Rabu, 3 April 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Trash talk

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 04:32 PM PDT

THERE are some things no museum or treasure hunter would ever want, no matter how historical they may be – actually, make that, especially because of how "historical" they are.

Clinton "Ton" Jones of the reality TV series Auction Hunters recalls a particularly awful find while filming the programme where he and co-host Allen Haff scavenge abandoned storage units for items to sell for a profit. "There was a unit that we bought one time. I think the previous owner was a collector of stuff that was a little bit more on the morbid side of life," Jones says in a phone interview from Los Angeles.

"There was something in the unit that had rotted. Allen, my dear friend, got a little whiff of this and he set me up for a trap. He told me to look inside a bag. I open up this bag and it was like someone's lunch meat from 40 years ago that had rotted in moisture. It was so disgusting that our cameraman started throwing up. I started gagging, and Allen was laughing so hard, he started crying for about 20 minutes."

In the eyes of auction hunters Jones, who is in his 30s, and Haff, 43, finding the decomposed remains of someone's meal is just another occupational hazard.

The duo's journey across the United States scouring abandoned storage units is documented on Auction Hunters. The reality series is among a trend of programmes, including Storage Wars and American Pickers, where men scavenge hidden treasures for a quick profit.

With more people joining this garbage treasure hunt, competition among hunters has increased. So has the price of entry. Haff and Jones admit to being hit by rising costs.

Haff says: "An abandoned storage unit that might have cost US$300 (RM900) two years ago can fetch up to US$600 (RM1,800) or US$700 (RM2,100) now, which means you have to be even better at your job. The good news is that Ton and I are up for it. With our experience, we can still make money in any economy even with the increased competition."

Furthermore, he and Jones say they are not in the business just for money – they find meaning in their quest because it helps to counter society's growing tendency to spend and waste without thinking.

Haff says: "We are the recyclers of society. In some cultures in the world, people are buying things for emotional reasons. When someone becomes uninspired with something they've bought and it starts to look like junk to them, they throw it in a storage unit. They don't pay the bill on purpose and they don't want to think about it anymore. Then here comes Ton and I to give their stuff a second look and to find value in those things again."

Practising what they preach, they claim to live thriftily and minimally. Haff says: "Ton and I actually live pretty minimalist lives. We like what we like, but we don't hoard and we don't have tons of junk sitting around." – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

Season Three of Auction Hunters is on the Discovery Channel (Astro Ch 551) every Saturday at 8.30pm.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

U.S. to send missile defences to Guam over North Korea threat

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 09:30 PM PDT

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said it would soon send a missile defence system to Guam to defend it from North Korea, as the U.S. military adjusts to what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called a "real and clear danger" from Pyongyang.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gives a speech on fiscal defense spending at Ft. McNair in Washington April 3, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS BUSINESS)

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gives a speech on fiscal defense spending at Ft. McNair in Washington April 3, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS BUSINESS)

Hours later, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said North Korea had moved what appeared to be a mid-range Musudan missile to its east coast. It was not clear if the North planned to fire the rocket or was just putting it on display as a show of force, one South Korean government source was quoted as saying.

North Korea also barred entry to a joint industrial complex it shares with the South for a second day on Thursday and said it would shut the zone if Seoul continued to insult it.

Events on the Korean peninsula have begun to unnerve global financial markets long used to the rhetoric North Korea routinely hurls at Seoul and Washington.

"The assumption remains that this is more bluster ...," said Rob Ryan, a strategist with RBS in Singapore. "But from here, we've reached a level of tensions that say things can't get too much worse without an actual exchange of fire."

The broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.6 percent, dragged down by a 2 percent slump in South Korean shares, while the South Korean won slid 0.7 percent against the U.S. dollar.

U.S. stocks sank on Wednesday after Hagel's comments and the Guam deployment news.

North Korea also repeated its threat to launch a nuclear attack on the United States. Pyongyang said it had ratified a potential strike because of U.S. military deployments around the Korean peninsula that it claimed were a prelude to a possible nuclear attack on the North.

Washington had been informed of the potential attack by North Korea, a spokesman for its army said in a statement carried by the English-language service of state news agency KCNA. It was unclear how such a warning was given since North Korea does not have diplomatic ties with Washington.

The report from KCNA appeared to re-state many of the month-long fusillade of threats emanating from Pyongyang.

Experts say North Korea is years away from being able to hit the continental United States with a nuclear weapon, despite having worked for decades to achieve nuclear-arms capability.

North Korea has previously threatened a nuclear strike on the United States and missile attacks on its Pacific bases, including in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific.

Those threats followed new U.N. sanctions imposed on the North after it carried out its third nuclear test in February.

"Some of the actions they've taken over the last few weeks present a real and clear danger," Hagel told an audience at the National Defense University in Washington.

Despite the rhetoric, Pyongyang has not taken any military action and has shown no sign of preparing its 1.2 million-strong armed forces for war, the White House said on Monday.

That indicates its threats are partly intended for domestic consumption to bolster young leader Kim Jong-un ahead of celebrations marking the anniversary of the April 15 birthday of Kim Il-sung, the state's founder and the younger Kim's grandfather.

Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, criticised the latest North Korean statement.

"It is yet another offering in a long line of provocative statements that only serve to further isolate North Korea from the rest of the international community and undermine its goal of economic development," Hayden said.


Hagel said he had to take the threats seriously, language he has used in recent weeks as the United States has revamped its missile defence plans and positioned two guided-missile destroyers in the western Pacific.

The United States has also flexed its muscles during annual military drills with South Korea, flying two radar-evading stealth bombers on a first-of-its-kind practice bombing run over South Korea.

In the latest move, the Pentagon said it was deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Guam in the coming weeks. The THAAD system includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles and an AN/TPY-2 tracking radar.

Last month, Hagel said the Pentagon would add 14 new anti-missile interceptors in Alaska and move ahead with the deployment of a second missile-defence radar in Japan.

Yonhap quoted multiple government sources privy to intelligence from U.S. and South Korean authorities as saying North Korea had moved what appeared to be a Musudan missile to its east coast.

The missile is believed to have a range of 3,000 km (1,865 miles) or more, which would put all of South Korea and Japan in range and possibly also Guam. North Korea is not believed to have tested the Musudan mid-range missiles, according to most independent experts

South Korea's defence ministry declined to comment.

The missile was moved to the coast by train. The North has a missile launch site on its northeastern coast, which it has used to unsuccessfully test-fire long-range rockets in the past.

The Yonhap report did not say if the missile had been moved to the missile site.

The South Korean government said the North would allow 222 South Korean workers to leave the Kaesong industrial zone on Thursday. That would leave another 606 South Koreans in the complex. Seoul has urged its citizens to get out.

North Korea has threatened to shut the complex, one of the impoverished North's few sources of ready cash.

The industrial park, just inside the border with North Korea, has not formally stopped operations since it was inaugurated in 2000. It houses 123 companies and employs 50,000 North Koreans making cheap goods such as clothing.

(Additional reporting by Christine Kim in SEOUL, Ju-min Park in PAJU, David Alexander in WASHINGTON and Vidya Rangananthan in SINGAPORE; Writing by Dean Yates; Editing by Paul Tait)

Related Stories:
North Korea repeats threat to shut down Kaesong

South Korea government says report of North ordering Kaesong pullout "distorted"
North Korea again blocks access to industry zone, Southerners remain
North Korea tells South firms in Kaesong to pullout by April 10

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Desmond Tutu wins $1.7 million Templeton Prize

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 09:04 PM PDT

LONDON (Reuters) - South African anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu has won the 2013 Templeton Prize worth $1.7 million (1.1 million pounds) for helping inspire people around the world by promoting forgiveness and justice, organisers said on Thursday.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu delivers remarks to a group of visiting Girl Scouts in honor of the first-ever International Day of the Girl at the State Department in Washington October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Archbishop Desmond Tutu delivers remarks to a group of visiting Girl Scouts in honor of the first-ever International Day of the Girl at the State Department in Washington October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

A leading human rights activist of the late 20th century, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town played a pivotal role in the downfall of apartheid and subsequently worked to heal wounds in South Africa's traumatised society.

Tutu, 81, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for standing up against white-minority rule. He remains a prominent campaigner for peace and human rights.

The Templeton award was announced as his friend and fellow Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela was fighting pneumonia in a third health scare in four months for South Africa's first black president.

Established in 1972 by the late American-born investor and philanthropist John Templeton, the annual prize - worth more, in monetary terms, than the Nobel - honours a living person "who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension".

"When you are in a crowd and you stand out from the crowd it's usually because you are being carried on the shoulders of others," Tutu was quoted as saying in a statement released by the U.S.-based foundation.

"I want to acknowledge all the wonderful people who accepted me as their leader at home and so to accept this prize in a representative capacity."

Last year's Templeton Prize went to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader. Other recent winners include British astrophysicist Martin Rees and Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor.

The foundation, whose first award went to Mother Teresa in 1973, praised Tutu as a moral voice for people around the world".

"Desmond Tutu calls upon all of us to recognise that each and every human being is unique in all of history and, in doing so, to embrace our own vast potential to be agents for spiritual progress and positive change," it said.

"Not only does he teach this idea, he lives it."

Born in Klerksdorp, Transvaal in 1931, Tutu was ordained in 1960 just as the government began resettling black Africans and Asians from areas designated as "whites only".

His position in the church gave him a prominent platform from which to criticise the system. Angry with his activism, the government revoked his passport, prompting a global outcry.

With pressure on South Africa growing, talks between politicians and the African National Congress led to the release in 1990 of Nelson Mandela and the dismantling of apartheid laws.

After elections, President Mandela appointed Tutu as chairman of a commission examining the human rights abuses of the apartheid years. After his retirement Tutu continued to work as a global campaigner for democracy and human rights.

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

China promises swift reporting on bird flu outbreak

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 08:25 PM PDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will swiftly communicate to the outside world and its own people details of a new strain of deadly bird flu, the health ministry said, following complaints it had been too slow to report on the outbreak and suspicion of a SARS-like cover-up.

A total of nine people in China have been confirmed to have contracted the new bird flu strain, H7N9, all in the east of the country. Three infected people have died.

Technicians carry out a test for the H7N9 bird flu virus using test reagents at the Beijing Center for Diseases Control and Prevention in Beijing April 3, 2013. Test reagents for the H7N9 virus arrived in Beijing on Tuesday enabling the city's diseases control and prevention centre, and 55 laboratories in its network, to test for the virus. Chinese authorities reported four new cases on Tuesday of a strain of bird flu previously unknown in humans that has already killed two people, taking the total of known cases to seven. REUTERS/Stringer

Technicians carry out a test for the H7N9 bird flu virus using test reagents at the Beijing Center for Diseases Control and Prevention in Beijing April 3, 2013. Test reagents for the H7N9 virus arrived in Beijing on Tuesday enabling the city's diseases control and prevention centre, and 55 laboratories in its network, to test for the virus. Chinese authorities reported four new cases on Tuesday of a strain of bird flu previously unknown in humans that has already killed two people, taking the total of known cases to seven. REUTERS/Stringer

Chinese internet users and some newspapers have questioned why it took so long for the government to announce the new cases, especially as two of the victims first fell ill in February. The government has said it needed time to correctly identify the virus.

In 2003, authorities initially tried to cover up an epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in China and killed about a 10th of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide.

In a statement issued late on Wednesday, China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said it was mobilising resources nationwide to fight the outbreak, and would be open and transparent.

"Maintain regular communications about the virus and preventative work with agricultural and forestry authorities in a timely manner, and report to the World Health Organisation, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau and the world," it said in a statement on its website (www.moh.gov.cn).

"Report on the virus in a timely way to the population and spread scientific knowledge via experts and issuing question and answer (statements)," the ministry added.

China has a chequered record when it comes to tackling disease outbreaks, which some officials have previously sought to cover up, fearing attracting unwanted attention from the central government.

While the official Xinhua news agency said it was unfair to compare SARS with H7N9, as the new bird flu virus has yet to show signs of human-to-human transmission, it did warn the government's credibility was on the line.

"If there is anything that SARS has taught China and its government, it's that one cannot be too careful or too honest when it comes to deadly pandemics. The last 10 years have taught the government a lot, but it is far from enough," it said in a commentary.

The World Health Organization said it was "following the event closely" and was in contact with Chinese authorities, which it said were actively investigating the cases amid heightened disease surveillance.

Flu experts in laboratories across the world are picking through the DNA sequence data of samples isolated from the patients to assess its pandemic potential.

In Hong Kong, authorities said they were stepping up monitoring but assured the public that the live chickens imported from the mainland were safe.

"We have a registration system for all farms on the mainland which supply live chickens to Hong Kong," said Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man, according to the South China Morning Post.

"If there's any bird flu outbreak at the farm or at any place within 13 kilometres (eight miles) of the farm, we'll stop imports from that particular chicken farm."

China has yet to find any animals infected with H7N9.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Clare Baldwin in HONG KONG; Editing by Michael Perry)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

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The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Stosur, Wozniacki advance at Charleston

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 04:41 PM PDT

CHARLESTON, South Carolina: Ex-champions Sam Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki overpowered their unseeded opponents Wednesday to reach the third round of the WTA Tour's Family Circle Cup.

The second-seeded Wozniacki breezed past Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-1 just under an hour, while the third-seeded Aussie Stosur routed New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 6-1, 6-2 on the green clay at Daniel Island Tennis Center.

Wozniacki, who won here two years ago, only entered the tournament on the weekend after she and golfer boyfriend Rory McIlroy postponed a trip to Haiti.

Stosur won here in 2010 while Wozniacki claimed the title in 2011.

"I felt like I really served well and returned well today," Wozniacki said. "I'm pleased with that."

Meanwhile, American qualifier Mallory Burdette surprised 15th-seeded 2009 champion Sabine Lisicki 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 in their second round match.

Burdette advances to the third round where she will face world number one and reigning Charleston champ Serena Williams.

Also, No. 10 Julia Goerges of Germany held off Belarusian Olga Govortsova 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 and Canadian qualifier Eugenie Bouchard defeated No. 16 Brit Laura Robson 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Bouchard will square off against Stosur next.

American Madison Keys eased into the round of 16 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over qualifier compatriot Grace Min.

Keys will battle wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Thursday.

Taking the court later on Wednesday is fifth seeded Venus Williams, who squares off against Monica Puig. -AFP

World No. 1 Lewis aims for another major title

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 04:43 PM PDT

PALM SPRINGS, California: Stacy Lewis returns to the scene of her first major title which came three years ago in the California desert, but this time she has the title of best player in the world next to her name.

World number one Lewis says the first thing on her mind this week will be trying to win a tournament and not holding onto that No. 1 ranking.

"There are so many things that I can't control," the Texas native said. "I can't control how Yani (Tseng) plays, how In-bee Park plays.

"If they go out and play better than me, then I lose the No. 1 ranking.

"If I go out there and take care of myself, I'll be at that No. 1 ranking."

The star-studded field will play host to the season's first major championship and will feature 111 players, all vying for $300,000 in first-place prize money at the Mission Hills Country Club course in Rancho Mirage, 10 miles southeast of Palm Springs.

South Korea's Yoo Sun-young is the defending champion at the first major championship of 2013. Yoo may have won the title, but everyone will remember the championship as the one that compatriot Kim In-kyung lost.

Kim's playoff record took another hit last week after Beatriz Recari defeated Kim in a two-hole sudden death playoff at the Kia Classic.

Last year on the final hole of regulation, Kim rolled her birdie putt within a foot of the hole.

Rather than marking and letting her partner finish, Kim went to tap in her par putt. But, her ball did a horse-shoe around the cup.

A shocked Kim finally tapped in for bogey, which dropped her into a tie for the lead with Yoo, who was already in the clubhouse.

In the playoff, both players reached the green at the par-five 18th in three.

But Kim left her birdie effort short and Yoo did not. Yoo rolled in her 12-footer for birdie and the shock victory. It was Yoo first major title.

Kim says she is ready to move on from last year's disappointment.

"I learned a lot," said Kim. "I think last year was big turning point of my life of learning and what's really important. It just gave me different view of it."

The field this week will include 18 of the top 20 players in the world and 40 of the top 50. The youngest player is 14-year-old Angel Yin, who was the last to get in the field after she shot a five-under 67 in qualifying on Tuesday at Mission Hills.

After a week off, the tour heads to Hawaii for the LOTTE Championship which runs from Wednesday to Saturday and was won last year by Japan's Ai Miyazato. -AFP

McIlroy fine-tunes game ahead of Masters

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 04:45 PM PDT

SAN ANTONIO, Texas: With the season's first major just around the corner Rory McIlroy figured that adding the Texas Open to his schedule would be the best way to help him polish his game.

"I feel like all the components of my game are there," McIlroy said. "It is just a matter of putting it all together."

McIlroy heads a strong international field in the Texas Open which will try to snap an American win streak on the PGA Tour which dates back to October 2012.

This marks the first time that the Texas Open will serve as the final Masters tune-up with the winner getting a free pass into Augusta.

Last Friday, the tournament got some added firepower when Northern Ireland's McIlroy decided to join the field which now features eight former major winners and four of the top 15 in the world.

"The big thing is course management," McIlroy said. "Leaving my ball on the right side of the pins when I am going into the greens and if I miss the greens trying to get it up and down.

"Those are all the things I will face next week at Augusta. You've got to know when to not take on pins. Augusta is a little more generous off the tee than it is here but that is a good thing."

The strong field also includes Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, David Duval and defending champion Ben Curtis.

McIlroy is in a group that also comprises Kuchar and 19-year-old American Jordan Spieth.

Kuchar comes into the week with a win and two other top ten finishes. Spieth has split his season between the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour but played well in Puerto Rico where he finished second.

Curtis held off Matt Every and John Huh to collect his fourth PGA Tour title despite going one-over par over the last two rounds in 2012.

He began the tournament with consecutive 67s to reach 10-under par before hanging on to earn his first win in six years.

Prior to that victory, Curtis had missed the cut in two of his three PGA Tour starts.

This year he has missed the cut in every start, including the Houston Open last week.

"I am just glad to be back here," Curtis said. "It's always nice to come back where you've played well in the past.

"I haven't played great this year. I've had a couple of decent finishes, but just trying to get the snow off from home.

"But it's coming around. I'm liking the way things are progressing."

Curtis is hoping to keep a US win streak alive this week. Americans have won all 14 PGA Tour events since the start of the season and 16 overall dating back to the Frys.com Open on October 14 when Sweden's Jonas Blixt triumphed.

It's the longest US win streak since 2006 when they won 17 in a row.

This is the first time the Texas Open will be the final tune-up for The Masters which is being played a week later than last year.

Other notable groups include, Poulter-Schwartzel-Jim Furyk. This is the first trip to San Antonio for Poulter and Schwartzel, while Furyk is making his first appearance in nearly 20 years.

Curtis is joined by Justin Leonard and 2011 winner Brendan Steele. Leonard is the all-time money winner in the event, having won three times. -AFP

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The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Detroit Electric unveils US$135,000 electric sports car

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 06:31 PM PDT

DETROIT: Detroit Electric, a startup electric-car maker reviving a brand that dates back more than a century, unveiled its first model on Wednesday: a $135,000, battery-powered sports car that is to go into limited production in August.

Founded more than five years ago, Detroit Electric enters a still-nascent market that is struggling to find buyers. One of its would-be rivals, Fisker Automotive, a hybrid-electric sports-car company that hasn't built a car since last summer, has hired a law firm to advise on a possible bankruptcy filing.

With a projected top speed of 155 mph, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is "the world's fastest pure-electric sports car," the company says, adding the two-seater has a range of "just under 190 miles" between charges.

The car will be built in the Detroit area at a dedicated plant with an annual capacity of 2,500, the company said Wednesday at a reception at its new headquarters in Detroit's historic Fisher Building.

Detroit Electric plans to build only 999 SP:01's, which it says will be followed by "a new family of all-electric production cars, including two other high-performance models that will enter production by the end of 2014."

The SP:01 appears to borrow heavily from the British-built Lotus Elise -- no surprise considering a number of Detroit Electric executives previously worked for various affiliates of Lotus Cars.

Versions of the Elise have been used by other low-volume carmakers, notably Tesla Motors, which based its $100,000-plus Roadster electric car on the Lotus chassis.

Detroit Electric said the SP:01 was being introduced "following a five-year development and road-test program."

The Detroit Electric brand had been dormant since 1939. Previously, it was used on a series of electric cars built in Detroit from 1907.

The brand was revived in 2007 as a joint venture between China's Youngman Automotive Group -- which tried unsuccessfully to acquire bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab in 2012 -- and a small California-based electric-car company called Zap.

The venture hired Lotus Engineering in 2007 to provide contract design and technical services. In late 2007, Albert Lam, the chief executive of Lotus Engineering, joined the venture as chairman and was named CEO of Detroit Electric in 2008. - Reuters


KLCI reverses losses, surges to all-time high of 1,700

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 06:30 PM PDT

Published: Thursday April 4, 2013 MYT 9:28:00 AM
Updated: Thursday April 4, 2013 MYT 9:30:21 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI snapped from the early decline on Thursday to surge to an all-time intra-day high of 1,700.55, on fund buying of Sime Darby and Petronas stocks.

Trading was volatile in the early trade, as the KLCI slumped earlier to a low of 1,678.77 before buying picked up pace.

Despite the volatile market on Wednesday after the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the dissolution of Parliament to make way for the general elections, foreign funds bought net RM392.50mil worth of Malaysian equities.

However, local institutions sold RM195.6mil and local investors were net sellers at RM196.9mil.

At 9.14am, the KLCI was off the earlier high, adding 10.09 points to 1,695.49. Turnover was 49.13 million shares valued at RM63.33mil. There were 106 gainers, 85 losers and 133 counters.

BAT was the top gainer, rising 58 sen to RM65.48, KL Kepong added 54 sen to RM21.78 while Petronas Dagangan gained 24 sen to RM23.44 and Petronas Gas 20 sen to RM19. Sime Darby rose 18 sen to RM9.44.


Malaysia's KLCI opens lower on cautious note

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 06:17 PM PDT

Published: Thursday April 4, 2013 MYT 9:18:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips opened weaker on Thursday, in line with the weaker regional markets and the overnight decline on Wall Street, with some mild selling of Genting Bhd and Axiata.

At 9.01am, the FBM KLCI was down 6.63 points to 1,678.77. Turnover was 11.45 million shares valued at RM7.49mil. There were 35 gainers, 54 losers and 73 counters unchanged.

Despite the volatile market on Wednesday, foreign funds bought net RM392.50mil worth of Malaysian equities while local institutions sold RM195.6mil and local investors were net sellers at RM196.9mil.

Reuters reported Asian stocks eased on Thursday after weak data stoked concerns the key American jobs report due later in the week will signal slowing U.S. growth, while the yen remained firm ahead of the Bank of Japan's policy decision this session.

At Bursa Malaysia, Hong Leong Bank lost 32 sen to RM14.14 and UMW 22 sen to RM13.10 in very thin trade.

Genting lost 16 sen to RM10.04, Axiata 10 sen to RM6.55, MISC and IHH Healthcare five sen to RM5.42 and RM3.66.


Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

An alien situation

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 05:20 AM PDT

A space invader experiences the complexity of young love and loyalty in The Host.

After pairing a teenager with a vampire in the Twilight series, author Stephenie Meyer creates a complicated love story involving a young woman – whose body and mind are taken over by an alien being – in The Host.

Its film version, directed by Andrew Niccol, shows a future in which an alien species called the Souls have taken over mankind's existence. There are a few remaining humans, like Melanie (Irish actress Saoirse Ronan) and Jared Howe (Max Irons). They find comfort in each other and eventually fall in love.        

Unfortunately, their happiness turns out to be brief as Melanie is captured and a Soul named Wanderer – or simply Wanda – is "inserted" into Melanie. Strangely enough, Wanda begins to form an emotional attachment to Melanie's memories and, ultimately, to accept the concept of loving someone.

To ensure everything is kept faithful to the 650-page novel, director Niccol worked closely with Meyer – who doubles up as a producer – to make a125-minute film. Below is an interview transcript provided by the film distributor, Nusantara Edaran Filem, with Meyer answering some questions about the movie.

What did you do to capture the same audience as the book's?

Most of it was Andrew Niccol, who also did the screenplay. From the beginning, I felt like I was in really good hands. It wasn't too much what I had to do besides just sort of be a part of the conversation, what we were doing and talk about how I wanted the feel of it to be. I really liked what he was able to glean as he sorted it down, which I can't do. I can't abridge.

What is it like to see your story come to life on the big screen?

It's a really interesting process because there's stuff you lose with a book this long when making it into a movie. But so many of the things we were able to do really had the heart of the story. The casting is always such a big deal and if you can get that right then things tend to work out. I felt like the cast was just amazing on this. They did such a good job. It always makes me cry.

It was probably a relief to know that you are working with such as seasoned actress (Ronan) – essentially she's playing two in one.

That was really huge because we knew we were going to ask someone to play two characters. And initially this was a very complicated independent movie, this wasn't done with a studio because a lot of studios just didn't understand how you are going to make that clear. And the director and I always felt like it was just a really great performance, this isn't going to be special effects and we just knew we had to have a really great actress. Then we got Saoirse and we were all very, very happy.

The Host has been getting a lot of comparisons with Twilight. Is this warranted?

For me, they are so separate. But because I wrote them both, they're always going to have that ... since Twilight was this big deal. There's always going to be comparisons, but I wish that we could separate them a lot more because I feel like it's something so different.

And what these gentlemen have done, what Saoirse has done is just this really amazing thing and I wish we could do it in a vacuum, but of course it's not possible, so we'll just deal with what we have.

Your books contain all these complex worlds. What's the writing process like when you are coming up with all these ideas?

Coming up with the ideas is the easy part. This story started with three characters, two bodies. I had the idea of two people in one body in love with the same person and that was the seed it started from. Once you have an idea of your characters, all the rest of it just sort of grows around that. I've never had a problem fleshing it out; my problem is going too long. So keeping it a nice tidy story is not my gift; being complicated is a lot more of what I do.

A common thread in your books is that the villains are not really bad, they are just embodying their species. Was this a conscious decision?

My life has a lot of really good people in it, so I tend to look at people and try to understand their motives. I think people act in ways that seem reasonable and right to them, but this doesn't apply to everyone.

In this I don't have a lot of real bad guys because the aliens are super nice, kind of like Canadians and polite all the time, so they're not bad except that they've wiped us all out. It just depends on where your priorities are.

With the other series, there are different levels of evil and different levels of how sick some of them get, but I like to think the world is a good place, full of good people. I get proven wrong a lot, but I guess I'm still hopeful.

n The Host is in cinemas on April 4.

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The Star Online: Nation

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GE13: EC will allow sufficient period for campaigning, says chairman

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 09:59 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: The 13th general election must be held at the latest by May 28 following the dissolution of Parliament on Wednesday, said Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.

He said the date should take into consideration the automatic dissolution of the Negri Sembilan state assembly on March 28.

"If we were to start counting from April 3 today (Wednesday), it (60-day period) will end on June 3 but it will miss the Negri Sembilan deadline of May 28," he said.

He was speaking on a TV3 programme, Soal Jawab, late Wednesday.

Asked on the possible dates for the nomination day and polling day, Abdul Aziz said: "There are some possible dates but it is not appropriate for me to mention them here as I need to discuss with the other (EC) panels".

He also said the EC will allow sufficient time for campaigning in the upcoming polls.

He said the minimum campaigning period permitted by law had been increased from seven to 11 days, while the maximum period can be decided by the EC.

"If we allow it to be longer, it will be more expensive in terms of operational cost.

"We have discussed that the campaign period will not be too long or too short. The period will be a win-win situation for all parties," he said during an interview on TV3 Wednesday.

"I received complaints from many politicians that some of them do not get enough sleep during the campaigning period. We hope that certain parties will not accuse us of not giving enough time to campaign," he said.

He also urged Malaysians not to resort to political violence as it would jeopardise the security and stability of the country.

"I urged all political leaders to remind their supporters not to become emotional.

"We want all candidates to contest in a healthy environment and will do our best to assist all parties to achieved this," he said.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razal called for the country's 13th general election after the King consented to the dissolution of Parliament.

As at 11.45pm, the state assemblies of Malacca, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah and Terengganu had been dissolved.

The Johor, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor state assemblies are expected to announce their dissolution on Thursday.

Sarawak will not be holding state polls as the previous elections were held in April 2011.

The Negri Sembilan state legislative assembly dissolved automatically on March 28.

For more election stories, please visit The Star's GE13 site

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GE13: It's on!

GE13: Trouble in Raub DAP

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 09:59 AM PDT

KUANTAN: Trouble is brewing in Raub DAP, with the party's division resolving to appeal against the central leadership's decision to field former Umno assemblyman Mohd Ariff Sabri for the Raub parliamentary constituency.

They want party leaders to reconsider their preferred candidate, Tengku Zulpuri Raja Puji Shah, whom they claim has been active on the ground for several years.

"We will submit our request through normal procedures to the party central leadership. We hope Tengku Zulpuri can stay in Raub," Raub DAP chief and Tras state assemblyman Choong Siew Oon was quoted by a news portal as saying Wednesday.

An emergency division meeting held in Raub on Tuesday night was attended by 50 local leaders.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng announced on Monday that Mohd Ariff will be fielded in Raub while Tengku Zulpuri would contest in Mentakab, a state seat under the Temerloh parliamentary seat.

The announcement was said to have caught local DAP leaders and supporters by surprise as Tengku Zulpuri had been active in the constituency.

Mohd Ariff was Pulau Manis assemblyman from 2004 to 2008.

For more election stories, please visit The Star's GE13 site

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GE13: It's on!

GE13: It's on!

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 08:54 AM PDT

PUTRAJAYA: The 13th General Election is on. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak confirmed that Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah had consented to the dissolution of the 12th parliament.

"I met the Agong this morning and he consented to the dissolution of Parliament," Najib said during a live televised speech after the Cabinet meeting here Wednesday.

He advised all the state governments, except Negri Sembilan and Sarawak, to also dissolve their respective state legislative assemblies to allow the state elections to be held simultaneously with the general election.

As at 11.45pm, the state assemblies of Malacca, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah and Terengganu had been dissolved.

The Johor, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor state assemblies are expected to announce their dissolution on Thursday.

Sarawak will not be holding state polls as the previous elections were held in April 2011.

The Negri Sembilan state legislative assembly dissolved automatically on March 28.

Sarawak held its state election on April 16, 2011, and the Barisan Nasional (BN) was returned to power after it won 55 of the 71 seats contested.

Following the dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat today, the Election Commission (EC) is expected to meet soon to set the dates for nomination and polling.

The current mandate of the government was due to expire on April 28 this year.

According to Article 55 (4) of the Federal Constitution, a general election must be held within 60 days of the dissolution of parliament.

Based on the latest electoral rolls, as of December last year, 13.3 million people are eligible to go to the polls in the country.

A total of 222 parliamentary seats will be contested in the coming general election, 31 of which are in Sarawak, while 505 state seats will be up for contest.

At the time of dissolution, Barisan had 137 seats in the Dewan Rakyat with the rest held by the DAP (29), PKR (23), PAS (23), Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanahair (Kita) (one) and PSM (one). Eight seats were held by independent MPs.

In the last general election, in 2008, Barisan failed to secure a two-third majority in the Dewan Rakyat, garnering only 140 seats while the opposition grabbed 82 seats.

Besides failing to regain control of Kelantan, Barisan also lost control of Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor.

After three elected representatives declared themselves friendly to Barisan almost a year later, the opposition Perak government fell and Barisan took back the state.

The 13th general election is the first for Najib as Barisan leader, after having taken over as the prime minister from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on April 3, 2009.

Meanwhile, the EC is scheduled to implement eight new elements as part of the effort to improve the running of the general election, in accordance with the recommendations in the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform presented to parliament on April 3 last year.

These include the use of indelible ink to mark voters, early voting to replace postal voting for policemen and soldiers, allowing postal voting for Malaysians abroad and journalists, and setting a campaign period of not less than 10 days.

After the 12th general election, 16 by-elections were held following the death or resignation of elected representatives, six of these for parliamentary seats and 10 for state seats. Eight seats were won by the BN and eight by the opposition.

The parliamentary by-elections were held in Permatang Pauh, Kuala Terengganu, Bukit Gantang, Hulu Selangor, Sibu and Batu Sapi while the state by-elections were held in Bukit Selambau, Batang Ai, Manek Urai, Permatang Pasir, Penanti, Bagan Pinang, Galas, Batu Sapi, Tenang, Merlimau and Kerdau.

The number of by-elections was the highest after the 1995-1999 parliamentary term that saw 17 by-elections held.

Videos from the 2008 General Elections:

For more election stories, please visit The Star's GE13 site

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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Commuters have difficulty navigating KL Sentral’s haphazard layout

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 04:17 AM PDT

DESPITE being Klang Valley's biggest and busiest transportation hub, KL Sentral is plagued with a host of problems.

The 13-year-old building's general layout is flawed as its main concourse area is dotted with bric-a-brac stalls selling shawls, handbags, beauty products, assorted accessories and Internet services.

The stalls take up a considerable amount of floor space in the middle of the concourse as well as on level one.

Because of this, hundreds of commuters are forced to weave their way through the stalls and crowds to get to their respective destinations.

It does not help that long lines forming at the ATM machines and train ticketing counters on both sides of the concourse are blocking the way.

Aside from persistent salesmen, commuters have to concern themselves with pickpockets who can easily move around without being noticed.

Suzieana Abd Manan, 21, who commutes from work daily at the station, said the stalls were contributing to unnecessary congestion.

"When I exit the KTM station to get to the monorail station opposite the hub, it is difficult and uncomfortable to make my way there.

"People are bumping into each other as they have very little space to walk," she said.

Meanwhile, the narrow hallways leading towards the KLIA Express are unable to cope with the crowd, especially those with large trolley bags. Also, the hallways leading to the surau and shower rooms are not well-lit.

Most signage is outdated as it points to facilities which no longer exist, causing confusion, especially among tourists.

For example, the signage that leads to the library on level one. Upon checking, the library was no longer there and the room had been converted into an office.

Also, some of the toilets, which the public pay 40sen to use, are in need of repairs, as pipes are leaking and faucets broken.

Over at the KTM platform Gate A, workers are found sleeping on the platform.

Empty public phone booths here are an eyesore, too.

Other complaints include poor ventilation and air-conditioning inside the terminal, which the public perceived as a lackadaisical attitude from the management.

Brickfields resident S.K.K Naidu said shuttle buses to LCCT and Genting Highlands parked along the main road in Brickfields were adding to traffic congestion in the area.

It was recently reported that MRCB will be completing at least six properties near KL Sentral.

Last year, The Star reported MRCB property division marketing director Zamry Ibrahim as saying that the projects would comprise office buildings, serviced apartments, retail mall and a hotel.

Stakeholders in Brickfields believed that once these projects are completed, congestion in the area will increase unless the authorities find ways to resolve the problem.

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Semasa carrying out upgrade works at KL Sentral
Traffic consultants highlight KL Sentral's failure as the bus hub for Klang Valley

Semasa carrying out upgrade works at KL Sentral

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 04:13 AM PDT

Semasa Sentral Sdn Bhd (SSSB), the manager of KL Sentral and a subsidiary of Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB), announced that it is currently refurbishing and upgrading the hub in stages.

While upgrading works are ongoing, SSSB has dismantled temporary bazaar stalls on level one, carried out rectification work at the under-deck as well as landscaping and beautification works in and around the station. Other upgrades included the improved VIP lounge on level one and free toilet facilities at selected areas.

Under the ongoing works, Semasa will be upgrading the station's food court, resurfacing flooring, construction of a pedestrian bridge, a new lift, escalator and reinforced concrete stairs from Nu Sentral Retail Mall (under construction).

Work is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Moreover, Semasa also continues to offer free transport services for the handicapped and the elderly who are unable to walk up from the lower ground to ground level.

The plan includes the increase of up to 30 auxillary police patrolling the station by the end of May.

Currently, there are 170 of them on duty at KL Sentral, including support personnel.

They are on foot patrol around the station's perimeter, complementing plainclothes policemen on duty.

There are also CCTV cameras covering 90% of the floor area.

For details, call 013-330 0077 / 03-2773 8898.

Related Stories:
Commuters have difficulty navigating KL Sentral's haphazard layout
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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

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Parenting shy kids

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 05:13 AM PDT

Helping children overcome shyness is best done during their formative years.

SHYNESS is a feeling of awkwardness, worry, or tension during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people. Severely shy people may exhibit physical symptoms like blushing, sweating, a pounding heart or upset stomach.

They could also be filled with negative feelings about themselves and worry how others see them.

Feeling shy on occasion is perfectly normal. However, some people face intense feelings of shyness that may prevent them from interacting with others. This usually leads to problems in school, at work, and in relationships.

If this leads to significant impairment in social activities or relationships, then it is no longer shyness but a psychological problem called social phobia (fear of humiliation or possible scrutiny by others), and this requires professional help.

A person who is suffering from social phobia usually will find it easy to interact with his family or close friends. But, he will be under great pressure if he has to meet new faces, and he will tend to avoid such situations.

Identifying shyness

In children, the most common observable symptom of shyness is "avoidance behaviour", where the child tries to avoid all situations where he or she has to meet other people.

The child may exhibit anger, resort to crying, or keep silent (elective mutism) if he or she is forced into such a situation. If you have a child who struggles with shyness, it is advisable that you address and improve the issue while the child is still in his formative years.

Addressing the situation at an early stage ensures the child can enjoy a better and healthier school experience – which gradually leads to more confidence in later life.

Be observant of your child's mannerisms and reactions in order to find out whether your child is shy. How you can help?

·Do not ridicule or make fun of your child in public

Shy children are afraid of peer rejection and worry whatever they say or do may be perceived as incompetent. Therefore, negative comments or labels are dangerous, as they will cause emotional distress to your child.

This may make him become even more withdrawn or reserved.

·Do not label your child as "shy"

Accepting your child for who he is is very important; labelling him as "a shy child" will make him more likely to be shy. Therefore, it is important to accept the child as he is – this can make him feel more confident and less inhibited.

·Build up your child's self-esteem and confidence

Shy children tend to have doubts about their capabilities. They also have negative self-image and constantly think that they will not be accepted.

Nurture your child's sense of self-esteem and confidence by allowing him to make decisions and take responsibility for them. Praise and acknowledge him when appropriate. This can help him feel good about himself.

·Be a role model for confident social behaviour

Children usually learn by imitating the people around them, so be sure to exhibit the characteristics that you want them to have. For instance, should you observe that your child is struggling in certain areas, like greeting people, make a point to model those behaviours in front of him.

·Teach your child social skills early

Good social skills need to be developed; some children may have greater aptitude for it than others, but practice makes perfect. The earlier you begin teaching your child, the better it is for him.

Allow your child to pick up social skills by letting him "practise" with people as much as possible. You could also encourage your shy child to speak up when you are with them. Utilise every opportunity you have – for instance, if the child wants to buy something, get him to take the money to the cashier at the counter.

·Teach tolerance and respect for others

Shy children are particularly judgemental of themselves and others, thus you will need to teach him or her to be tolerant and respectful of others.

If you are overly critical as a parent, your child will tend to follow and pick up a similar attitude. In the long run, he will believe that others are judging him. Be a good role model – tell him that no one is perfect, but they should be accepted in spite of their imperfections.

·Learning from experience

Help your children learn by making positive comments about how you felt as you accomplished certain tasks or things. Let them know it is all right to "explore" and try taking risks; though we may make mistakes at times and fail.

If you've tried all the tips listed and your child is still not showing any positive progress, be patient and give him or her some time. However, you must be alert to your child's moods and behaviours.

If he or she shows signs of anxiety that is becoming very severe, or shows complex symptoms or suicidal thoughts or intentions, it is very important that you contact a mental health professional or a child psychologist for professional help. References:

1. http://www.une.edu.au/bcss/psychology/john-malouff/shyness.php

2. Zimbardo PG and Radl S. The shy child: A parent's guide to parenting and overcoming shyness from infancy to adulthood. ISHK: 1999.

3. http://www.shakeyourshyness.com/parentingshychildren.htm

4. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/shyness.aspx#

5. http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15846/1/Shyness-in-Children.html

Associate Professor Dr M Swamenathan is a consultant psychiatrist. This article is courtesy of Positive Parenting Programme by the Malaysian Paediatric Association. For further information, please visit www.mypositiveparenting.org. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader's own medical care. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

Healing with heat

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 05:11 AM PDT

What is Mitsui Onnetsu therapy? You can learn more about this heat therapy at The Star Health Fair 2013.

HEAT is a natural healer. When our body comes under viral attack, it develops fever in an attempt to fend off the attacks. Fever improves the body's defence system and thus increases the capability of the body to combat the "intruders".

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), moxibustion (a form of thermal therapy using moxa) has been used to treat chronic illnesses and to improve health for thousands of years. Together with acupuncture and herbal medicine, they form the three pillars of TCM.

In modern oncology studies, doctors from many parts of the world (e.g. Germany, Japan, the United States) are using hyperthermia (a treatment method for cancer and other difficult illnesses using high temperature) to augment traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and to raise the immunity of cancer patients.

Research studies in the last 10 years show positive outcomes, although much is yet to be understood. Thousands of studies are currently underway, and many oncologists consider hyperthermia as an important element in cancer treatment.

Technology has contributed much to the advances of modern medical science. Onnetsu therapy, a Japanese thermotherapy modality invented by Dr Tomeko Mitsui, has gained popularity in recent years.

Centres offering this therapy modality has been set up in many parts of Japan. Mitsui Onnetsuki, the device used to deliver this therapy, has been approved as a home medical device by Japan's health ministry.

Apart from alleviating pains and aches, this device is capable of providing heat in the form of far infrared rays deep into the core of the body, promoting blood circulation in the deep organ tissues. It can even be a home hyperthermia device if use appropriately.

Tan Meng Kwang will be at The Star Health Fair 2013 to explain and demonstrate how this technological innovation of thermal medicine from Japan is capable of helping patients with chronic illnesses to alleviate their symptoms. This device can also help those who are conscious of their own health to maintain and prolong good health.

Tan is a highly respected educator and practitioner in the arena of holistic wellness. He received his Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Chemistry from the National University of Singapore. In between working stints, he went on to pursue and achieve three Masters degrees in Science, Education and Business Administration in Britain, Australia and Singapore, respectively.

To date, he has trained many physiotherapists, nurses and even doctors on these therapies. He is also the author of several books on various wellness topics.

In addition, at the health fair, you can learn more about Great Eastern Life's 21 Days Mobile App, which can help you kick your bad habits by setting up reminders to motivate you to keep track of your intentions to live healthily. Learn more about it at Great Eastern Life's Live Great Portal on livegreat.greateasternlife.com.

You can also look forward to the Live Great Challenge at the health fair – a contest to test one's physical and mental fitness, financial fitness, nutrition knowledge, and to advocate healthy eating. Attractive cash prizes await you!

Great Eastern Life's Live Great Programme is a holistic health and wellness approach which aims to help Malaysians live healthier, better and longer lives. The programme comprises expert advice, simple health tips, support, articles, apps, rewards, workshops and events, and more.

This year's theme 'Let's Live Great!' is to inspire Malaysians to lead a healthy lifestyle by being physically and mentally fit. The Star Health Fair 2013 is organised by The Star with Great Eastern Life as the event partner. It will be held in Halls 1 to 3 of the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre from April 12 to 14. It is open from 10am to 7pm and admission is free. For enquiries or to participate, call 03-79671388 (ext 1243/1529) or visit www.face book.com/thestarhealthfair.

Towards health and wellness

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 05:10 AM PDT

Live great moments with Great Eastern Life.

WHAT does health and wellness mean to each of us? The word "health" itself has a wide definition, with the most well recognised being that created by the World Health Organisation in 1948, stating: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

However you interpret the word "health", leading a healthy lifestyle is about making choices, healthy choices that have a direct impact on our loved ones.

After all, the most precious thing you can give your loved ones is for you to be there at all times. Yet, health is something we constantly take for granted, and most of us, at one time or another, have been guilty of neglecting our health, often choosing to turn a blind eye to unhealthy habits that can be disastrous to health.

For Lim Keng Hoe, a director of a shipping company based in Singapore, his vice was smoking. "Initially, it was just social smoking, but then it started to turn into an unhealthy fixation, especially when work stress got too much for me to handle. My addiction got the better of me and I ended up smoking several packs a day. I knew that it was affecting my health and I wanted to quit, but I just could not find the will to carry out my intention."

Lim's life took a full turn when he discovered that his wife was pregnant with their first child. "I decided my lifestyle choices had to change as I did not want my smoking habit to affect those I love. More importantly, I wanted to make sure that I would always be there for my family and keeping healthy will definitely help me do just that."

Lim's wife then introduced him to the Great Eastern Life Live Great Programme's 21 Days App, which is based on the theory that it takes 21 days to truly change your behaviour, and he decided to give it a go to help him kick his bad habit.

"The App allowed me to share my goal to quit smoking with my friends on Facebook and Twitter, and they have been very supportive. I've stopped smoking for more than 10 months now. I owe it to the 21 Days App as it was the one which spurred me to quit smoking," he observed.

The 21 Days App is part of Great Eastern Life's Live Great Programme that aims to enable people to achieve holistic wellness and health by providing expert advice, simple health tips, workshops and events, exclusive privileges, wellness tools and rewards with the aim to achieve holistic health and wellness.

This is all to help you realise your intentions to live healthier, better and longer for the ones who matter most.

Choosing to live healthily for the ones you love can indeed be a strong motivational drive for any person. Tan Lay Seong, a Great Eastern Life Group Sales Manager, agrees.

"Although I own a life insurance plan, that doesn't stop me from taking care of my health. My wife and two children are very important to me and I do not want them to worry about me in the event I fall sick. In any case, I try to follow a healthy diet and foster a healthy relationship with my family by having lots of meaningful conversations," he shares.

Great Eastern Life, in living up to its brand position as a life company, believes that cultivating meaningful relationships with your loved ones is a vital ingredient in the recipe for holistic well-being.

Research over the past few decades has shown that social support essentially predicts the outcome of physical and mental health for everyone.

Aware of how important and unique family members are to each other, Great Eastern Life has organised talks focusing on family relationships.

For example, no expense was spared for the "Smart for Life Tea Talk" which saw Great Eastern Life flying in Dick Cheng, a professional therapist with more than 20 years of experience in Hong Kong, to speak to a crowd of more than 1,000 people on family ties.

During the Tea Talk organised as part of the Live Great Programme, the audience were enthralled as they listened to helpful and relevant tips on rekindling special feelings and open communication.

"My children are beginning to develop their own opinions and they are different from how we were in the past. The talk helped me have a better understanding of how to better communicate with them and improve family ties," says Tan, who is a proud father of two children aged six and nine years.

"Trust and commitment is vital in your relationship with your partner, and it is one of the many things which I was reminded of during the talk," he adds.

Great Eastern Life is the event partner for the Star Health Fair 2013. This year's theme "Let's Live Great!" is to inspire Malaysians to lead a healthy lifestyle by being physically and mentally fit. n Join in the journey to health and wellness with your loved ones by visiting Great Eastern Life's booth and take part in the "Live Great Day Experience" and "Live Great Challenge". The Star Health Fair will be held in Halls 1 to 3 of the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre from April 12 to 14. It is open from 10am to 7pm and admission is free. For enquiries or to participate, call 03-79671388 (ext 1243/1529) or visit www.facebook.com/thestarhealth fair.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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