-year-old teenager (R) rest with her one-month-old son at the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women in Bangkok March 7, 2013. Thailand's teenage pregnancy rate is the highest in Southeast Asia after neighbouring Laos, according to the Bureau of Reproductive Health at the Thai Public Health Ministry. In fact, even though the overall birthrate is dropping, teen births are on the rise. Out of every 1,000 live births, 54 are from teen mothers aged 15-19 - higher than in the United States and ten times higher than Singapore's teen pregnancy rate. Picture taken March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

"I love her, but at the time I hid in shame," said Mallika, now 23 and a vendor of cheap, made-in-China clothing at a weekend market in Thailand's capital, Bangkok.

"The boy's family wanted to pay me to shut up and stay away from them. We were both children ourselves," she added, sitting in her dilapidated apartment overlooking a highway on the outskirts of Bangkok.

Mallika's situation is, sadly, far from unusual. Thailand's teenage pregnancy rate is the highest in Southeast Asia after neighbouring Laos, according to the Bureau of Reproductive Health at the Thai Public Health Ministry.

In fact, even though the overall birth-rate is dropping, teen births are on the rise. Out of every 1,000 live births, 54 are from teen mothers aged 15-19 - higher than in the United States and ten times higher than Singapore's teen pregnancy rate.

What's more, it's rising fast. The number of live births by Thai teenage mothers aged 15-18 increased 43 percent between 2000 and 2011, a Thai annual public health report shows.

Though there are many factors responsible, health experts put weight on cultural mores that make frank discussion of the issue difficult, whether in an official context or a personal one. This is complicated by gender issues.

"Women are told to protect their virginity but Thai men who have multiple sexual encounters are seen as cool," said Visa Benjamano, a commissioner at the Thai National Human Rights Council (NHRC).

"If men sleep around, their image is not at stake whereas a woman's image is. Women are generally more afraid to discuss their sexual health needs in public."


Although sexual education is part of the national school curriculum, teaching is clearly insufficient. The Education Ministry limits instruction on the subject to eight hours a year despite changing attitudes towards sex among the young.

"Teachers are prudish and out of touch with Thai kids today and they approach the topic like a biology class rather than talking about the emotional issues involved," said Visa.

The consequences of unplanned pregnancy are often left out of classroom teaching too, despite a lack of legal options.

A 2011 report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Thailand's National and Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) shows the number of women hospitalised in connection with abortions increased by over 16 percent between 1994 and 2009, hitting 60,000 in 2009.

Yet abortion is illegal in Thailand except in cases of rape or incest, to save a woman's life or preserve her physical or mental health, and if the woman is under 15 years of age.

Under Thai law the penalty for performing illegal abortions is up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 10,000 baht ($340). Despite this, illegal clinics and back street abortions abound.

In 2010, Thai police found 2,000 foetuses on the grounds of a Bangkok Buddhist temple. They were believed to have been sent there from illegal abortion clinics.

The discovery left the Thai public grappling with the reality of a highly charged religious and social issue. Abortion is recognised as a "sin" in the Theravada Buddhism practiced by up to 95 percent of the population.

Unlike the predominantly Catholic Philippines, Thailand offers easy access to contraception and birth control pills, with condoms and most other contraceptives readily available and sold over the counter.

But when it comes to teenage girls getting them, social stigma gets in the way.

Kanya Musiket was 15 when she started a physical relationship with a boy in her neighbourhood. But when she ventured to a local shop to buy condoms, shopkeepers would look at her "disapprovingly," making her feel ashamed.


In a bid to find solutions, a Thai delegation visited Britain in November 2012, looking to emulate programmes there.

The number of babies born to teen mothers in England dropped by 27 percent between 2000 and 2010 and overall conception by teens fell by 25 percent between 1999 and 2010. Some areas, like Hackney in East London, showed reductions of over 40 percent.

This was due largely to a 1999 government plan aiming to halve England's under 18 conception rate by 2010. The plan used local grants and guidelines, government funds to improve access to contraceptives and media campaigns to raise awareness.

By contrast, Thailand issued a population strategy plan in 2012 that focuses on reducing teen births but does not include either target reduction goals or concrete ways to do so.

There are university-led sexual health awareness programs, and the UNFPA is trying to raise awareness through both civil and private networks. Yet the most fundamental measure is the hardest to achieve: changing attitudes.

"This is about trusting the moral standards of those young people whom we have invested years of education and nurturing - our children," said Caspar Peek, UNFPA Representative for Thailand and Country Director for Malaysia.

"We need everyone ... to see this as a challenge to development and not just something bad that happens to teenagers because they do 'bad' things." ($1 = 29.8000 Thai baht)

(Editing by Elaine Lies)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Kenyan presidential election heads to nail-biting finish

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 08:47 PM PST

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's presidential race tightened on Friday as Uhuru Kenyatta's lead narrowed over his main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, raising the prospect of a second-round run-off.

Polling clerks record information on a pile of ballot boxes containing cast ballot papers at the Chandaria tallying centre in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga

Polling clerks record information on a pile of ballot boxes containing cast ballot papers at the Chandaria tallying centre in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga

Kenyatta, 51, the deputy prime minister, who is due to go on trial at The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity linked to the violent aftermath of the last election in 2007, had led since results started trickling in after polls closed on Monday.

Results from strongholds loyal to Odinga, 68, closed the gap, but with counting continuing and almost a third of constituencies still to report, Kenyatta could still edge over the 50 percent mark needed for a candidate to win outright.

The poll is seen as a critical test for East Africa's largest economy, whose reputation as a stable democracy was damaged by the bloodshed that followed the 2007 election. Much will rest on whether the final result is accepted, and whether any challenges take place in the courts or on the streets.

By 0405 GMT on Friday, with 8,925,401 million total votes tallied, Kenyatta had 4,421,696 votes or 49.5 percent, to Odinga's 3,940,917 or 44.2 percent, according to a display by the electoral commission. That was based on votes reported from 290 of 291 constituencies.

If no candidate achieves 50 percent in the first round, the top two go to a run-off tentatively set for April. But the Kenyatta and Odinga camps have both raised questions about the vote process, so legal battles could push that date back.

Turnout was estimated by election officials at more than 70 percent of the 14.3 million eligible voters, who were undeterred by pockets of violence that killed at least 15 people.

Despite the delays and technical glitches, international observers have broadly said the vote and count were transparent.

But Odinga's camp raised the strongest challenge to the process on Thursday when the tally still showed Kenyatta on course to win outright. They said counting should be stopped because it lacked integrity and some results were "doctored," raising tensions in the so far mostly peaceful process.


Issack Hassan, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, said the count would not stop and said the vote tally was genuine.

The European Union ambassador to Kenya, Lodewijk Briet, said the vote-counting was sound and should be allowed to continue.

"As Chairman Hassan has just said, it should not be stopped midway. It should continue. If people have a problem with the integrity, the legal disputes settlement mechanism exist and should be followed," Briet told Reuters.

The United States and other Western nations, big donors that view Kenya as vital in the regional battle with militant Islam, have already indicated that a victory by Kenyatta would complicate diplomatic relations.

The Kenyan shilling has swayed against the dollar, gaining on reassurances of a smooth counting process and buckling on concerns that delays in announcing a winner would prompt rivals to challenge the election outcome. Analysts said a run-off would unnerve markets by prolonging the uncertainty.

Kenyatta, son of Kenya's founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, and his running mate, William Ruto, both face trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of unleashing death squads after the 2007 election. Both men deny the charges and have said they plan to clear their names.

Kenyatta's Jubilee coalition has complained about delays in the count and challenged the commission over its decision to include rejected votes in calculating the final tally.

Rejected votes are for now running at more than 85,000 and could tip the balance in favour of an outright win for Kenyatta if they are excluded from the final calculations.

The Jubilee coalition also accused British High Commissioner Christian Turner of seeking to meddle in the vote. Turner said the accusations were "entirely false and misleading," showing how brittle both sides have become in a tense race.

(Additional reporting by Yara Bayoumy and Richard Lough; Writing by James Macharia and Edmund Blair; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Venezuela's Chavez to be embalmed for public view

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 06:21 PM PST

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez will be embalmed and put on display "for eternity" at a military museum after a state funeral and an extended period of lying in state, acting President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.

Supporters of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez stand in line to view his body in state as the Venezuelan flag flies at half mast at the Military Academy in Caracas March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Supporters of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez stand in line to view his body in state as the Venezuelan flag flies at half mast at the Military Academy in Caracas March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Huge crowds are still waiting to pay their respects to Chavez after his death this week, and Maduro said the move - reminiscent of the treatment of Communist leaders Lenin, Stalin and Mao after their deaths - would help keep the late president's self-declared socialist revolution alive.

"It has been decided that the body of the comandante will be embalmed so that it remains eternally on view for the people at the museum," Maduro told state TV.

Chavez, a former paratrooper, died on Tuesday aged 58 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was president for 14 years and is now lying in state at a military academy where the government says more than 2 million supporters have viewed it since Wednesday.

Maduro said Chavez's official funeral would go ahead on Friday, attended by about 30 leaders from around the world and that his body would then lie in state for a further seven days.

Huge lines snaked around the academy on Thursday as tens of thousands of Venezuelans shuffled forward to salute, raise clenched fists or make the sign of the cross over Chavez's casket.

From soldiers in fatigues to officers in ceremonial dress, to residents of the slums where Chavez was most loved, those in line vowed to defend his legacy and back Maduro, his preferred heir, in a new election.

"I arrived in the early hours to see Chavez. He is my personal idol," said Henry Acosta, 56.

A sobbing Berta Colmenares, 77, said "Chavistas" must throw their weight behind Maduro to carry on the revolution.

"I will vote for Maduro, who else? He is the one who Chavez chose and we have to follow his wish."

Chavez was dressed in an army uniform and a signature red beret like the one he wore in a 1992 speech to the nation that launched his political career after he led a failed coup.

People were given just a few seconds to glance at his body inside the relatively simple wooden coffin, which has a glass top and was draped in flowers and a Venezuelan flag.

One government source told Reuters that Chavez slipped into a coma on Monday and died the next day of respiratory failure after a rapid deterioration from the weekend, when he had held a five-hour meeting with ministers at his bedside.

The cancer had spread to his lungs, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.


There is uncertainty over exactly when a presidential vote will be held in the South American OPEC country, which has the world's largest oil reserves and 29 million residents.

The constitution stipulates a poll must be called within 30 days, but politicians say election authorities may not be ready in time and there is talk of a possible delay. Chavez ruled for 14 years and won four presidential elections.

Maduro, 50, a former union leader who ended his education at high school before plunging into politics, looks certain to face opposition leader Henrique Capriles, 40, the centrist governor of Miranda state who lost to Chavez in last year's election.

Maduro will be sworn-in on Friday as caretaker president, National Assembly head Diosdado Cabello told state TV.

Members of the opposition have kept a low profile and offered condolences during the enormous show of support for Chavez, one of Latin America's most popular leaders.

But some expressed relief at the demise of a man they saw as a dictator who trampled on opponents and ruined their economy.

"I wanted his mandate to end. Power made him lose perspective," said Israel Nogales, 43, a university administrator walking in a Caracas park.

"He polarized the country and families like mine. ... He is going to be treated like a martyr and that is wrong."

On Wednesday, opposition sources told Reuters they have again agreed to back Capriles, whose 44-percent vote share in 2012 was the best performance by any candidate against Chavez.

One recent opinion poll gave Maduro a strong lead, and both international markets and foreign diplomats are factoring in a probable win for him and a continuation of "Chavista" policies, at least in the short term.

The tall and hefty Maduro, who lacks Chavez's man-of-the-people charisma, served as his foreign minister for six years before being named vice president in late 2012.

He has pledged to adhere to Chavez's brand of ferociously nationalist politics and controversial economic policies that included regular seizures of private businesses as well as wildly popular social welfare programs.

Some analysts believe Maduro might eventually try to ease tensions with Western investors and the United States. But just hours before Chavez's death, Maduro was accusing "imperialist" enemies of infecting the president with cancer and he expelled two American diplomats for alleged conspiracies.

Maduro is expected to continue bashing Washington, at least until the election. He may have to step down from his role as caretaker president to launch his candidacy and one official source told Reuters that Chavez's son-in-law, Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, might step into that role.

Capriles, an athletic career politician and lawyer from a wealthy family, wants Venezuela to follow Brazil's softer centre-left model.

Venezuela's heavily traded global bonds, which gained before Chavez's death, were down for a second straight day on Thursday as investors realized his economic model of government control could persist for years. Yields for the 2027 bond spiked to nearly 9.5 percent as prices continued to fall.

State media have been airing old Chavez speeches and songs over and over in lengthy tributes.

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua urged private Venezuelan media outlets to let "Chavistas" mourn and refrain from provoking opponents to hold rallies against the government.

Authorities blame TV channels aligned with the opposition for helping incite a 2002 coup that briefly toppled Chavez.

At the wake, Venezuelans strained for a glimpse of Chavez, many welling up in tears as they reached his casket.

"I told him 'don't worry, Nicolas Maduro will be the new president as you asked'," said nurse Maria Fernandez, 51, after filing past the coffin.

(Additional reporting by Simon Gardner, Marianna Parraga and Daniel Wallis in Caracas, Rosa Tania Valdes in Havana, Helen Popper in Buenos Aires, and Daniel Bases in New York; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Kieran Murray and David Brunnstrom)

Related Stories:
Cubans mourn Venezuela's Chavez, worry about the future

Champagne, relief as Chavez's detractors yearn for new era

Copyright © 2013 Reuters


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All-England: Chong Wei downs China's Zhengming to reach quarter-finals

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 03:52 PM PST

BIRMINGHAM: World No 1 Lee Chong Wei showed he was back in business when he crushed Wang Zhengming of China 21-17, 21-19 to reach the men's singles quarter-finals in the All-England at National Indoor Arena.

And the good news is that Chong Wei will have a handful of company in the quarter-finals this time.

He will be joined by two men doubles pairs - Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and women doubles shuttlers Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo, who surprised everyone with their breakthrough performances Thursday.

A day after surviving from the brink of defeat against Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki, top seed Chong Wei turned on a classic display of confidence to beat the former world junior champion Zhengming and set-up a meeting against his old rival Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam.

Chong Wei had played against Tien Minh for a total of 10 times. The Malaysian had won all except for the 2009 Singapore Open. Then, he had lost in the second round.

Today, the two-time All-England champion Chong Wei has promised to keep the Malaysian flag flying.

"Unlike on the first day, I played much better today and I feel good about it going into the quarter," said Chong Wei.

"But credit must be given to Zhengming for trying his best to unsettle me. I am still focused on winning my third All-England title here," he added.

Two other Chinese players - Chen Long and Chen Jin marched to the second round with convincing wins too. They will take on respectively.

It was a day of mixed fortune for Malaysia in the men's doubles when world No 2 pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong were sent packing by unseeded Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Thailand. The Thais upstaged the Malaysians 21-17, 21-18 in just 34 minutes.

Fortunately, Thien How-Wee Kiong and Zakry-Fairuzizuan made up for Kien Keat-Boon Heong's uninspiring performances by marching into the last eight confidently.

Thien How-Wee Kiong ended the gallant run of Germany's Ingo Kindervater-Johannes Schoettler with a sensational 21-15, 21-15 win. The Germans had upset South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun on the first day.

KLRC's Fairuzizuan-Zakry also did well to beat Ricky Karanda Suwardi-Mohd Ulinnuha 21-19, 21-15 in convincing styles.

On Friday, Thien How-Wee Kiong will face reigning Malaysian Open champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia while Zakry-Fairuzizuan meets China's Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan, who did well to pack off hot favourites and top seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark with a superb 11-21, 21-11, 27-25 win.

The biggest suprise of the day for Malaysia Thursday came through women shuttlers Khe Wei-Vivian. They pulled off a stunning upset 21-13, 17-21, 21-17 over fourth seeds Eom Hye-won-Jang Ye-na of South Korea in a match that lasted for one hour and three minutes.

They will take on Japan's Miyuki Maeda-Satoko Suetsuna on Friday for a place in the semi-final.

Said Vivian: "We are so happy because this is a big breakthrough for us. And more importantly, this win proved that Khe Wei is back at her best from her knee injury."

"It be will tough against the Japanese but I think, we stand an equal chance if continue to play confidently."


Men's singles: Chen Long (Chn) bt Takuma Euda (Jpn) 21-15, 21-10; Chen Jin (Chn) bt Chen Yuekun (Chn) 21-10, 21-10; Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) bt Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) 21-12, 21-8; Nguyen Tien Minh (Vie) bt Sourabh Verma (Ind) 21-19, 21-19; Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Wang Zhengming (Chn) 21-17, 21-19; Jan O Jorgensen (Den) bt Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) 11-7, rtd; Kashyap Parupali (Ind) bt Kenichi Tago (Jpn) 21-18, 21-12; Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) bt Sho Sasaki (Jpn) 21-9, 21-11.

Men's doubles: Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech (Tha) bt Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (Mas) 21-17, 21-18; Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) bt Sho Sasaki (Jpn) 21-9, 21-11; Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) bt Ingo Kindervater-Johannes Schoettler (Ger) 21-15, 21-15; Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari (Mas) bt Ricky Karanda Suwardi-Mohd Ulinnuha (Ina) 21-19, 21-15; Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn) bt Robert Blair-Tan Bin Shen (Sco-Mas) 17-21, 21-13, 21-14; Liu Xialong-Qiu Zihan (Chn) bt Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (Den) 11-21, 21-11, 27-25; Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang (Kor) bt Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata (Jpn) 21-18, 21-18; Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-tsin (Tpe) 23-21, 21-16.

Women's singles: Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) bt Pai Hsiao-ma (Tpe) 21-12, 21-10;Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Nichaon Jindapon (Tha) 21-18, 21-17; Saina Nehwal (Ind) bt Belaetrix Manuputi (Ina) 21-16, 21-11;Wang Shixian (Chn) bt Jiang Yanjiao (Chn) 21-11, 21-8; Lindaweni Fanetri (Ina) bt Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Tha) 21-14, 21-10; Tine Baun (Den) bt Li Han (Chn) 21-13, 22-20; Juliane Schenk (Ger) bt P. V Sindhu (Ind) 21-17, 21-14; Eriko Hirose (Jpn) bt Bae Yeon-ju (Kor) 20-22, 22-20, 21-19.

Women's doubles: Duanganong Aroonkesorn-V. Kunchala (Tha) bt Choi Hye-in-Kim So-young (Kor) 21-18, 21-17; Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang (Chn) bt Eva Lee-Paula Lynn Obanana (Usa) 21-14, 21-13; Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta (Ina) bt Lee So-hee-Shun Seung-chan (Kor) 21-12, 21-17;Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua (Chn) bt Anggia Shitta Awanda-Greysa Polii (Ina) 21-14, 21-15; Eun Kyung-eun-Kim Ha-na (Kor) bt Poon Lok Yan-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) 22-20, 21-19; Miyuki Maeda-Satoko Suetsuna (Jpn) bt Anneke Feinya Agustin-Nitya Krishinda Maheswari (Ina) 17-21, 21-12, 21-9; Cheng Shu-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) bt Bao Yixin-Tian Qing (Chn) 21-17, 11-6, rtd; Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (Mas) bt Eom Hye-won-Jang Ye-na (Kor) 21-13, 17-21, 21-17.

Mixed doubles: Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) bt Praveen Jordan-Vita Marissa (Ina) 21-11, 21-16; Markis Kido-Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth (Ina) bt Shin Baek-cheol-Jang Ye-na (Kor) 21-11, 21-18; Xu Chen-Ma Jin (Chn) bt Qiu Zihan-Bao Yixin (Chn) 21-10, 21-17; Fran Kurniawan-Shendy Puspa Irawati (Ina) bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 21-15, 21-17; Mohd Rijal-Debby Susanto (Ina) bt Jorrit de Ruiter-Samantha Barning (Ned) 21-12, 21-14; Sudket Prapakamol-T. Saralee (Tha) bt Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo (Mas) 21-14, 21-13; Tantowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir (Ina) bt Kim Ki-jung-Jung Kyung-eun (Kor) 21-5, 21-11; Robert Mateusiak-Nadiezda Zieba (Pol) bt V Diju-Jwala Gutta (Ind) 21-17, 21-16.

Rashid: Malaysian youngsters should adopt Wong’s attitude

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 05:10 PM PST

NATIONAL singles chief coach Rashid Sidek is impressed with the way Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki handled himself en route to a hard-fought loss to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in the first round of the All-England on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong shuttler exuded a cool air of confidence and displayed a superb attacking game to rattle Chong Wei before losing 21-13, 6-21, 21-23.

And now Rashid wants Malaysia's second echelon of players to emulate the 22-year-old Wing Ki's attitude on court.

Rashid said that Wing Ki was not overawed about playing against Chong Wei and showed bravery on court.

"What I like about Wing Ki is that he didn't put any pressure on himself. He was just enjoying himself ... and he wasn't even demoralised when Chong Wei took the second game 21-6," said Rashid.

"Many of our players at his age would have panicked, but he played so well. His attacking game was classy. His net shots were awesome and almost broke Chong Wei's resolve.

"The All-England is a platform for younger players to make a name for themselves and I believe Wing Ki has made a strong impression despite the defeat."

Rashid hopes that Malaysia's singles players like Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and a host of others waiting in the wings will play with more confidence.

"Our players do well in training but they only translate half of it during competition. I hope they'll learn to relax, enjoy and, at the same time, not pull their punches during competitions," he said.

As for Chong Wei, Rashid said: "Chong Wei was lucky to win his first round match ... he was rather unsettled but I'm confident that he'll be focused all the way."

Chong Wei, who won the All-England titles in 2010 and 2011, takes on Wang Zhengming of China for a place in the quarter-finals. If the Malaysian wins, he will face the winner of the match between Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh and India's Sourabh Verma.

Meanwhile, another youngster did well yesterday when Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk upset Japan's Sho Sasaki 21-9, 21-11 in the second round to reach his first All-England quarter-finals.

He will take on the winner of Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan and Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia.

Tien-chen and Tommy had beaten two Chinese players – Du Pengyu and Gao Han – respectively in the opening round.

Malaysian-born Sashina making waves as France’s No. 1

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 03:08 PM PST

SASHINA Vigneswaran is from Malaysia. But she's now making waves in international badminton as France's No. 1 woman singles player.

She's even ranked higher than all the Malaysian women's singles shuttlers in the world rankings. Sashina is world No. 40, while Malaysian No. 1 Sonia Cheah is only ranked 49th in the world!

While Malaysia's Tee Jing Yi (world No. 52) and Lydia Cheah (No. 57) failed to clear their qualifying round hurdles in the ongoing All-England, Sashina at least made it to the first round before bowing out 12-21, 10-21 to two-time All-England champion Tine Baun of Denmark on Wednesday.

When Pi Hongyan quit the France national team last year, Sashina, who plays for the ASPTT Strasbourg club, assumed her place as the country's top player.

The 24-year-old Sashina, who trains under Julien Fuchs, is happy that her move to France 10 years ago had allowed her to benefit from a good education system and badminton career.

"My parents sent my sister (Teshana) and I to France so that we could balance our studies and badminton career. It was tough initially but I'm glad everything's fallen into place. My sister Teshana also plays for the club," she said.

"Initially, we didn't know the language and didn't have many friends. We went to high school and the university there. We took an eight-month language course and, now, Strasbourg feels like home.

"I'm into my fourth year in international badminton and I hope to achieve more. Beating the higher-ranked Petya Nedelcheva (world No. 21) of Bulgaria at last week's German Open was my biggest career win," added the winner of the Belgian and Norwegian International tournaments.

In Malaysia, Sashina used to study at the St Mary's Secondary School and trained briefly under the Kuala Lumpur state programme.

"I got involved in badminton at eight years old. My mother (Shantha Kumari) coaches young children at her own centre – Oncourt Sports – in Selayang but I didn't train under her," she laughed.

"I'm from the same batch as Woon Khe Wei, Goh V Shem and Lydia and we catch up during competitions sometimes. I have no regrets leaving."


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KLCI holds steady amid profit taking

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 06:20 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips gave up part of their early gains on Friday on some profit taking ahead of the weekend, with plantation heavyweights among the major decliners.

However, the broader market was steadier, with interest seen in penny stocks like Scomi Group while the FBM KLCI was propped up by BAT, Hong Leong Bank and MAHB.

At 10am, the KLCI was up 1.52 points to 1,652.45. Turnover was 162.77 million shares valued at RM164.33mil. There were 191 gainers, 114 losers and 209 counters unchanged.

Reuters reported overnight gains in US stocks underpinned Asian shares on Friday, but prices were capped ahead of key US jobs and Chinese trade figures due later in the session, while the dollar hovered near a 3-1/2-year high against the yen.

At Bursa Malaysia, BAT rose 38 sen to RM62.68, MAHB 13 sen to RM5.63 while HLBank gained 12 sen to RM14.44 and Takaful 11 sen higher at RM6.

UMCCA rose 10 sen to RM7.25 and Genting Plantations nine sen higher at RM8.99. However, United Plantations fell 38 sen to RM27, KL Kepong 10 sen to RM20.52 and IOI Corp five sen to RM4.89.

FACB Industries rallied 16 sen to RM1.21 with 1.28 million shares done, TN Logistics rose seven sen to RM2.27.

Scomi rose 2.5 sen to 35.5 sen with 15.41 million shares done. Its subsidiary secured a RM2.1bil contract from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd.

Hong Leong Capital fell 35 sen to RM3.25 on profit taking after the recent rally as Bursa Securities queried it over the sharp rise in the share price. HLFG lost 10 sen to RM14.54.

Scomi up in active trade on RM2.1b Petronas Carigali job

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 05:57 PM PST

Published: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 9:58:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Scomi Group Bhd's share price rose in active trade on Friday after its subsidiary secured a RM2.1bil contract from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd.

At 9.45am, it was up 2.5 sen or 7.5% to 35.5 sen. It was actively traded with 12.90 million shares done.

The FBM KLCI was up 1.56 points to 1,652.49. Turnover was 113.17 million shares valued at RM111.48mil. There were 170 gainers, 98 losers and 183 counters unchanged.

The contract was awarded to it subsidiary Scomi KMC Sdn Bhd. The five-year contract from March 1, 2013 to Feb 28, 2018 would be provide drilling fluids and barites materials, equipment and services.

Hong Leong Capital shares fall after Bursa Securities query (Update)

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 05:47 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Capital Bhd's share price fell on Friday after it was queried by Bursa Malaysia Securities over the sharp rise in its price recently while investors worried about the impending trading suspension.

At 9.29am, its share price had fallen 35 sen to RM3.25.

There were 20,200 shares traded at prices ranging from RM3.21 to RM3.58.

The regulator had on Friday issued the query following the unusual market activity (UMA) of Hong Leong Capital's share price.

On Thursday, its substantial shareholder, Datuk Dr Yu Kuan Chon sold 250,000 shares. After the disposal, his shareholding was reduced to 21.547 million shares or 8.72%.

The media-shy Yu is chairman and executive director of Perak-based YNH Property Bhd.

Below is the earlier story

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia Securities has queried Hong Leong Capital over the "sharp rise in price" in its shares recently.

The regulator had on Friday issued the query following the unusual market activity (UMA) of Hong Leong Capital's share price.

Bursa Securities directed the company to provide it with an announcement for public release after enquiring with the directors and major shareholders seeking the cause of the UMA.

At 9.06am, the shares slipped two sen to RM3.58.

On Thursday' the shares continued to rally, adding 20 sen to RM3.60, which was RM1.89 or 110% above Hong Leong Financial Group's takeover offer of RM1.71.

Trading in HLCap will be suspended on April 15 as it does not meet the public shareholding spread but some investors are expecting a higher revised offer.


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Concrete spills make it a bumpy and risky ride

Posted: 08 Mar 2013 05:36 AM PST

I MUST bring to the attention of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) the nuisance and danger posed by concrete mixer trucks dropping wet concrete along public roads while transporting the material to construction sites.

The concrete that spills from these trucks not only damages roads but the deposits on the ground also pose a major risk to road users, especially motorcyclists.

For example, barely a week after the launch of the new viaduct connecting Jalan Chan Sow Lin to Jalan Tun Razak, near Pudu, the newly paved stretch was damaged by wet concrete that had spilled from trucks, leaving motorists with a bumpy ride.

Concrete deposits on the road also cause damage to the wheels and tyres of vehicles.

The worst affected areas are Jalan Chan Sow Lin, Sungai Besi and Cheras, where a number of concrete batching plants are located.

I once saw a motorcyclist falling off his machine when he hit into a big lump of concrete deposit on the road.

The problem is attributed to overloading and lack of safety measures on the part of the truck drivers to prevent the material from spilling over.

Action needs to be taken to put a halt to this nuisance and public danger.

City Hall should act against concrete batching plants and order them to rectify the problem before more damage is done to our roads and more road users are put in danger.


Kuala Lumpur

Look into Old Town market’s messy state

Posted: 08 Mar 2013 05:36 AM PST

Thank you for the story on Taman Selera food court in Petaling Jaya Old Town. Since March 2012, I have sent numerous emails to Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and the councillors, urging them to visit the PJ Old Town market and see for themselves the condition.

However, but no one has taken heed, even after I sent photographs of the wet market in Sibu, Sarawak, for them to emulate.

Sibu is only a town whereas Petaling Jaya is a city and has been one for more than six years now!

Problems at this wet market include:

·The traders have extended their stalls/displays and encroached onto more than 50% of the space meant for members of the public doing their shopping.

They are now forced to weave through the narrow spaces and compete with trolleys and huge baskets;

·Despite its name, the wet market does not have to be wet; the Taman Tun Dr Ismail market is a good example. The PJ Old Town market floor is wet and slippery. As the flooring was not properly done, there are areas where water is stagnant.

I have offered suggestions to overcome this problem, but so far nothing has been done. I know of senior citizens who have slipped and fallen in the market, and have now stopped going to that market for fear of falling again;

·The floodlights around the market had not been functioning for years. But recently, through the effort of a Good Samaritan, Anthony Stanislaus, the lights are working again;

·I have also raised the issue of stall hygiene with MBPJ but to no avail!;

·Some of the stalls in the adjoining food court have been having problems with water supply for years. Plates are being washed in pails of water because of low water pressure from the taps.

MBPJ deemed it prudent to send a group to China last year.

Shouldn't that group be visiting our PJ Old Town wet market and using their experience to find solutions to the dirty and messy wet market as well as the food court?

MBPJ was one of three local councils to have adopted the Local Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development for the 21st Century some 12 years ago, which includes methodology for the resolution of problems within communities.

After 12 years of implementation of Local Agenda 21, why hasn't MBPJ used this methodology to help the PJ Old Town market community to develop an action plan in consultation with all the stakeholders?

Let us not just display slogans on billboards along highways. Can we not make an effort to give some meaning to the council's slogan "Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, Bandaraya Bes­tari"?

Instead of spending the money on billboards, spend it where it is most needed. Let us re-read MBPJ's vision and mission statements for the city.

I hope our new Datuk Bandar Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad will turun padang and see how some areas of our city look like, and help sort out the priorities.


Damansara Utama


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Telling stories

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 02:21 AM PST

Women are the central figures of Ikal Mayang, a project that features 15 short films.

TOMORROW is International Women's Day and what better way to celebrate the day than to tell stories of women through the eyes of women directors.

That's what Ikal Mayang aims to do: To highlight stories of women and girls through a series of empowering short films made by women directors.

Ikal Mayang is a film project by WOMEN:girls, an initiative established three years ago that provides a platform for women to speak up and have their stories told. The project brings together 15 women directors who will tell their stories in a series of short films.

Ikal Mayang, co-produced by Big EyEs Entertainment and Garang Pictures, came about when a group of friends got together for a chat – one of the conversation topics was how there was a lack of representation of good women characterisation on TV and in movies.

In one of her weekly columns in The Star, Big EyEs Entertainment creative director Ida Nerina said that she and Low Ngai Yuen, executive producer of Garang Pictures, wanted the name of the project to have something to do with women, for obvious reasons.

"Names like Skirt Shorts or Skirt Pendek and Skirt Panjang were thrown around – too English, too long. Then I remembered how it's always said that a woman's crowning glory is her hair. And ikal mayang in Bahasa Malaysia means long, wavy, black (or dark) hair. Very sensuous. Very womanly. Very Malaysian and definitely Asian," she wrote in January.

The directors involved in Ikal Mayang are Datin Sofia Jane, Nanu Baharudin, Sharifah Amani, Elaine Daly, Fauziah Nawi, Mislina Mustaffa, Vanidah Imran, Aida Fitri, Carmen Soo, Junad Md Nor, Shamaine Othman, Dira Abu Zahar, Susan Lankester, Melissa Saila and Ida Nerina. The films will be screened tomorrow in conjunction with International Women's Day.

Here are some of the directors and films featured in the project:

Elaine Daly, Inspektor Mastura

Directing Inspektor Mastura was a nerve-wracking experience for model and actress Elaine Daly.

"I said yes to the project because I like new challenges. And this was my first time directing and I can tell you it was such a amazing experience. One thing though, I'm a perfectionist. So I planned out everything for the two-day filming and yes, I drew my own storyboard," said Daly, who worked with Nik Jassmin Hew on the story.

Inspektor Mastura stars Sharifah Aleya and features a tudung-clad Malay officer named Inspektor Mastura.

"Basically, in this movie, I tried to get deeper into the background of someone who decided to become a member of the police force. That's always an interesting story to tell.

"I also made it a point to fill this particular police station with really georgous-looking policemen! Just imagine Nazaruddin Rahman, Hans Isaac, Beto Qushairy, Hansen Lee and Zahiril Adzim all working in one police station alongside Inspekstor Mastura!" said an excited Daly.

Aida Fitri Buyong, Nawar

"When I was approached to direct a short movie for this project, I was very busy directing a miniseries but I was willing to try," said executive producer and director of Pesona Pictures Aida Fitri Buyong.

She got scriptwriter and theatre practitioner Christina Orow to write the script.

Nawar is essentially about the relationship of three women – a daughter, played by Sharifah Aleysha, a mother (Joanna Bessey) and a grandmother (Fatimah Abu Bakar). It is also about a matriarchal figure who is very powerful and how she shapes the family structure.

"It is a Malaysian-based story but can be shared in different parts of the world. In Nawar, we see how the grandmother guides the young girl to the right path in her journeys through life.

"We only had two days to film the movie so it was quite hard having such a tight deadline. I also had to 'compress' the film down to between 10 and 12 minutes," Aida shared.

Vanidah Imran, Pantang

For the award-winning actress, directing was never in her mind before, always focusing on her acting instead.

"Seriously, I never thought that I would be directing anytime soon," said the affable beauty.

Hence, when she was approached by Ida Nerina about Ikal Mayang, she was a bit apprehensive but at the same time, she also loved taking up a new challenge.

"I was a bit reluctant initially but I changed my mind when I was told that the movie will be about 12 minutes in length only," she revealed.

After seeing that friends such as Sofia Jane, Sharifah Amani and Mislina Mustaffa are also involved in the project, Vanidah was inspired to start working on the script.

"I never knew that I could write a script as I had never tried it before. It took me a month to finish as it was a totally new experience for me," she said, laughing.

Vanidah decided to take "women in confinement" as her subject matter, and got Dira Abu Zahar to play the lead role. Her main goal was to create awareness on the do's and don'ts of women in confinement.

"Many of us, women and men alike, don't realise the risks faced by women who have just given birth. They are emotionally and physically vulnerable, and fragile, too," she said.

Carmen Soo, If Only

Carmen Soo co-wrote her story with Soefira Jaafar. If Only highlights how decisions that people make can affect the lives of others in the most unexpected way.

"My story essentially is a conversation between two women played by Dian P. Ramlee and Junji Delfino – both in their 50s – who reminisce about one thing which happened 20 years ago," revealed model and actress Soo.

One of the women realises that she had made a mistake which then changed her friend's life forever.

"Basically, I got the idea from listening to stories told to me by friends and then combining them all. I drew my own storyboard, and wrote it with Soefira.

"Thankfully, I once attended a (directing) workshop where I learnt a lot and managed to apply what I learnt while filming If Only," Soo noted.

For more information on Ikal Mayang and to watch trailers of the short films, check out their Facebook page ( or follow @ikal_mayang on Twitter.

LiLo still trying to cut a deal to avoid jail term

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 11:06 PM PST

Lindsay Lohan, the 26-year-old troubled starlet who previously rejected an offer to avoid jail for allegedly lying to police about driving her car during an accident if she went to rehab for six months, and her lawyer Mark Heller are set to meet with the prosecutor handing the case in a desperate bid to iron out the best possible plea deal ahead of her trial on 18 March.

A source told gossip website "Los Angeles City Attorney Terry White has told Lindsay's lawyer, Mark Heller, he would be willing to meet with her before the trial is scheduled to begin. Both sides are working towards hammering out a plea deal in the case, but as of right now, the possibility still exists any deal could include her going to rehab."

The actress strongly feels that if she is able to talk to the prosecutor he will be able to see that she doesn't need to enter a treatment facility. However, White is a respected and smart prosecutor, and he won't be influenced by Lindsay's celebrity status, the source said adding that White would treat her like any other defendant.

The actress's lawyer is trying to secure an attractive deal that would not involve jail or rehab treatment, insisting she does not have a problem with alcohol or drugs.

Lindsay's former assistant Gavin Doyle - who was initially blamed for the crash - is said to be willing to testify that she was the person driving her Porsche during the accident on the Pacific Coast Highway last June because he believes she needs help.

Even if the former Mean Girls star is acquitted, she could still go to jail for up to 245 days for violating her probation, which she has been on since July 2011 after being found guilty of stealing a necklace.

(BANG Showbiz)

Go to the gym and hook up with a celeb

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 10:51 PM PST

End Of Watch actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, who previously dated Reese Witherspoon, Kirsten Dunst, Minka Kelly and Taylor Swift, has been romancing Sports Illustrated model Emily DiDonato since early 2013 after meeting her at popular celebrity spin studio SoulCycle in New York.

A source close to the 32-year-old actor told that he has been dating the 22-year-old beauty for "a month or two" after they struck up a friendship following a spinning class together last autumn.

The insider revealed Jake is a huge fan of the classes and thinks they are a great way to meet women, saying: "He'll hop on the instructor bike. He loves the attention from the girls!"

Country singer Taylor, 23, previously revealed that she found dating Jake from November 2011 until January 2012 "exhausting".

Following their breakup she said: "I think once a relationship is done it's done, you can't do that back and forth thing -- it's the most exhausting process. I think you have to have somebody that's dependable, that isn't going to change their mind every five seconds."

Other SoulCycle fans include Bradley Cooper, Katie Holmes, Alec Baldwin, Jonah Hill and Lady Gaga.

(BANG Showbiz)


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Lahad Datu: I was misquoted by party paper, says Tian Chua

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 03:30 PM PST

PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Tian Chua has refuted his own party organ, blaming it for misquoting him in the issue over the security forces in Lahad Datu.

The Batu MP said his remarks published last Friday by Keadilan Daily, in which he claimed that the shooting was a conspiracy by Umno to divert public attention, had been taken out of context.

"I was contacted by the journalist for comments about the intrusion in Lahad Datu on March 1 when the foreign press first published news about the shooting.

"I very clearly stated that the matter, at the time, was not confirmed and there was a media blackout here," he said in a statement here yesterday.

Denying that he had insulted the security forces protecting the country's sovereignty in Lahad Datu, Tian Chua said he would leave it to the courts to clear his name.

"The accusation that I have insulted the security forces is complete slander and malicious lies.

"I have the utmost respect for the security forces defending the country and sympathise with those who died in the line of their very challenging duty," he said.

Tian Chua said he was also giving bloggers 24 hours to stop publishing allegations that he had stated that the security forces personnel had mati katak (died unnecessarily).

Lahad Datu: Kedah police launch fund for families of slain cops

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 03:30 PM PST

ALOR SETAR: Kedah police have launched a fund for families of the fallen policemen in Ops Daulat in Sabah.

Kedah police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim said the fund - Lahad Datu Police Welfare Fund - would be placed at all police departments and police district headquarters in the state.

Civilians who wish to donate to the families could also contribute to the fund at all district police headquarters, he told newsmen after presenting certificates to Police Volunteer Reserve (PVR) recruits here yesterday.

A total of 109 trainees received their certificates after attending a six-month training programme.

At the same ceremony, DCP Ahmad also presented 34 PVR officers with new ranks.

On a related issue, DCP Ahmad said Kedah police had received 106 reports against PKR vice-president Tian Chua for his remarks over the Lahad Datu standoff.

Lahad Datu: More funds for our fallen heroes

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 03:30 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: A national heroes fund has been set up to assist the families of the security forces personnel who died protecting the nation's sovereignty in Sabah.

The fund would also be channelled to aid national heroes who have been injured in the conflict which erupted after foreign militants attacked the east coast of the state.

The attack by the intruders has left eight policemen dead and several injured.

Initiated by the Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association, the fund is being backed by 474 Chinese organisations as well as individuals in the community.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong praised the individuals and the Chinese-based NGOs involved in the initiative and called upon all Malaysians to chip in to help the affected families.

"The fund can help ease the financial burden of the families of our national heroes who lost their lives in Sabah as well as those who are injured. Their sacrifice is not in vain and will be forever remembered," he said at the launch of Tabung Perwira at Petaling Street here yesterday.

Lee, who is the fund's adviser, also thanked the security personnel who continued to risk their lives in Sabah as they fought to defend the country.

The association's chairman, Datuk Ang Say Tee, said the donors wanted to play their part in helping those who were risking their lives to protect the country.

"Fund-raising drives including charity dinners will be held throughout the country to raise funds for our national heroes," he said, adding that the initiative had already raised RM100,000.


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