Ahad, 10 Mac 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Keith Urban crosses the Atlantic to show his love

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 09:33 PM PDT

Country star and current American Idol judge Keith Urban would fly to the UK just to say "hello" to his family.

The country singer is currently busy working as a judge on American Idol but delights his wife Nicole Kidman - who is currently based in London with their daughters Sunday Rose, four, and Faith Margeret, two, while filming Before I Go To Sleep - by jetting across the Atlantic to demonstrate his "crazy" love for her.

Nicole says "Keith comes and goes. He'll fly in for 24 hours just to say hello and give us all a hug, or he might stay a couple of days. He's busy over in Nashville and LA. But once I've finished filming, I'm going to be the wife by his side because it's family time.

"I love it that he's crazy enough to get on a plane and come over here for 24 hours. But that craziness is rooted in a love and a friendship for each other. The friendship is just as important as the love, and it builds over time. I know how lucky I am."

At this year's Oscars, Nicole wore a low-cut L'Wren Scott gown and admitted she chose it to please her spouse. She told the Daily Mail newspaper, "It had all the bells and whistles for men. You know what men like in a dress, and that's what I wore. It was for Keith."

(BANG Showbiz)

Educate yourself with 988

Posted: 11 Mar 2013 02:46 AM PDT

Street Cases

(Monday-Friday, 8am-9am)

With the 13th general election coming soon, why not learn more about the Parliament? The Parliament is the legislative authority for Malaysia that formulates laws applicable to the country as a whole, so every citizen needs to understand how things work.

Music VIP

(Monday-Friday, 2pm)

Mandopop's rising star, Taiwanese singer-songwriter Bai An, has been compared to acclaimed vocal powerhouse Singaporean songbird Stefanie Sun and British songstress Dido. Who do you think she sounds like?

The Feature

(Monday-Tuesday, 9am-10am)

During our school days, many of us would have had to participate in some extra-curricular activities or join a uniformed unit or club. Some of us enjoyed the experience while there are also those who didn't care much for it. Let's find out from a few passionate people who have continued to be a part of uniformed groups like Scouts and marching band units after they've left school.

Street VIP

(Wednesday-Friday, 9am-10am)

Singaporean singer Tanya Chua made history when she won the best Mandarin female singer award in the Taiwan Golden Melody Awards three times (in 2006, 2008 and 2012). The singer-songwriter's passion for music is simply wonderful and inspiring.

Music Gets Crazy

(Monday-Friday, 1pm-4pm)

In Stars Guide this week, happily married Los Angeles-based Hong Kong singer Coco Lee Wen takes a dig at herself. She says it's all worth it just to get a laugh from her fans. Also, Hong Kong heartthrob Raymond Lam Fung and Taiwanese singer Ocean Ou De Yang will also be featured.

For more information, log on to www.988.com.my. 988 is owned and operated by The Star.

The Star’s radio station Red FM breaks out with Living It!

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 05:57 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Embracing the zest for life is Red FM's new direction as the radio station jumps out of the box with its new logo and tagline Living It! today.

"The new Red FM is about going out there, seizing the moment and being different," said Kudsia Kahar, The Star Radio Group deputy chief broadcasting officer, about Red FM's fresh vibe, sense of adventure and people-centric outlook.

"We want to be the station that empowers listeners and this attitude is reflected by the wide-ranging passions of our deejays and listeners.

"In a radio climate where the uniformity of music and programming can be stifling, Red FM wants to break out," she added.

The Living It! tagline and rebranding exercise was planned last December to coincide with the arrival of celebrity deejays JJ, Adam C, Papi Zak and Kavin, who have muscled up Red FM's stable of presenters, as well as given the station a surge of new listeners since they made their debut on air, starting Feb 4.

In terms of impact, the all-new The Red Breakfast WTF? has hit the ground running with the "Kings of Radio", which features funnymen Lil' Kev and JJ.

The injection of humour has also spread to the increasingly popular afternoon slot Really Really Late Breakfast Show, which is hosted by comedians Papi Zak and Kavin.

Popular football pundit Adam C is also the life of the party on the evening The Red Rush segment with his sports-centric views.

The station's target audience is those aged between 18 and 34, which reinforces its energetic new outlook. Its social media profile has also grown with Red FM's Twitter followers numbering 11,000 and Facebook followers nearing 47,000.

"Radio isn't only about music now. At Red FM, we want to give voice to an array of passions, interests and issues. The aim is to reinvigorate listeners with meaningful programming," said Kudsia, who mentioned charity, adventure, technology, football and lifestyle as some of the topics associated with the Living It! tagline.

"It can also be Living It Now! Living It Loud! Living It Large! It's about presenting a better version of ourselves. We're lucky to have all the presenters on the same page – the new additions and existing names.

"All of them embody positive energy, and we want that energy to reflect the station's values – we want to be a station that lives the same lives as the listeners."

With the changes, Red FM is poised to show strong ratings growth in the upcoming Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) Malaysia survey by The Nielsen Co on April 15.

Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Bus driver on trial for Delhi gang rape hangs himself

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 08:06 PM PDT

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The driver of the bus in which a young Indian woman was gang-raped and fatally injured three months ago hanged himself in New Delhi's Tihar jail on Monday, police said.

V.K. Anand (C), lawyer of alleged gang leader Ram Singh, speaks with the media outside a district court in New Delhi January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

V.K. Anand (C), lawyer of alleged gang leader Ram Singh, speaks with the media outside a district court in New Delhi January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Ram Singh was the main accused of five men and a juvenile put on trial for the attack on the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist in the Indian capital. The assault triggered nationwide protests and an intense debate about rampant crime against women in India.

A senior police official said Singh had committed suicide in his cell early on Monday. "It is true, he's dead," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The CNN-IBN news channel said Singh hanged himself with his own clothes.

Tihar jail is India's highest security prison and officials there are likely to face tough questions about how such an incident could have occurred.

"He knew he was going to die anyway because we had and still have such a strong case against him," the physiotherapist's 20-year-old brother told Reuters.

"I'm not very thrilled with the news that he killed himself because I wanted him to be hanged ... publicly. Him dying on his own terms seems unfair. But, oh well, one is down. Hopefully the rest will wait for their death sentence."

The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court last month while the juvenile's trial began last week. Ram Singh's brother Mukesh Singh, gym assistant Vinay Sharma, bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Singh and fruit vendor Pawan Kumar are the other men on trial.

The five men have pleaded not guilty to rape and murder.

Police allege the six attacked the woman and her male companion on the bus as the couple returned home after watching a movie on December 16. The woman was repeatedly raped and tortured with a metal bar. The couple were also severely beaten before being thrown onto a road.

The woman died of internal injuries in a Singapore hospital two weeks later.

Singh was a bus driver, despite an accident in 2009 that fractured his right arm so badly that doctors had to insert a rod to support it. He appeared on a reality television show in a compensation dispute with a bus owner, who in turn accused Singh of "drunken, negligent and rash driving".

In the show, the moustachioed, slightly-built man was seen walking stiffly and holding his right arm at an awkward angle.

Singh's neighbours in the south Delhi slum where he lived described him as a heavy drinker with a temper. One young woman said he used to get embroiled in violent rows and a relative recalled a physical altercation with her husband.

(Reporting by John Chalmers, Annie Banerji, Matthias Williams; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Ross Colvin)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Venezuela's Capriles joins race, tussles with Chavez heir

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 07:28 PM PDT

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition leader vowed on Sunday to fight late Hugo Chavez's preferred successor for the presidency next month and the pair quickly locked horns in an angry war of words.

A sticker bearing the name of Venezuela's opposition leader Henrique Capriles (L) is seen stuck on a poster of the late President Hugo Chavez outside of the Military Academy, where the funeral service of Chavez is being held, in Caracas, March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A sticker bearing the name of Venezuela's opposition leader Henrique Capriles (L) is seen stuck on a poster of the late President Hugo Chavez outside of the Military Academy, where the funeral service of Chavez is being held, in Caracas, March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

Henrique Capriles, a 40-year-old state governor, will face election favourite and acting President Nicolas Maduro. The pair must register their candidacies for the April 14 vote on Monday.

The election will decide whether Chavez's self-styled socialist and nationalist revolution will live on in the country with the world's largest proven oil reserves.

"I am going to fight," Capriles said at a news conference. "Nicolas, I am not going to give you a free pass. You will have to beat me with votes."

Former Vice President Maduro, 50, a husky one-time bus driver and union leader turned politician who echoes Chavez's anti-imperialist rhetoric, is expected to win comfortably, according to two recent polls.

Maduro pushed for a snap election to cash in on a wave of empathy triggered by Chavez's death Tuesday at age 58 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was sworn in as acting president on Friday to the fury of Capriles.

"You have used the body of the president for political campaigning," Capriles said of Maduro on Saturday, triggering an angry rebuke.

Maduro accused Capriles of sowing hate.

"You wretched loser!" Maduro said of Capriles in a televised speech. "You have shown your true face - that of a fascist."

Capriles, the centrist Miranda state governor who often wears a baseball cap and tennis shoes, lost to Chavez in October. But he won 44 percent of the vote - the strongest showing by the opposition against Chavez.

Capriles has accused the government and Supreme Court of fraud for letting Maduro campaign without stepping down.

Opposition supporters were trying to raise their spirits despite the odds.

"There's no reason to think that the opposition is condemned to defeat," Teodoro Petkoff, an anti-government newspaper editor, said on his Sunday talk show.


Maduro has vowed to carry on where Chavez left off and ratify his policy platform. He acknowledged he has big shoes to fill.

"I am not Chavez - speaking strictly in terms of the intelligence, charisma, historical force, leadership capacity and spiritual grandeur of our comandante," he told a crowd on Saturday.

Chavez was immensely popular among Venezuela's poor for funnelling vast oil wealth into social programs and handouts.

The heavy government spending and currency devaluations have contributed to annual inflation of more than 20 percent, hurting consumers.

"Maduro's success will depend on if he can fix the economy and its distortions," said a former high-level official in the Chavez government who declined to be named. "If he does that, he could emerge as a strong leader instead of one who is an heir."

Maduro's first official meeting on Saturday was with officials from China, whom Chavez courted to provide an alternative to investment that traditionally came from the United States.

He has adopted his mentor's touch for the theatrical, accusing imperialists, often a Chavez euphemism for the United States, of killing the charismatic but divisive leader by infecting him with cancer.

Emotional tributes were paid at a religious service at the military academy housing Chavez's casket on Sunday. Several million people have visited his coffin so far and his remains will be moved on Friday to a museum where a tomb is being built to show his embalmed corpse.

He may be moved later to another site next to the remains of his hero: 19th century liberator Simon Bolivar.

Chavez scared investors with nationalizations and railed against the wealthy. In heavily polarized Venezuela some well-to-do citizens toasted his death with champagne.

If elected, Capriles says he would copy Brazil's "modern left" model of economic and social policies.

Given the state resources at Maduro's disposal and the limited time for campaigning, Capriles faces an uphill battle.

"If the opposition runs, they'll lose. If they don't run, they lose even more!" tweeted Andres Izarra, who served as information minister under Chavez.

The opposition rank-and-file is heavily demoralized after losing last year's presidential race and getting hammered in gubernatorial elections in December, stoking internal party divisions.

"There's no doubt that it's an uphill race for Capriles," local political analyst Luis Vicente Leon said. "The trouble is that given the race is so close to Chavez's death, emotions get inflamed and the candidate probably continues to be Chavez rather than Maduro."

(With reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez, Simon Gardner, Terry Wade, Pablo Garibian, Deisy Buitrago, Mario Naranjo and Enrique Andres Pretel; Editing by Stacey Joyce and Cynthia Osterman)

Related Stories:
Factbox - Venezuela's election candidates after Chavez's death

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Main accused in Delhi gang rape hangs himself in jail -TV

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 07:07 PM PDT

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The driver of the bus in which a young Indian woman was gang-raped and murdered three months ago hanged himself in New Delhi's Tihar jail on Monday, TV news reports said.

Ram Singh was the main accused of five men and a juvenile who were put on trial for the attack on the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist. The assault triggered nationwide protests and an intense debate about rampant crime against women in India.

(Reporting by John Chalmers; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Capriati faces charges for attacking ex-boyfriend

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 06:45 PM PDT

MIAMI: Former tennis World No. 1 Jennifer Capriati is facing battery charges and possible arrest after being accused of stalking and punching an ex-boyfriend on Valentine's Day.

Capriati, a three-time Grand Slam champion who won 14 titles and earned gold at the 1992 Olympics, had an altercation with Ivan Brannan at the Oxygen Health & Wellness gym in North Palm Beach, Florida on February 14, the local police department said.

While Brannan was working out, Capriati, 36, "started screaming" at him before punching him "with a closed fist four times in the chest," a police report said.

A yoga instructor then stopped the former tennis pro from continuing to punch Brannan and the 28-year-old managed to lock himself in the men's locker room and call 911.

Brannan, a former Florida State University golfer, had red marks on his chest from the incident, according to the police report.

While filling out an affidavit, "his hands were physically shaking," it added.

"It was very apparent that he was in fear of physical harm."

Brannan, who dated Capriati from May 2011 to February 2012, told police that Capriati began harassing and stalking him shortly after the couple broke up. He also later brought officers documentation of seven other altercations with the former tennis pro.

The North Palm Beach Police Department in Florida subsequently requested an arrest warrant for Capriati, though it has not yet been issued by the court, a spokeswoman told AFP on Sunday.

A publicist for Capriati issued a statement on Friday stressing that the case "has not yet been assigned in Palm Beach County and has not been reviewed."

"The current facts being circulated by Mr Brannan are an over-exaggeration and the police report is one-sided in Mr Brannan's favor since they failed to get Ms Capriati's side of the story," Natalie Mikolich said in a statement cited by US media.

Capriati also took to Twitter herself to defend her behavior.

"I pushed a man that was verbally assaulting me away from me. This man has been tormenting and abusing me for so long. The truth will prevail," she wrote.

And on Sunday, she added: "These lies and turmoil are only happening because of this man!Look at what he has done to the MOTHER of his own son not just me!!"

Brannan's ex-fiancee, cooking show contestant Christine Corley, then wrote back: "He is doing the same thing to you as he did to me!!" and "I feel your pain!"

Capriati was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame last year.

But her career was overshadowed by personal problems, including incidents of shoplifting and drugs, and she struggled with weight problems.

She was charged with cannabis possession in 1994 and spent time in a drug rehabilitation clinic before struggling to return to the game. In 2010, she survived a suspected suicide attempt following a prescription drug overdose.

Capriati reached the finals in two of her first three WTA events as a rookie in 1990 and won her first tour title at Puerto Rico. Two years later, she defeated Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in the Barcelona Olympic women's final.

After a hiatus during most of the span between 1994 and 1998, Capriati staged a successful comeback starting in 1999. She helped lead the US Fed Cup team to the title in 2000 and became World No. 1 in October 2001, staying on top for 18 weeks.

Capriati won the 2001 and 2002 Australian Open titles and the 2001 French Open. In her second Australian triumph, she rallied from 6-4, 4-0 down to defeat Martina Hingis in the final, saving four match points.

Capriati retired for good in 2004 with a 430-176 record and 14 career singles crowns.-AFP

Chong Wei stumbles

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 04:51 PM PDT

WORLD No. 1 Lee Chong Wei was angry with himself yesterday after losing an opportunity to win the All-England for the third time at the National Indoor Arena.

The 30-year-old Chong Wei lost his spark, losing 21-17, 21-18 to Chen Long of China in a highly-charged men's singles final. It was the 24-year-old Chen Long's sixth win in 13 meetings over the Malaysian.

"I made too many mistakes today, especially in the early part of the game. I am angry with myself right now," said a disappointed Chong Wei, who also lost last year's final against Lin Dan after withdrawing with a shoulder injury.

"But this is not the end. I am going to try and get back at Chen Long. I want to get even with him.

"He showed great determination to win his first All-England title and credit should be given to him for a good performance," he added.

Things started to go wrong for Chong Wei, the 2010 and 2011 champion, in the opening game. He dropped seven points from a string of poor judgments and weak returns. Then, he started his fightback but it came too late as Chen Long marched on with his ferocious attacking mode to take the opener.

The second game was a sizzler.

Chong Wei trailed again but not by a big gap. He kept on pressing to level at 14-14. It was a neck-and-neck fight from there on as both tried their best to outplay each other. Chen Long, however, was just a notch better in his attacking game to romp home for his first All-England title. He celebrated like his senior Lin Dan by taking off his T-shirt.

"I was just so frustrated as he kept on retrieving my shots. It was hard to kill his shots too," he lamented.

Chong Wei agreed that Chen Long is now a new threat in his dream to become the world champion at the World Championships in Guangzhou in August.

"Lin Dan is not the only rival for me. Chen Long is young and aggressive and he seems to be improving day by day," said Chong Wei.

"I won the South Korea and Malaysian Opens and reached another final here. I want to keep the momentum going and continue to raise my game," he added.

Baun becomes the oldest winner at All-England

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 04:51 PM PDT

DENMARK'S Tine Baun sank on her knees in sheer jubilation at the All-England here yesterday after winning the women's singles crown for the third time in her illustrious career.

The 33-year-old Dane, playing in her last tournament, showed steely determination to beat three-time world junior champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-14, 16-21, 21-10 in 53 minutes to become the oldest All-England women's singles champion of the Open era.

Baun's win shattered Ratchanok's hopes of becoming the youngest ever player to win the All-England title at the age of 18. She would have beaten legendary eight-time All-England champion Rudy Hartono by a few months.

Baun, the winner here in 2008 and 2010, was simply ecstatic.

"This is a great way to end my career. I am happy that I decided to close the door on my career here in my favourite tournament," she said.

"It is the same great feeling – winning in 2008 and now. Everyone has been kind and I feel so proud. And I absolutely love my fans here," she added.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Reining in cross-border profit shifting

Posted: 10 Mar 2013 06:39 PM PDT

A RECENT statement by George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, was given wide media coverage in the United Kingdom and elsewhere when he said that he wanted to see "international action" taken against multinational companies which engaged in "profit shifting".

This was in response to the public outcry against Starbucks, Amazon and Google when it was found that the tax they paid on their UK business activities was a mere fraction of the overall profits they made from such activities.

Osborne's statement gives rise to a number of pertinent questions:

How do these companies shift profits in light of prevailing rules which are designed to obviate such acts?

Why international action when it is British tax shortfall he should be concerned with?

Why the exhortation now when global companies have been subject to these rules for almost a century?

The case of Amazon highlights how profits are "shifted" and the international tax rules that are in play.

Amazon revealed to the UK's Parliamentary Committee that all its European sales, including those to UK customers, are made by its affiliates in Luxembourg.

Its UK affiliate operates the order fulfilment, customer support and logistics services and earns a margin for these services. Since these are low-margin businesses, the profits earned bythe UK entity are understandably low.

The bulk of the profits from its substantial sales volumes are attributable to the Amazon affiliates in Luxembourg, a low-tax location.

Amazon's business model thus exploits fully a number of key international tax rules.

The first is the "separate entity" principle, which treats a company within a global group as separate and distinct from other companies in that group.

By locating its server and website in Luxembourg entities, Amazon is ensuring that profits from sales to UK customers are attributed to these entities. Thus the separate entity rule legitimises the dichotomy of Amazon's business when the reality is that its high sales volume would not have been possible if it did not have the warehouses and other facilities in the United Kingdom.

The separate entity rule, therefore, has the perverse effect of permitting the fiction of separate businesses.

The second is the arm's length rule, which operates to complement the first rule. It requires that transactions between companies in a group are made at arm's length i.e. as if they are made with third parties.

Amazon had not been accused of breaking the law so that they would have adhered to these rules in arriving at profits for each of its entities in the United Kingdom and in Luxembourg. Having done so, "it is difficult if not impossible to challenge the attribution of low profits to Amazon UK and high profits to Amazon Luxembourg" in the words of Sol Picciotto, an emeritus professor at Lancaster University and adviser to the Tax Justice Network, an activist group calling for greater transparency and fairness in tax systems.

Chancellor Osborne's call for "international action" is because he knows that the rules he wants changed have become international tax standards. Taking unilateral action would not only be ineffective but could find global companies shunning the United Kingdom.

It is somewhat ironical that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been tapped to drive this initiative by the G20 countries. Current international tax standards owe much to policies and rules initiated by the OECD and over the years substantial efforts have been made towards ensuring their wide acceptance.

A cynic would regard to the accusation of "profit shifting" as incoherent since the OECD arm's length transfer-pricing principle had been designed to prevent just that.

The OECD first issued its transfer pricing rules, termed guidelines, in 1979 with the current guidelines being issued in 1995/1996. Since then, they have been tweaked several times and today, some 60 countries have generally followed these rules.

The global spread of these rules stems in part from the process of globalisation as well as the realisation that transfer pricing is a zero-sum game. Transfer pricing issues are really issues involving the split of taxes between two countries one where the selling company is located and the other where the buying company is; both being companies in the same group.

Adherence to the universal arm's length rule will tend to avoid double taxation of profits on multinational companies operating in more than one country. This explains why it is in the interest of a country to adopt this rule if it does not want to be viewed unfavourably by investors.

It is also a reason why multinational companies find it incumbent on them to play by these rules, but in a way which benefits them.

They do this by locating subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions (the Amazon model) and justify this by claiming that they have a responsibility towards their shareholders legally to reduce the taxes their companies pay.

Questions arise on whether these entrenched rules can be re-jigged in a way that will provide clarity and avoid giving greater discretionary powers to tax authorities. Clarity and certainty are what business investors look for and will turn their backs on where these are absent.

Professor Picciotto, clearly thinks not and through the Tax Justice Network, strongly advocates the adoption of Unitary Taxation to replace the current international system. The unitary system first came into the limelight in the late 1990s and is still part of the California state tax system.

Under unitary tax, a company operating a business line globally, as in the Amazon example, will have to report a single set of worldwide consolidated accounts to each country where it has a business presence. The overall global profit is then apportioned to the various countries according to a weighted formula reflecting say payroll, assets and sales. Each country will levy tax on its part of the world-wide profit so carved out.

This system reflects the economic reality that multinational companies are usually "oligopolies based on distinctive or unique technology or know-how: they exist because of the advantages and synergies that come from economic activities on a large scale and in different locations.

Treating each affiliate as a separate entity for tax purposes is impractical and does not correspond to economic realty", so says the good professor in his paper arguing his case. However, he also believes that the vested interest of the many specialists of the current complex system will make it politically difficult to bring in unitary taxation.

What is clear is that the major economies, which at this time are all finding their tax coffers emitting the familiar twang of emptiness, are looking for quick fixes. It has been reported that the OECD is to draw up detailed action plans within the next six months.

If the current international tax rules took almost a century to be accepted virtually worldwide, it will be left to the eternal optimist to think that radical changes will be quickly and widely accepted.

  • Kang Beng Hoe is an executive director of Taxand Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a member firm of Taxand. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the firm. Readers should seek specific professional advice before acting on the views. The writer can be contacted at kbh@taxand.com.my

    Competition Act – ignorance is no excuse

    Posted: 10 Mar 2013 06:33 PM PDT

    THE Competition Act 2010 (CA 2010) has been in force for over a year, and yet there are still a large number of businesses that are not complying with its provisions. Is this because they do not understand how it applies to their businesses or is it because they are part of an even larger number that still do not know of its existence. Either way, the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) is concerned.

    The CA 2010 received royal assent on June 2, 2010, but did not come into force until Jan 1, 2012. This 18-month moratorium was deliberate as the Government wanted to give businesses sufficient time to understand the new law and to make any changes required to their business practices.

    The MyCC has worked hard to raise awareness and educate the Malaysian public, businesses and government on the existence of the CA 2010 and what it means.

    Since the beginning of 2011, the MyCC has conducted more than 60 seminars, targeted at a wide range of interest groups from SMEs to government procurement officers to trade and business associations. This advocacy work continues with SME and bid-rigging roadshows planned for 2013.

    In spite of this, many businesses still do not know of the existence of the law, while others believe it does not apply to them.

    These are worrying facts. Is it that those who attended the seminars have not distributed the relevant information or do they think that their counterparts will not be interested or it is not of their concern?

    To assist the public at large to understand the CA 2010, the MyCC has published four sets of guidelines explaining how key provisions of the legislation will be interpreted. For the man on the street, a Handbook for the General Public, a simplified non-legal guide to the CA 2010, was published last year.

    Efforts are underway to publish a Guide for Businesses, which will offer more in-depth information about how the provisions of the CA 2010 are likely to be applied by the MyCC, together with practical and case examples.

    Throughout this advocacy work, the MyCC has been stressing the need for Malaysian businesses to become competition-compliant. Yet a 2012 survey conducted by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers found that almost 20% had not taken any steps to comply with the CA 2010, albeit only 16% of businesses responded to that survey.

    Given the nature of the advocacy work and publicity that MyCC has undertaken, it is difficult to accept that businesses are not aware of the existence of the CA 2010.

    The MyCC is concerned that businesses, particularly small businesses, think the CA 2010 does not apply to them. This is something that is of particular concern as the CA 2010 applies to any entity that carries on a "commercial activity". This is a broad concept and will cover almost all businesses, big and small, in Malaysia.

    For small businesses, the burden of understanding and complying with the CA 2010 may seem insurmountable. This is where the trade associations can assist as they are the ones who are best placed to inform their members of the implications of the CA 2010 and help them to comply.

    If trade associations themselves need to obtain a better understanding of the CA 2010, the MyCC can assist.

    It is clear that many businesses do know about the CA 2010 and what it means. The MyCC received 12 complaints from businesses last year. It has five ongoing investigations, one request for a block exemption and two requests for individual exemptions. The MyCC is well-placed to continue to build on this initial work. Starting with only five staff members, the MyCC continues to grow in size and stature. It has recently opened its new office in Menara SSM at KL Sentral and now has a dedicated enforcement team.

    Although still in its infancy, it has already made its first decision, finding the members of the Cameron Highlands Flower Association to be guilty of price fixing. No other competition authority anywhere in the world made its first decision in its first year of operation.

    In Asean, it is way ahead of its neighbours. Vietnam took four years to make its first decision. Singapore took two years and Thailand still has not made a decision although its legislation has been in force since 1999. The MyCC has achieved international recognition for the work it has done in such a short time.

    The MyCC will continue with its advocacy work as it recognises the important role this work plays. However, businesses must step up and take responsibility for their own compliance with the CA 2010. Neither the Act nor the process of competition compliance should be feared.

    For those businesses that are not yet "competition compliant", the message from the MyCC is clear. Its "soft touch" approach to enforcement came to an end on Dec 31, 2012. From now on, the MyCC will be imposing penalties on any businesses that are found to have infringed the CA 2010, particularly the hard-core cartel provisions.

    Penalties can be up to 10% of worldwide turnover. Hard-core cartels (price fixing, market sharing, bid rigging and limiting production or supply) are the most serious infringements of competition law. In some jurisdictions these offences are considered criminal, punishable by individual fines and/or imprisonment.

    Perhaps some businesses will only take the CA 2010 seriously when the MyCC starts to impose significant penalties on those found to be breaching the law. The MyCC does not intend to be a toothless tiger and will not be sympathetic to any claim that a business did not know that the law applied.

    Ignorance of the law will not be an excuse. So do not be the first to feel the weight of the new law.

  • Shila Dorai Raj (shila@mycc.gov.my) is CEO of the Malaysia Competition Commission (www.mycc.gov.my)

    Malaysia's blue chips start week in the red

    Posted: 10 Mar 2013 06:32 PM PDT

    KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips started Monday on a cautious note, with the FBM KLCI marginally lower, dragged down by Genting Bhd and KL Kepong.

    At 9.12am, the KLCI was down 1.01 points to 1,652.95. Turnover was 31.50 million shares valued at RM31.10mil. There were 84 gainers, 60 losers and 127 counters unchanged.

    Hwang DBS Vickers Research (HDBSVR) said riding on the ongoing liquidity-fuelled global equities rally, Malaysian equities -- notwithstanding its relative underperformance versus its regional peers -- could show short-term upward momentum.

    "But with no fresh catalysts in sight, and in view of the looming election risk, the sustainability of the market run-up remains doubtful.

    "Therefore, investors should consider selling into strength as we expect the KLCI to face resistance at 1,655-1,670 before sliding back subsequently towards the support area of 1,615-1,635," said HDBSVR.

    Carlsberg fell 26 sen to RM13.22 but with only 100 shares done, BAT was down 22 sen to RM64.78 while Lafarge Cement gave up nine sen to RM9.95.

    UMW and Genting fell eight sen each to RM13.80 and RM9.96 while Public Bank, Bursa and Hartalega shed four sen each to RM16.10, RM6.86 and RM4.85 respectively.

    Petronas Dagangan was the top gainer, rising 32 sen to RM23.60, Nestle added 20 sen to RM60.40, Keck Seng 19 sen to RM4.82 and RHB Cap 15 sen to RM8.35.


    Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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    Quaint and quirky

    Posted: 10 Mar 2013 12:04 AM PST

    Here's insight into Finnish life and storytelling techniques.

    The Human Part
    Author: Kari Hotakainen
    Translator: Owen F. Witesman
    Publisher: MacLehose Press, 253 pages

    MY name is Salme Sinikka Malmikunnas, and everything that I say will be printed word for word in this book. The author promised me this.

    "In alarm, he even suggested that my words be printed in italics, which apparently emphasises the importance of words. When I saw what he meant by italics, I immediately said that I didn't want it. I'm already bent over enough without calling any more attention to it.

    "I admit that I gave the author a little bit of a tongue-lashing over this, so he promised me heaven and earth. I might have been a little over-excited, since it was the first time I had seen or met a person like him."

    So opens Finnish author Kari Hotakainen's The Human Part, a well-crafted, humane and poignant tale about bereavement, intimate human suffering, and the effect death has on a family.

    The novel opens with Salme's monologue, explaining how it came about that she's telling her story to an author of novels: When out at a book fair with her eldest daughter Helena, Salme, a former seller of thread and cloth, meets an author whose name is never mentioned.

    (This could be a ploy Hotakainen uses to imply that he is the unnamed author of Salme's story, and that what is described in the novel has some degree of truth to it.)

    After 10 books, the unnamed author has writer's block. Salme agrees to help the author by selling him her life story for ‚7,000. However, Salme disagrees with the author over the truthfulness of the novel's content. Salme does not like "made-up books", but the author cannot help himself and turns Salme's colourful life into fiction.

    It is at this juncture that readers are left to determine if the author's written words are really authentic or if Salme is prone to exaggerating events in her life.

    On the surface, Salme's life story seems average at first. She has been married to Paavo for over 40 years. She once had four children – two boys and two girls – but one of her sons, Heikki, died when he was four.

    Demonstrating a wry sense of humour, Hotakainen, through Salme, informs readers that Heikki rode his tricycle into a septic tank. On Salme's part, there is no emotion when telling of this loss. While she does admit to thinking about what life may have had in store for Heikki, she also says, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to keep you in that hole for now, Heikki."

    Heikki aside, Salme's other children are Helena, Pekka and Maija.

    According to Salme all three of her children are doing very well and they all work in offices in the city of Helsinki. But, as told by the author, apart from Helena who holds some kind of high position, Pekka and Maija's careers are far from what Salme imagines.

    We learn that Pekka does not have a steady job – to have something hot to eat, he gatecrashes funerals. Maija, who Salme describes as being "so full of light that she married a black man", goes from sales job to sales job, and is married to Biko from Zimbabwe, who works as a bus driver.

    And the author also reveals that, Helena is the only one who visits her mother, a fact that Salme does not bring up.

    Readers meet Helena early on in the novel with the author describing her as a sad woman. But Salme never explains the sadness, or why Salme is desperate to put a smile back on her daughter's face.

    And then Salme also shares that hubby Paavo has become mute. And just like with Helena's sadness, Salme never informs the author why Paavo has stopped talking.

    What Salme is open about is "a certain very sad thing", which looms large in the telling of her story.

    It is in the third part of the novel, entitled "The Human Part" (the first two parts being named "The First Part" and "The Second Part"), that Salme's story comes together – what the "certain very sad thing" in Salme's life was, what caused Paavo to become mute, and why Salme is hellbent on mending Helena.

    While the first two parts build up the characters of Salme and her children, the third part takes on a more sociological twist, with Hotakainen showcasing the problems of modern-day Helsinki.

    The most obvious example is racism, demonstrated through bus driver Biko who has to deal with Finnish youths who despise anyone that is not Caucasian.

    Hotakainen also uses his novel to showcase his own ideology (via Pekka and Maija): namely, that capitalism is bad.

    But perhaps it would have been wiser for the author not to shove his sociological theories down readers' throats at almost every turn as it distracts from the story.

    Then again, as with all translated works, the author's original intention may have got lost in translation from Finnish. However, The Human Part does manage to capture Salme's sense of sadness and her quiet determination to keep her family together.

    The English language translator Owen F. Witesman uses makes the novel an easy read.

    Quaint, quirky, poignant, and with wry humour peppered throughout, The Human Part delights, while also giving us a glimpse into Scandinavian ideology and storytelling. Well worth a read.

    Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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    Lahad Datu: Two policemen injured in overnight skirmishes in Tanjung Batu village

    Posted: 10 Mar 2013 07:36 AM PDT

    Published: Sunday March 10, 2013 MYT 12:17:00 PM
    Updated: Sunday March 10, 2013 MYT 10:36:34 PM

    LAHAD DATU: Two policemen were injured in overnight skirmishes with Sulu gunmen at Kampung Tanjung Batu, said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib on Sunday.

    He said one policeman was hit in the calf and the other sustained injury in the thigh during the sporadic shootout which occurred between 8pm and 4am.

    Hamza said security forces could not immediately ascertain if any of the gunmen were hit in the incident.

    The injured policemen were initially treated at the Armed Forces' field hospital before being flown to the Duchess of Kent hospital in Sandakan.

    Hamza said the number of people detained under the Special Offences (Special Measures) Act under suspicion of being sympathisers to the gunmen had increased to 85 from 79 on Saturday.

    He also denied reports by the Philippines media quoting Filipino nationals after fleeing to their homeland from Sabah as saying that they were abused by Malaysian security forces.

    "There is no such thing," he added.

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    Dr M: Save Selangor to maintain position of Malays

    Posted: 10 Mar 2013 06:25 AM PDT

    SHAH ALAM: Selangor must be saved from the opposition to ensure the rights and position of the Malays and Bumiputra are maintained in the state, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    He said the opposition pact, which had taken over the economy in Selangor, had great ambition to control politics in the state.

    "Prior to this, when Selangor was under the Barisan Nasional (BN), we could see the economic growth was prolific and the Malays and Bumiputras had a place, so we lived more happily than previously.

    "If the opposition wins and administer Selangor, the position of the Malays and Bumiputra will be shunted aside. Because of this, we must act quickly to convince the people of Selangor to topple the opposition government and replace it with BN which is led by Umno.

    "Our sacrifices will be in vain of Selangor cannot be saved," he said at the closing of the convoy 'Save Selangor' organised by Selangor Perkasa here, Sunday.

    Also present was his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali and Selangor Perkasa president Abu Bakar Yahya.

    More than 3,000 took part in the motorcycle convoy to USJ, Subang Jaya and Rantau Panjang, Klang from 10am by carrying the Malaysian, Perkasa and BN flags.

    The convoy also visited the grave of the late L/Kpl Mohd Azrul Tukiran at the Rantau Panjang Muslim Cemetary and had tahlil prayers for policemen killed in an ambush at Kampung Seri Jaya, Simunul, Semporna on March 2.

    Dr Mahathir said, the weakness of two Malay parties in the opposition, resulted in disrespect for the race and risked the special privileges of the Malays and Bumpiutra being done away with.

    "We also want to stress that Bahasa Melayu and Islam are the official language and religion of our nation. So they must respect our rights as how we respect their rights.

    "But, because the leadership of the Malays in the opposition pact is very weak, they often just follow their colleagues including when pressed for the word Allah to be used (in the Bible).

    "When they proposed to strip the special privileges of the Malays, the opposition, which purportedly had two parties with Malay leadership, willingly complied.If we are not careful, we will lose altogether our rights on our own soil and they (opposition) will get rid of all efforts to develop the Malays and Bumiputra.

    In KLANG, Dr Mahathir reminded the people not to allow emotion to rule the day when choosing the government in the 13th general election.

    He said the people should be wise when making the choice as their votes would determine their destiny and that of the next generation.

    "We must use our good judgement to evaluate the performance of a government and if our judgement is clouded by emotions, then we may choose a wrong government, much to our detriment.

    "Vote a proven party that has been responsible to the voters and willing to serve the people," he said at the "The Future of the Malaysian Race" forum.

    Lahad Datu: KP1M-People need mattresses, pillows and blankets

    Posted: 10 Mar 2013 06:19 AM PDT

    KUALA LUMPUR: The people of Lahad Datu who are forced to be evacuated to three temporary settlements following the intrusion by armed militants from the southern Philippines are in need of mattresses, pillows and blankets.

    1Malaysia Putera Club (KP1M) president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said the club members were at the evacuation centres, namely Embara Budi, Fajar Harapan and Cenderawasih, since Thursday and found that most of them were sleeping on the floor.

    "Most of them left their homes with only the clothes on their backs.

    "Besides clothing, mattresses, pillows and blankets are also needed because they also do not know when they are able to return to their houses," he said when contacted through the live telecast of the "Malaysia Hari Ini (MHI)" programme on TV3 on Sunday.

    He said there was also a need for baby items, like cradles, as they were about 500 babies and children at the evacuation centres.

    Abdul Azeez seeks assistance of non-governmental organisations to contribute for the people affected by the intrusion.

    However, he said, those who wanted to contribute and enter the evacuation centres to get the assistance of the relevant authorities to do so to avoid any untoward incidence.

    Since the intrusion by the Sulu terrorists in Lahad Datu last Feb 12, eight policemen and 53 of the intruders were killed, while almost 2,000 people had to be evacuated following the offensive operation by the security forces to flush out the remaining intruders. Bernama

    Related Stories:
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    Lahad Datu: Hunt intensifies for remnants of armed group
    Lahad Datu: Tanjung Labian villagers flee in midst of gunshots
    Lahad Datu: Two policemen injured in overnight skirmishes in Tanjung Batu village
    Lahad Datu: Cops tighten security at all entry points
    Lahad Datu: More than 50 Sulu gunmen held, says IGP
    Lahad Datu: Life limping back to normalcy
    Lahad Datu: Cops place Azzimudie's brother on wanted list
    Lahad Datu: No updates on remaining Sulu militants or Azzimudie

    Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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    Textile techniques

    Posted: 09 Mar 2013 11:58 PM PST

    Here is a visual guide to the different textile arts on display at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia:

    LIMAR is a single weft-ikat textile once woven principally in Terengganu and Kelantan, Palembang in South Sumatra, and southern Thailand. Woven only of silk in plain or twill weave, limar is the preserve of nobility as it employs costly materials and its manufacture is especially tedious. It can be enhanced with supplementary gold threads, creating limar bersongket, or gold leaf weaving, producing limar bertelepuk. Limar has become virtually obsolete in Malaysia as many limar practitioners have died and no written historical documentation exists on its traditional manufacture.

    TENUN, woven of silk or cotton, features mainly striped or checkered patterns. Traditionally, the weave was used to produce cloth worn as sarongs, but today, tenun is also woven as yard fabric that can be fashioned into clothes and decorative items. Tenun weaving began as a cottage industry, mainly in Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang. Now known as the royal weave of Pahang, Tenun is thought to have been introduced to the Malay peninsula in the 16th century by Tok Tuan Keraing Aji, a master weaver from Sulawesi who immigrated to Pahang.

    KELINGKAN is an embroidery technique that uses metallic ribbon. (In Sarawak, it is known as keringkam.) Before the embroidery work begins, the base fabric undergoes a starching process to stiffen it. Motifs may then be traced onto the fabric with a pencil. A wooden frame is used to stretch the fabric tightly before metallic ribbon is sewn through the textile repeatedly, in a stitch known as tikam tembus. Kelingkan embroidery can be done directly onto a piece of fabric, or in a patchwork style, whereby the embroidery is prepared on a different cloth, such as gauze before being transferred onto another fabric, such as satin or silk. Lastly, the embroidery is flattened with a smooth object, such as stone or cowry shell.

    SONGKET, woven of silk or cotton, with supplementary metallic yarns, is the ceremonial fabric of choice during royal installations, formal and state functions, as well as Malay weddings. In the past, only royalty and nobility were allowed to wear songket, but by the mid 20th century, these rules had slowly diminished. In Malaysia, songket is produced mainly in Terengganu and Kelantan.

    TEKAT TIMBUL is a form of raised couched embroidery also known as tekat suji. It is one of the most well-known forms of traditional embroidery in Malaysia. It is used to decorate items associated with palaces and special events such as coronations, weddings and the reception of royal guests. In most cases, it is embroidered on velvet to compensate for the weight of the embroidery and to elevate the lavishness of the item.

    TELEPUK is another method of decorating Malay textiles with gold, in particular gold leaf. The textile first undergoes a process called gerus, or calendering, whereby it is rubbed with beeswax and a cowry shell to produce a flat and shiny surface, before the gold leaf can be applied. Glue is then applied on a carved wood or metal block and pressed onto the textile. A piece of thin, gold leaf is then pasted onto the glued areas and left to dry. Once the glue has dried, the gold leaf is brushed off to reveal the motif.

    The world in a piece of cloth

    Posted: 09 Mar 2013 11:45 PM PST

    There might be fewer practitioners around now, but the allure of handwoven and decorated textiles lives on.

    A WEDDING? A coronation? A coming-of-age ceremony? None of this would be complete without a special selection of textiles on display for all to see. Such was the importance bestowed upon handwoven and decorated textiles in traditional Malay culture that has, to a large extent, been carried into the present day.

    These textiles were considered status symbols; an indication of how wealthy a family you come from; or in some cases, how superior your embroidery skills are (ladies of the palace were taught how to embroider, and many a woman with superior embroidery skills were said to have caught the eye of a future mother-in-law this way!).

    Adline Abdul Ghani of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia curatorial affairs department refers to these handwoven and decorated textiles as "the cornerstones of our cultural identity".

    "They were meant for special occasions, they were expensive and they took a long time to make. A piece could take up to several months of hard work," she says.

    Even after months of slaving over the loom, sometimes the work would still not be done.

    Do you want to add sheen to the fabric? Not so long ago, they had to do it by hand. Some techniques even called for spreading beeswax all over the cloth and then rubbing it down with a cowry shell.

    "Something with delicate finishing and dainty details would hardly be suitable to wear for rough work in the fields; you need to be sitting around doing nothing, or be sauntering around very lady-like. So these textiles were also a symbol of refinement," Adline adds.

    Showcased at the ongoing exhibition at the museum entitled Tradition And Continuity: Woven And Decorated Textiles Of The Malay Peninsula are six different textiles arts.

    Songket, tenun and tekat (see Textile techniques, below, for details) remain popular to this day and are still widely produced and used in the country. However, there are few surviving practitioners of limar, kelingkan and telepuk and these traditional techniques are under threat of becoming obsolete.

    The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of the late Malaysian cultural icon Sharifah Azah Syed Mohammad Alsagoff, fondly known as Azah Aziz.

    Adline recalls, "She once said that kain limar, particularly limar bersongket, is among the finest product of the Malay loom. On average, it would take about three months to finish a very exquisite, intricate piece. There are many efforts to revive these traditional arts, but it remains a challenge."

    The exhibition, comprising over 50 artefacts from the museum's permanent collection, is divided into two main sections; the Tradition segment presents boldly coloured textiles from the days of old, while the Continuity segment offers contemporary designs that many would consider to have more of an universal appeal. Adline describes the colours in the latter segment as relatively "muted and soothing".

    "The most obvious differences between the textiles in the traditional and contemporary sections are the visual aesthetics like colour choices and motifs.

    "The textures are also different. Many of the modern pieces have more stylised interpretations of traditional motifs like the bamboo shoot, cockerel's tail or persimmon's corolla," she explains.

    Also on display are some of the materials and tools used in producing these textiles.

    Lending their expertise to the exhibition and accompanying publication (the 192-page hard cover catalogue in full colour is available at The Museum Shop for RM98) are two Malaysian textile experts: Raja Datin Paduka Fuziah Raja Tun Uda, the first director-general of the Malaysian Handicraft Association and founding member of the Asean Handicraft Promotion and Development Association; and Assoc Prof Dr Norwani Md Nawawi of Universiti Teknologi Mara, who is a textile designer and educator.

    There is a special section of the exhibition that shows how the aesthetics of Malay textiles inspired three designers from the Prince's School of Traditional Arts in London to come up with their own artistic interpretations of traditional Malay designs.

    Samantha Buckley, Ayesha Gamiet, and Amber Khokhar were commissioned by the IAMM to examine and analyse the motif on a silk songket shawl featuring pucuk rebung lawi ayam (bamboo shoot with cockerel's tail) and bunga tampuk kesemak (persimmon's corolla).

    "From the land to the sea, from the earth to the sky, everything around you can be represented in a piece of cloth. Guided by the aesthetics and names of each motif, these designers each offered their interpretation of what could have been the initial inspiration of the weaver," explains Adline, adding that, traditionally, many of the motifs on such textiles are inspired by nature.

    She hopes that the exhibition will encourage a re-examination of the beauty of these textiles, the culture that it came from, and how the industry developed and evolved.

    "What we have at this exhibition is a legacy of the resplendent past, that golden era from some time ago.

    "And now that we are here in the 21st century, we have to think about where our traditional textile industry is heading," she concludes.

    Tradition And Continuity: Woven And Decorated Textiles Of The Malay Peninsula is on at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (Jalan Lembah Perdana, KL) until June 30. The museum is conducting educational programmes throughout the duration of the exhibition. Call 03-2274 2020 or visit iamm.org.my for more information.

    Shaping the future

    Posted: 09 Mar 2013 04:43 PM PST

    There is no shortage of newcomers to provide a new focus and perspective on culture and the arts. But are they original enough?

    YOUNG artists have never had it so good. Nowadays, many newly graduated artists feel confident enough to go full-time into art, if not selling works, then at least seeking experience and exposure in the numerous artist's residencies, art fairs and specific programmes all over the world.

    Even before they are matang (graduate) and leave their art colleges/universities, they are grabbed by the commercial galleries to feed a market hungry for the next Ib (Datuk Ibrahim Hussein) or Latiff Mohidin. While in the past, dealers such as the late Rahime Harun had done that, it was not on this scale or in such a frenzy. Rahime saw the potential of Juhari Said, for instance, and followed and nurtured Juhari's career.

    In the past, young artists went through the demoralising ritual of knocking on doors, and found that they needed to develop themselves fully before they could get a foothold in a gallery space.

    Now, though, there are several galleries consistently offering new artists opportunities undreamt of.

    Just look at Klang Valley-based galleries such as Galeri Chandan, Wei-Ling Contemporary, House of Matahati (HOM), Segaris, Pelita Hati Gallery of Art, Pace Gallery, Core Design Gallery, Annexe Gallery, Taksu KL, RA Fine Arts, NN Gallery, G13 Gallery, and, in Penang, The Warehouse, ChinaHouse, Galeri Seni Mutiara and a2 Gallery. The industry standard, Valentine Willie Fine Art, was known for its annual 3 Young Contemporaries show that did much to launch the careers of young artists, until it shockingly exited the scene at the end of last year.

    Galeri Chandan and HOM have collaborated in organising the biennial Malaysian Emerging Artists Awards since 2009 – an award that has come to rival even the Young Contemporary Artists (YCA/BMS) award organised by the august National Visual Arts Gallery.

    It is good to catch-em-young but all this "cradle-snatching" does have a downside. Some young artists peter away like comets, streaking hot one time but then are heard or seen no more. And the brasher ones might mistake an initially good reception as a sign of their arrival instead of using such recognition/validation as a stepping stone.

    Galeri Chandan recently cast its net again, pulling in a new batch of 23 young artists in an exhibition aptly called Platform. The artists, aged between 21 (Adli Nazrin) and 29 (Raja Azeem Idzham), work in paintings, prints, ceramics, installation, and wood and metal sculptures.

    At around the same time, HOM unveiled a new harvest in its fifth edition (since 2008) of its signature Young & New in an exhibition being held until March 23 (subsequently to be shown at ChinaHouse in Penang from April 17-May 12). Elsewhere, RA Fine Arts has Akhmal Asyraf's Chapter 1: Rebirth (until March 19), Pace Gallery has Plane Face (Hirzaq Harris and Azaikmal Rashid, March 13-24), while the Pelita Hati Gallery of Art plans a photography-based Subject Of Dreams II (April 20-May 18).

    It says much about the "supply" chain that you don't get the usual suspects in all these exhibitions.

    For these new artists, it may sound unfair that just one or two of their works at such exhibitions could make or break them, but then, like an American Idol contest, they may only get this one shot.

    In an "Idol Envy" homage of sorts, some of the works of these young artists betray traces in forms, styles or pet themes of their well-known predecessors – whether intentional or not.

    For instance, Nor Hidayaah Shahrun's ceramic wrappings remind me of Din Omar's nasi bungkus concoctions in the 1980s; Mohd Azami Ismail seems like a sequel-parody of Ahmad Zakii Anuar's Smoking Man with his "sofa" thrown in; Alif Che Berahim's Perahu Boggo-Boggo is reminiscent of Mohd Azhar Abdul Manan's warrior assemblages turned into boat-shaped frames; Arikwibowo Amril's work reminds me of the Pop Art of Ahmad "Jeri" Azhari and Amir Zainorin; Adli Nazrin's the prismatic Gunungan vistas, of Anuar Rashid and Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal; Mohd Aliff Ahmad's Beware work on wildlife has a zebra-environmental theme similar to that of Ahmad Shukri Mohamed's Golden Gate series; and Nor Amirah Kamuddin's work reminds me of H.H. Lim's toy planes installation at the Rome Railway Terminal in 2001.

    In a parallel to a work by 2009 MEA (Malaysia Emerging Artist) winner Samsudin Wahab, newly-graduated Mohd Rusdi pits the face of his father against that of Hitler, with a gun from a turret on his forehead aiming at Hitler in The Philosophers (After Samsudin Wahab), but Rusdi's cartoonish Imagination Of Happiness looks more promising.

    Azami puts a sinister twist to Ahmad Zakii's inner drama by putting a dagger in the conspirator's hand with back turned, hoping to occupy the prized "throne" while the incumbent in the coat looks smugly prepared with folded arms.

    Arikwibowo, who is also musically inclined (he plays the guitar), spins from the Sex Pistols' single, God Save The Queen, for his title piece to comment disparagingly on a "queen" who is notorious in the local political landscape. Arikwibowo, from the class of 2012 at Universiti Teknologi Mara, had a stint as resident artist at KL's Morne Art Gallery and featured in the Locals Only exhibition at Taksu KL in February.

    In Paradigm Rebellion, Adli, only in his fourth semester at UiTM, reprises the "Gunungan" symbol as a jumble of glass shards at the bottom. When it comes to symbolising the moon, he prefers to write it out in cursive calligraphy. How interesting it might have been if the word were to be rendered in neon a la Tracey Emin, of the Young British Artists group!

    Some of the works are also "framed" differently in terms of concept and as objects, like Norhaizan Bais's 3 Bingkai Berangkai which has one frame that is empty with a black backdrop, another whitewashed with a rose relief, and the other broken with stains and a big gash in the centre.

    Muhamad Nizar Sulaiman plays on the shadow metaphor of the elusive and mysterious Indo-Pacific humpback and bottlenose dolphins, sometimes seen off the shores of Pulau Langkawi. He uses tangled wire metal rods to denote a hindrance or obstacle. The works called Consequential Atonement I and III come from his involvement in dolphin research under the NGO, MareCet. New graduate Nizar has also taken part in exhibitions like the Rice Plate Project (KLCC, 2010) and Precious Little Pieces (Wei-Ling Gallery, 2012).

    On painterly concepts, two artists deserve to be looked into: Ainurfatin Majid's traipse on the dark side is well represented by the mixed media on canvas, Alone, comprising the glow of an antique street lamp against a small dark closed window, while Mohamad Nor Hakim's Hue In Integration presents seasons of youthful revelry and energy in four different panels.

    Multimedia artist Raja Azeem Idzham's Siri Raksasa – Pegun Si Rasuk, Serpih Cahaya, is caught in stasis by a labyrinth of choking tangled forms, the yellow openings providing little respite. Raja Azeem is also skilled in animation and music and has a recording studio with his similarly inclined siblings; they call themselves JuxtaposeD – like a Jackson 5 outfit.

    Some works are also print-based like those by Mohamad Ridzwan Mohd Fuzi (screen and linoprint), Muhammad Faiz Ghazali (screenprint on mengkuang-woven paper), and Fateen Ilahi Kamarudin (etching).

    Platform is on until March 21 at Galeri Chandan at Lot 24 & 25, Level G4@U1, Block C5, Publika Shopping Gallery, KL. For more information, call Hasni at 03-6201 5360, e-mail info@galerichandan.com or go to galerichandan.com.

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