Selasa, 16 April 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates


Boston Marathon bombs believed packed in pressure cookers

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 09:33 PM PDT

BOSTON (Reuters) - The bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon were likely heavy, carried to the scene in dark nylon bags, and fashioned out of pressure cookers packed with shrapnel to make them more lethal, authorities said on Tuesday.

People embrace during a vigil honoring the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings at the Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

People embrace during a vigil honoring the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings at the Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The twin blasts on Monday killed three people including an 8-year-old boy and injured 176 others, some of whom were maimed by bombs packed with ball bearings and nails. Seventeen victims remained in critical condition, and investigators still did not know who to blame.

President Barack Obama, who will travel to Boston on Thursday for a memorial service, on Tuesday called the bombings an "act of terror." It was the worst attack on U.S. soil since security was stepped up following the suicide hijack attacks of September 11, 2001.

Cities across the United States went on heightened alert.

In Washington, the U.S. Senate shut its mail facility for the next two to three days after Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi received mail that tested positive for the poison ricin.

In New York, bomb squad investigators were called in and the central terminal at La Guardia airport was evacuated due to a suspicious package. Two passengers and their bags were removed from a flight at Boston's Logan airport. Both cases turned out to be false alarms.

At the scene of the marathon, investigators recovered material that was being reconstructed at the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, said Richard DesLauriers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's special agent in charge for Boston.

"Among items partially recovered are pieces of black nylon which could be from a backpack and what appear to be fragments of BBs (ball bearings) and nails possibly contained in a pressure cooker device," DesLauriers told a news conference.

"This morning it was determined that both of the explosives were placed in a dark-coloured nylon bag or backpack. The bag would have been heavy because of the components believed to be in it," DesLauriers said.

Bomb scene pictures taken by investigators and released on Tuesday show the remains of an explosive device including twisted pieces of a metal container, wires, a battery and what appears to be a small circuit board.

One picture shows a few inches of charred wire attached to a small box, and another depicts a half-inch (1.3 cm) nail and a zipper head stained with blood. Another shows a Tenergy-brand battery attached to black and red wires through a broken plastic cap. Several photos show a twisted metal lid with bolts.

A U.S. government official, who declined to be identified, made the pictures available to Reuters.

In addition, Boston's WHDH television showed a picture of an unattended, light-coloured bag on the ground right at one of the bomb sites before the explosion. The bag was gone in a picture from a similar angle taken after the blasts. Authorities could not be reached for comment on the significance of the pictures.

No suspects were in custody and there were no claims of responsibility. "The range of suspects and motives remains wide open," DesLauriers said.

PRESSURE COOKER BOMB

At least one bomb and possibly both were built using pressure cookers as the container, black powder or gunpowder as the explosive and ball bearings as additional shrapnel, according to current and former counterterrorism officials briefed on the matter.

Doctors said some victims would have to endure several operations over the coming days.

"When these kids came in ... they were just so badly hurt, just covered with singed hair and in so much pain, it was just gut-wrenching," said David Mooney, the director of the trauma program at Boston Children's Hospital. "Pulling nails out of a little girl's flesh is just awful."

Another doctor said he was amazed by the resolve of the patients.

"Some of them woke up today with no leg and they told me that they are happy to be alive. They told me they thought they would die as they saw the blood spilling out," George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, told reporters.

The decision to amputate was easy, he said: "We just completed the ugly job that the bomb did.

DEAD AT 8 YEARS OLD

The youngest to die was an 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard, who lived in the city's Dorchester neighbourhood. Outside the family's home, sympathizers created a makeshift memorial of flowers and "Peace" was written in chalk on the sidewalk.

Officials identified a second person killed as Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, Massachusetts. She was "the daughter that every father dreams to have," said Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn, who said he had confirmed the death with Campbell's father, William Campbell.

"She had a great sense of humour and freckles and red hair that brought her right to her Irish roots," McGlynn said.

The third fatal victim was a Chinese citizen whose identity was not being made public at the request of the victim's family, the Chinese Consulate in New York said in a statement. The victims was a graduate student at Boston University, the university said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball, Steve Holland and Mark Felsenthal in Washington and Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Genevra Pittman, Tim McLaughlin, Dan Burns and Stephanie Simon in Boston; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Grant McCool and Philip Barbara)


Related Stories:
Young boy, "dream daughter," Chinese citizen killed in Boston blasts

A shaken Boston mostly gets back to work; 12-block crime scene
Boston bomb scene pictures show remains of explosive device

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

China's bird flu death toll rises to 16, government warns of spread

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 08:56 PM PDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - Two more people in China have died from a new strain of avian influenza, bringing to 16 the number of deaths from the H7N9 virus, and the government has warned that the number of infections could rise.

The latest victims were from the commercial capital of Shanghai, where the majority of the 77 cases have been found, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Tuesday.

Chickens are seen at a poultry farm on the outskirts of Shanghai April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song

Chickens are seen at a poultry farm on the outskirts of Shanghai April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song

The exact source of infection remains unknown and no human-to-human spread of the virus has been confirmed.

Samples have tested positive in some birds in poultry markets that remain the focus of investigations by China and the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

"Because the source of the infection has not been effectively controlled, it is possible that the number of cases of infections could continue to rise," Xinhua said, quoting a risk assessment of the virus by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Zeng Guang, the chief scientist in charge of epidemiology at the China Disease Prevention and Control Centre (CDPCC), said about 40 percent of the victims have no clear history of poultry exposure, the Beijing News newspaper reported on Wednesday.

"How did these people get infected? It's a mystery," Zeng was quoted as saying.

According to a Reuters analysis of the infections, based on state media reports, only 10 out of the 77 victims as of Tuesday have had contact with poultry.

The CDPCC declined to comment when asked by Reuters.

The panic over bird flu has caused many Chinese to shun eating chicken for fear of catching the virus.

China's poultry sector has recorded losses of more than 10 billion yuan (1.0 billion pounds) since reports emerged of the new strain two weeks ago, an official at the country's National Poultry Industry Association said on Tuesday.

Authorities have slaughtered thousands of birds and closed live poultry markets in Shanghai and Beijing in an attempt to reduce the rate of human infection.

An international team of flu experts will go to China this week to help with investigations into the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

China said on Sunday the virus had spread outside the Yangtze River delta region in eastern China, with cases reported in the capital Beijing and the central province of Henan.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee and Huang Yan; Editing by Paul Tait)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

U.S. proposes U.N. Western Sahara rights monitor; Morocco warns of "missteps"

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 05:33 PM PDT

UNITED NATIONS/RABAT (Reuters) - The United States has proposed that the U.N. peace-keeping mission in the disputed territory of Western Sahara help monitor human rights there, U.N. diplomats said on Tuesday, an idea that has prompted an expression of regret from Morocco.

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon (L) in the Oval Office of the White House, April 11, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon (L) in the Oval Office of the White House, April 11, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

The U.S. proposal was contained in a draft U.N. Security Council resolution Washington circulated to the so-called Group of Friends on Western Sahara, which includes the United States, France, Spain, Britain and Russia, U.N. diplomats said on condition of anonymity.

"The U.S. has proposed a human rights-monitoring component for the U.N. in Western Sahara," a diplomat said. Other diplomats, as well as the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights, confirmed his remarks.

The draft resolution is intended to extend the mandate of the U.N. mission in Western Sahara for another year. It is scheduled to be put to a vote later this month.

Morocco's government responded to the U.S. proposal by cancelling the annual "African Lion" war games in protest.

In a statement, it said the country was "confident in the wisdom of the members of the Security Council and in their ability to find appropriate formulas to preserve the political process from any missteps that would have significant and detrimental consequences on the stability of the region."

African Lion is an annual joint military exercise with the Moroccan Armed Forces and the U.S. Army involving around 1,400 U.S. and 900 Moroccan soldiers.

U.N. diplomats said France, which traditionally supports Rabat, was also unhappy with the U.S. proposal.

The U.S. suggestion for a human rights monitoring component of the U.N. mission in Western Sahara, known as MINURSO, comes after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council in a report that he advocated "sustained" independent human rights monitoring for the territory.

The idea of permanent U.N. human rights monitoring is something Morocco opposes but rights groups and the Polisario Front independence movement have long advocated.

RIGHTS VIOLATIONS?

A spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, Payton Knopf, confirmed Washington was discussing the issue. "We are actively reviewing MINURSO's mandate and are working closely with our U.N. Security Council partners on this issue," he said.

"The United States continues to support the U.N.-led process designed to bring about a peaceful, sustainable and mutually agreed solution to the conflict whereby the human rights of all individuals are respected," Knopf added.

In U.N.-mediated talks, Rabat has tried to convince Polisario, which represents the Sahrawi people, to accept its plan for Western Sahara to be an autonomous part of Morocco.

Polisario instead proposes a referendum among ethnic Sahrawis that includes an option of independence, but there is no agreement between Morocco and Polisario on who should participate in any referendum.

The referendum has never been held and attempts to reach a lasting deal have been unsuccessful.

No state recognizes Morocco's rule over Western Sahara but the Security Council is divided. Some non-aligned states back Polisario but France, a veto-wielding council member, has continued to support Rabat.

Polisario accuses Morocco of routine human rights violations in Western Sahara and has called for MINURSO to have the authority to conduct independent human rights monitoring. That is something Polisario has called for in previous years, but Morocco, backed by France, has rejected the idea.

In his report, Ban argued in favour of some form of independent rights monitoring but offered no details on how it would be carried out in the resource-rich territory.

"Given ongoing reports of human rights violations, the need for independent, impartial, comprehensive and sustained monitoring of the human rights situations in both Western Sahara and the (refugee) camps becomes ever more pressing," Ban said.

(Reporting by Lou Charbonneau and Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Todd Eastham)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio


Drama king, Michael Wong makes his debut in radio drama

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 04:33 PM PDT

Michael Wong makes his debut in 988's radio drama.

We hear Michael Wong's voice over the airwaves often enough, but he is usually serenading listeners with his Mandopop hits. Now, the boyish-looking singer/actor is making his debut in a brand new Cantonese radio drama on local Chinese radio station 988 titled Huge Wave 2013.

Cantonese radio dramas, one of 988's signature programmes which have a big following, has come a long way since its Rediffusion days. In conjunction with the 40th anniversary of 988's radio dramas, the station decided to record an updated version of Huge Wave which was released some 10 years ago.

Ipoh-born Wong, 42, admitted that although it was not the first time his voice was used in a radio programme, Huge Wave 2013 marked his first genuine involvement in radio drama.

"When I was first asked to voice a role for a radio drama in Hong Kong, all I did was record my lines in the studio on my own. Then, someone else was tasked to splice together all the other pieces of dialogue to complete the radio play. There was absolutely no interaction between me and the other voice actors. So, I never realised it could be so much fun and such a delightful learning process," Wong shared during an interview held in the 988 recording studio at Tropicana Office Tower.

Wong found the whole project thoroughly fascinating. "We would read our lines and make notes to help with the recording. I was quite nervous but found it great being able to observe experienced professional radio actors project emotions using only their voices," quipped Wong.

Active in the Chinese music scene since 1995, the much-loved singer-songwriter has a dozen albums to his name. More popularly known as Guang Liang in the music industry, Wong is one of Malaysia's best known Mandopop crooners.

"Since I've mostly sung in Mandarin, I also discovered how different it is to record in Cantonese - I learned that the voice is supposed to come from the throat, instead," shared Wong who has also dabbled in acting and has been featured in five films and half a dozen television dramas as well as a stage musical.

Huge Wave 2013 beginsApril 17 at noon. 988's radio play airs from Monday to Friday at noon. For details about the radio drama, log on to http://988.com.my/drama/hugewave2013. Check out the trailer on YouTube http://youtu.be/HM4_R3qGgzw. 988 is owned and operated by The Star.

Cesar Millan’s The Dog Whisperer is back

Posted: 17 Apr 2013 08:10 AM PDT

The 'dog whisperer' is back with a new show that takes on the global issue of abandoned canines.

IT would be near impossible for any dog owner to watch Cesar Millan interact with his beloved canines without feeling a sense of awe (and perhaps a touch of envy – who wouldn't want to calm a rambunctious dog with a mere touch?).

The renowned dog behaviour expert and bestselling author, with over 20 years' experience with canines, hails from Culiacan, Mexico, and began his climb to fame when he started working with celebrity clients in Hollywood.

He first showed off his magic to the world in 2004, with his television show The Dog Whisperer, where he rehabilitated aggressive, scared, lazy, compulsive and jealous dogs while educating their families on how their own behaviour influenced the dogs' misdeeds.

The show was an instant hit and went on for a whopping nine seasons, thanks both to Millan's amazing ability to understand and communicate with our four-legged friends, as well as his affable personality.

Most of all, what came through abundantly was his undying love for dogs and a real commitment to building a better relationship between humans and canines.

The 43-year-old Millan is now eager to extend that attitude to a group of dogs that is desperately in need of our understanding: the abandoned.

With his new series, Cesar Millan's Leader Of The Pack, he takes on the global issue of canine abandonment, by training and assessing potential families who are in the running to take in an "unadoptable" dog.

Contrary to the regular practice of a family choosing from a selection of potential pets, three families are put through challenges each week to prove themselves capable of adopting an abandoned one.

In a telephone interview, Millan stresses that the show aims to highlight the worldwide issue of dogs being abandoned in shelters and eventually being put down.

"The show is about saving lives. There are about 600 million stray dogs around the world, with about 100 million dying every year. By doing a show like this, I hope to not only save these dogs, but also educate people, which is something my viewers want from me," he says.

The idea for Leader Of The Pack came from a very personal place in Millan's life.

"It all started two years ago, when I was going through a very hard time in my life," he shares.

According to media reports, he went through several personal tragedies in 2010 – his wife of 16 years filed for divorce, and his beloved pit bull Daddy passed away after a struggle with cancer after being with him for 16 years.

This culminated in a suicide attempt, which he later bravely spoke out about, calling it "the lowest level (he) had ever been emotionally and psychologically". The resilient Millan then put his life back together through his pack dog wisdom, using exercise, discipline and affection to heal himself.

"(Having gone through these experiences), I wanted to do a show with a mission, to save relationships," he says.

With Leader Of The Pack, Millan hopes to highlight the importance of compatibility when it comes to taking home a dog from a shelter.

"Most people are very excited initially about adopting a dog, but not everyone is compatible with the dog. Six out of 10 dogs adopted from shelters come back, which is very sad.

"In this show, people will see that a dog is given to a family when we can see compatibility, when the dog and humans give respect to each other."

An abandoned dog, he stresses, requires its family to be understanding of what it is going through, and behave accordingly.

"The last thing you should do is feel sorry for the dog. The dog is already going to be fearful, anxious and confused, and your job is not to feel bad, but to feel positive.

"You need to be calm and assertive, free from doubt. You need to give the feeling of, 'You're going to make it'. Once the dog is put in that environment, he will feel safe," he explains.

Filmed in Miraflores, Spain, at Millan's newest Dog Psychology Centre, Leader Of The Pack features canines from all over world.

Millan only has one criterion when selecting dogs from shelters in countries as varied as Poland and Italy: "I ask the shelter, which dog is the hardest to place?"

He says: "Some dogs have been at the shelter for two or three years, and I always like working with the worst-case scenario. Also, this way, the dog rescuers can see that I can assess what the dog needs within a few minutes, which helps when it comes to placing it with a family."

Setting the show outside of the United States is also Millan's nod to his fans worldwide.

"The world sees The Dog Whisperer as being set in the United States. But people love me everywhere, and I really wanted the world to participate in my effort. We chose Spain because it is a strategic location and the weather is great.

"I want people to know that Cesar is moving around, he is coming to the world!" he announces enthusiastically.

Millan further shares that he is very excited about the possibilities for Leader Of The Pack, and is keen to continue the show with new ideas that can make it even more informative to viewers (the show ended its first season in the United States last month).

"This show is a call to arms. I'm not saying everyone should adopt a dog, but I'm saying everyone can participate in the process of making sure these dogs are not forgotten."

Cesar Millan's Leader Of The Pack premieres tonight at 10pm on the National Geographic Channel (Astro Ch 553).

No more bad news from Curtis Stone

Posted: 17 Apr 2013 08:14 AM PDT

AUSTRALIAN TV chef Curtis Stone does not have to play bad cop, for once, on his new show Around The World In 80 Plates.

On the new reality cooking competition, 12 chefs travel the world while tackling various kitchen challenges, then vote one another off.

Says its co-host Stone, 37, with a chuckle: "I don't have to give the bad news.

"In other shows that I've been a part of, when I have to tell the contestant, 'I'm sorry but your food wasn't the best today', I'm sure all they are thinking is, 'I hate that Curtis Stone'."

The Melbourne native started cooking at age five, and later trained under Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White in London.

Having shot to fame on food shows such as Take Home Chef and Top Chef Master, he is known to fans as "The Quiet Terminator", for his good performance and scathing critique of fellow contestants on reality show The Celebrity Apprentice 3 in 2010.

But Stone has no beef with his 80 Plates co-host, American Iron Chef Cat Cora, 45.

"Cat is an amazing chef who has achieved a lot in her career," he says. "She's such a lovely person. She's very motivated and inspirational when it comes to food."

While shooting the show, the pair snuck off for some extra-curricular eating on their own.

"Every time, no matter how tired we are, the second our plane would stop, we'd say to the driver, 'Take us to the best local place. Where do you have lunch?' And we'd be on our own little adventure," reveals the celebrity chef, who is engaged to American actress Lindsay Price, 36. The couple have a year-old son.

Asked how this series is different from other reality shows, and his excited reply is: "This combines my two loves: both the cooking and culinary competition, as well as travel.

"You get to see a whole different side and personality of the chefs, because they need to be great cooks and resourceful," he adds. "But you also need to think on your feet and really react to a situation, which is very important as a traveller."

The show's 12 contestants, all American, include Sai Pituk, who owns classy Thai restaurant Tara Thai in El Paso, Texas; and Chaz Brown, chef de cuisine at New York City's Fatty Crab restaurant, which serves Malaysian-inspired dishes.

Travelling to 10 different countries – including Spain, Thailand and Morocco – they learn local cuisine, customs and culture, and compete in recreating and reinventing food of the region.

Asked if he has learnt anything on his travels, Stone says: "As a chef, you really never stop learning. I learnt about different styles of cooking that I hadn't spent a lot of time understanding before. Different ingredients in different countries. Different customs and different attitudes." –The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

Around The World In 80 Plates airs on TLC (Astro Ch 707) at 10.03pm on Wednesdays.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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Petronas not involved in deals on Brazil oil blocks

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 06:45 PM PDT

Published: Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 9:45:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd clarified on Wednesday it had not entered into any agreement over the oil blocks in Brazil.

It issued the statement following news reports about its possible acquisition of OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA (OGX)'s interest in the Tubarao Martelo oil block in Brazil's Campos Basin.

"Petronas has not entered into any agreement with OGX or any other party with regards to any oil blocks in Brazil," it said.

Bloomberg reported Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista was seeking to sell 40% of the Tubarao Martelo oil block in Brazil's Campos Basin for US$1bil (RM3.04bil) as soon as next month, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, the oil producer controlled by Batista, is in advanced talks with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), said the person, who requested anonymity because the negotiations were private.

Batista, 56, is selling assets and reshuffling management teams at his interlinked commodities and logistics units amid investor concerns that the billionaire's businesses were losing access to financing.

Shares at his public companies have declined as much as 90% in the past year after OGX cut oil output targets, erasing more than US$27bil of Batista's personal fortune since March 2012.

 

Ingress surges to 9-year high on takeover offer

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 06:41 PM PDT

Published: Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 9:42:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Ingress Corp Bhd's share price surged to RM1.79 in early trade on Wednesday, which was more than nine-year high after a conditional takeover offer at RM1.85 a share.

At 9.32am, it was trading at RM1.78, up 14 sen. There were 2.84 million shares done at prices ranging from RM1.78 to RM1.79.

The FBM KLCI was up 6.25 points to 1,706.78. Turnover was 101.21 million shares valued at RM116.58mil. There were 190 gainers, 72 losers while 156 counters were unchanged.

On Monday, Ingress' three major shareholders, who collectively own 29.81%, have made a conditional takeover for the shares that they do not own.

The three shareholders - Ramdawi Sdn Bhd, executive vice chairman Datuk Rameli Musa and founder Datuk Dr Ab Wahab Ismail - offered to takeover Ingress for RM1.85 sen a share or RM109mil.

The takeover offer at RM1.85 a share is 27 sen or 17% above Monday's closing price of RM1.58 but a discount of 33% to its latest book value of RM2.77. The joint offerors have stated that the offer for the remaining stake of 70.19% would be in cash.

They also said they did not plan to maintain the listing status and they did not intend to take any steps to address the shortfall in the public shareholding spread of Ingress.

Ingress said its board would appoint an independent adviser in due course to advise on the reasonableness of the offer.

 

Yung Kong targets RM500mil revenue on rising steel demand

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 06:32 PM PDT

KUCHING: Yung Kong Galvanising Industries Bhd (YKGI) targets group revenue to hit the RM500mil mark this year on improving demand for its products as the local steel industry recovers from its doldrums.

Managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Soh Thian Lai said sales of steel products had picked up as reflected by a 44% jump in YKGI group's turnover to RM139mil in the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 from RM96.5mil in the same period last year.

The company returned to the black with a group pre-tax profit of RM2.63mil for the first quarter from a loss of RM3.07mil in the same quarter last year.

"Our group has RM100mil worth of outstanding orders to be delivered. We expect a 25% increase in group production to 250,000 tonnes this year from about 200,000 tonnes last year," Soh told StarBiz after YKGI's EGM here yesterday.

He said the group recorded about RM460mil in turnover last year, adding that the highest annual revenue it had registered so far was RM480mil before the industry's downturn.

YKGI, which has manufacturing facilities in Selangor and here, is Malaysia's top three flat steel producers among the seven players.

The group's main products are pickled and oiled coils, cold rolled coils, galvanised iron coils and pre-painted galvanised iron coils.

Soh said the steel industry in Peninsular Malaysia had benefited from better profit margins on increasing demand and that the company was confident the current demand could be sustained.

He said YKGI's average gross profit margin had risen to 10.2% from 7% a year ago. The company hopes to raise it by a further 5% by June.

He said the local steel industry experienced a turnaround after prices of steel products in China and Japan moved up early this year.

According to Soh, YKGI group sourced 100% of its imported raw material and hot rolled coils from Nippon Steel Corp, which has a 10% equity interest in YKGI.

He said as Nippon Steel was Japan's biggest and the world's second largest steel mill owner with an annual production of 55 mil tonnes, it was able to lower production cost.

"Besides the competitive price, Nippon Steel guarantees high quality and a constant supply of the raw materials to us," he added.

At the EGM, shareholders approved a series of corporate proposals, including fund-raising.

YKGI is expected to raise net proceeds of RM42.95mil from a private placement and restricted issue of new 50 sen shares to substantial shareholder Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc.

The private placement of more than 39.1 milllion shares representing 20% of the company's existing issued and paid-up capital will raise gross proceeds of RM19.55mil.

Soh has agreed to subscribe to a minimium of 10 mil placement shares and the remaining new shares would be placed out to third party investor.

The restricted issue of 48.8 mil shares to Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc will raise gross proceeds of RM24.4mil. From the gross proceeds, RM1mil will be used to pay for the expenses of the corporate exercise.

Soh said the proceeds would be used as the company's working capital within 12 months.

Also approved was the proposed acquisition of the remaining 45.52% equity interest in Starshine Holdings Bhd for RM16.6mil to be satisfied via the issuance of 33.2 mil new 50 sen shares.

On completion of the acquisition, Starshine will become YKGI's wholly-owned subsdiary. Starshine group is principally involved in the manufacturing and trading of both long and flat steel products.

The EGM also gave its nod to a bonus issue of up to 38.2 mil new shares on the basis of one bonus share for every 10 existing shares held on an entitlement date to be determined later.

Shareholders will also get three free warrants for every 10 YKGI shares. The exercise will involve the issuance of up to 114.6 mil new warrants.

The bonus shares and free warrants will only be issued after the completion of the acquisition of Starshine, private placement and restricted issue.

"Marubeni-Itochu's stake in YKGI will be increased to over 26% from 18.4% upon completion of the restricted issue," said Soh. Marubeni-Itochu has been YKGI's major foreign shareholder since 1983.

Nippon Steel's stake in YKGI will, however, be diluted to 7% after the corporate exercise

Soh said the combined stakes of Marubeni-Itochu and Nippon Steel would jump to one-third of YKGI's expanded capital of RM165mil upon completion of the entire corporate exercise expected by next month.

 

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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Bruins reschedule game due to blasts

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 04:18 PM PDT

BOSTON, Massachusetts: The National Hockey League's lockout shortened season has been extended an extra day due to the deadly explosions that rocked the Boston Marathon on Monday.

League officials announced Tuesday that the Boston Bruins-Ottawa Senators game which was postponed because of the finish line blasts has been rescheduled to April 28 at the Garden arena.

"On behalf of my entire family, our prayers and deepest sympathies are with those who were injured, lost their lives, their families and the entire city of Boston," said team owner Jeremy Jacobs.

"We will be there to offer our support in any way that we can in the wake of this tragedy."

Monday's Bruins game was set to be played at the downtown arena just blocks from the site of the twin blasts that caused chaos in the city, killing at least three and injuring over 100, some critically.

A labour dispute which lasted four months after the owners locked the players out of NHL arenas resulted in the 2012-13 regular season being reduced from 82 to just 48 games.

The National Basketball Association announced Monday that the Boston Celtics regular season-ending home game on Tuesday against Indiana was being cancelled and would not be rescheduled.

The contest did not carry any playoff implications. Boston is the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, eight games behind Indiana, which is third and cannot catch the second place New York Knicks.

Both teams end the NBA regular season on Wednesday, with Boston heading to Toronto, Canada and Indiana hosting Philadelphia.

There were moments of silence prior to sporting events at stadiums around the United States on Monday.

That included Dodgers stadium in Los Angeles where the Dodgers and San Diego Padres celebrated the legacy of civil rights pioneer Jackie Robinson who broke baseball's colour barrier. - AFP

Pistorius 'not welcome' at Anniversary Games

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 04:15 PM PDT

LONDON: South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend, will not be welcome at the Anniversary Games at London's Olympic Park this year, organisers said on Tuesday.

The three-day event to commemorate the first anniversary of the London Olympics will include a day of Paralympic sport, but UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner said Pistorius would not be invited to take part.

"I don't want to see the Sunday of the Anniversary Games turning into a media circus," Warner told BBC radio. "It would over-shadow every other athlete that was there.

It's not about innocent or guilty, it's about how you handle an individual with a difficult moral situation hanging over them.

"Anything might change. He is in court before then, but based on what I know at the moment, it would be a no if he rang this morning."

Pistorius, a six-time Paralympic gold-medallist, is currently on police bail after being accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in Pretoria in February.

The 26-year-old, who claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, is allowed to compete outside South Africa before his case goes to trial.

He was recently photographed at an athletics track in Pretoria, but is yet to return to full training.

British Olympic gold medal-winners Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford will all compete at the Anniversary Games on July 26-28, organisers announced earlier on Tuesday.

"I have amazing memories of competing in the Olympic Stadium last year and it will be good to step out on that track again in front of a British crowd," Ennis said.

"I'll never forget the noise the crowd made when I competed last August and know that the draw of the stadium and the great line-up of athletes will fill the stands and make it another incredible occasion.

"I am training hard and am getting excited about the prospect of getting out there and competing again this summer." - AFP

Nadal starts against Matosevic, Djokovic plays

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 04:14 PM PDT

MONTE CARLO, Monaco: Rafael Nadal lines up on Wednesday against Australian Marinko Matosevic at the Monte Carlo Masters as the Spaniard begins his campaign for a record ninth straight trophy at the iconic venue.

Nadal's opponent Matosevic faces the toughest ask in tennis after winning his first match on clay in almost a year to open Tuesday with a 7-5, 6-3 success over Fernando Verdasco.

Top seed Novak Djokovic meanwhile informed tournament director Zeljko Franulovic that he would be fit to make his start in the second round after a bye.

Djokovic has been putting in training and tests on his injured right ankle over the past few days. He will begin against Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who stands a respectable 3-4 in their career series.

Wednesday's line-up features Nadal, Djokovic and second seed Andy Murray, whose profile has been the quietest of the major contenders so far.

Matosevic, the number 54 in the world, won't have time to celebrate his upset of Spain's former ace Verdasco.

Instead, he will become just the first obstacle placed in the path of Nadal, winner of his last 42 matches here at the Country Club overlooking the Mediterranean.

Matosevic sprang a surprise on Verdasco, the one-time clay powerhouse and 2010 runner-up here to Nadal, going through to the second round in a struggle as his Spanish opponent fought back at the end in the one-hour, 51-minute contest.

Matosevic saved nine of the dozen break points he faced while breaking the 31st-ranked Verdasco on five occasions.

The Australian last won a clay match in the first round of French Open qualifying last May after earning his last ATP win on the surface in Munich a few weeks earlier.

In other first-round matches on a perfect, sunny day, Spain's 10th seed Nicolas Almagro came back against Belgian David Goffin 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, while Swiss 13th seed Stanislas Wawrinka beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-3, 7-5.

Argentine 14th seed Juan Monaco defeated Slovak Martin Klizan 6-4, 6-0, but French showman Gael Monfils lost to Albert Montanes 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

In the second round, Argentine wild card and fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro survived an early scare from Alexandr Dolgopolov, with the South American finally posting a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win and securing his first career victory in Monte Carlo after last playing in 2009.

French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Russian Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 while compatriot and number seven Richard Gasquet struggled before containing countryman Benoit Paire 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov upset eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (7/3), 6-1, with the Serb double-faulting on a set point in the opening set and tweeting that he is now taking a few days off. - AFP

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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Meet Beebo and friends

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 03:23 AM PDT

SAY "Hi!" to Beebo, Peeper, Weirdo, Weirdel and their friends. They are coming to you through the picture book, The Adventures Of Beebo & Friends! – ABC And Special Wheels.

The book is the first in a series written by Brigitte Rozario, illustrated by Tan Vay Fern and published by MPH. Rozario is also the portal head of ParenThots.com, The Star's parenting portal.

The series is about a six-year-old boy named Beebo who lives in DeliLand with his Mummy, Daddy, brother Beezy and baby sister Milly. He loves playing and exploring with his best friend Peeper and other friends Sam, Weirdo and Weirdel. Together, they have lots of adventures in DeliLand, a magical place not too far away.

The first book has two stories – ABC and Special Wheels.

In the first story – ABC – Beebo doesn't want to learn his ABCs. He sneaks out of the house and runs to the field to play with his best friend Peeper. They see a dark cloud in the sky and then meet the evil Cloudmaster. He threatens to send DeliLand 40 years of rain unless the boys can solve a puzzle.

In the second story – Special Wheels – a new girl named Sam joins Beebo's class. She is in a wheelchair. The kids at school don't know what to make of her wheels and the Strange twins (Weirdo and Weirdel) start bullying her.

Children will have fun reading the stories as they pick up values like the importance of studying and not bullying others.

In conjunction with the publication of The Adventures Of Beebo & Friends! – ABC And Special Wheels, MPH Publishing is giving away 10 copies of the book.

To stand a chance to win, answer the following questions:

1) Who is Beebo's best friend?

2) What is the colour of the Cloudmaster's clothes? (He is on the cover of the book.)

3) Complete the following sentence in not more than 20 words: "I would like to read Beebo because ..."

Send in your entries to beebo.beedle@gmail.com by April 30 (6pm) with the subject: The Star-Beebo contest. The contest is open to children aged 12 and below only. Entries must include your full name, MyKad/IC number, address and contact details. Winners will be notified by MPH via e-mail or sms. Please note that correspondence with the judges will not be entertained.

The Adventures Of Beebo & Friends! – ABC And Special Wheels is available at MPH bookstores and Kinokuniya. For more information, go to facebook.com/beebobooks.

In search of answers

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 03:21 AM PDT

A young author's first book offers adventure as well as teen angst.

WHEN author Vas Bismark describes the protagonist River in Bloodline Chalice as a "simple, ordinary teenager", it is just as well that he adds, "... despite his extraordinary abilities" in the same sentence.

Yes, River certainly has unusual skills – he can communicate with tigers, he "remembers" things he has never seen, and he is unusually strong and agile, able to single-handedly hold back armies of men and various assortments of menacing shapeshifters.

"He is a character that takes no sides, he does what he believes is right. He is also confused, self-involved and somewhat misunderstood," writes Bismark in an e-mail interview from his home in the Philippines.

These are hardly surprising traits, given that River has friends who seem to have been lying to him about his childhood, of which there is nothing he recalls. He can't quite shake the feeling that he doesn't belong in Carin, the only town he knows as home. Plagued by dreams and strange visions, he suspects that the answers to his questions lie beyond the borders of the town. So journey he must, but there are forces that seem hell bent on stopping him, and he doesn't know why. Who is friend and who is foe? Sometimes it is hard to tell.

Bloodline Chalice is the first in the River's Journey series, and also the first book written by the 22-year-old author, whose favourite book genres are – not surprisingly – fantasy and science fiction.

He comments, however, that he currently finds himself hard pressed to find time to read more than one or two books each month; he is kept busy with writing poetry, play scripts and short films "... for fun," he says, and also helping his father run and manage his vegetarian cafe and archery cafe.

And in his spare (!) time, he is putting together a photography production house.

"I'm not a photographer, I just manage a crew of talented friends. Other hobbies I have include watching anime, sports and painting," he shares.

Interestingly, he sees a lot of himself in the protagonist of the book, and says that the most apparent commonality he has with River is his "fondness for music, humour, intense determination and temperament".

Bloodline Chalice is a young adult fantasy novel, and it is one that comes with a message, according to Bismark.

"It is adventurous, but will also speak to teens about very normal problems like fitting in, peer pressure and finding themselves. It is, of course, also fun, exciting and thrilling. It has the fun of a giant jigsaw puzzle. Emotionally, it has the excitement of a roller coaster, and the thrill of seemingly endless possibilities," he says.

Bismark rates the story high on the relatability scale, thanks to its universal themes of unrequited love, friendship, the pursuit of truth and the dangers (and allure) of power, war, greed and betrayal.

"I tried to balance the romance that appeals to the girls with the action and fantasy elements that appeal to the boys. I wanted the book to reflect life – life being the chaotic and stressful mess that it is, and yet remaining still beautiful somehow," he says.

Each character in the book is based on a combination of two or three people he knows in real life, plus his "personal interpretation" of who he thinks they are.

He also looks to the stars for inspiration: "I refer to the zodiac star signs or Chinese horoscope of the people I've based the character on as a general guide."

On how Bloodline Chalice came to be published by RYTHM House Publishing (rythm-house.com), a Malaysian publishing company, Bismark shares that it was through a series of fortunate events.

When he started writing the book, he did it with a vision of eventually having it published. It just so happened that at a business convention, he met a business associate of his dad's who requested a copy of his manuscript, and then handed it to Rythm House Publishing.

"It turned out that Rythm House Publishing has a Young Writers' Programme where they train and mould young writers. I completed an internship with them and my manuscript was published! Everything just fell into place," he relates.

But it certainly didn't simply happen without a lot of hard work. Bismark spent about a year and a half writing the first draft by hand. It was back to basics for the then 16-year-old; pencil and paper, and lots of feedback and critiques from close friends.

"The titles, names of characters, plot and story changed many times throughout the course of writing this book. I spent two and a half years revising the initial draft, juggling it between studies, martial arts, sports and music. Then it was a year of throwing it back and forth through e-mails with the editors. All in all, it took about five years to complete the book," he recalls.

"Revising the story is the most difficult part; it is surprising how different it turned out compared to my first draft."

Bismark envisions a total of four, perhaps even five, books in the River's Journey series. He is currently working on the second book and hopes to finish it before the year is up.

"I don't want to keep my readers waiting too long," he says.

Young, talented and successful

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 03:18 AM PDT

Meet the brightest stars under 25.

WHILE some youngsters may be experiencing a quarter life crisis, others are already on track to become megastars. Galaxie shines the spotlight on 25 stars under the age of 25 who are destined for big things in 2013 in the new issue hitting newsstands today.

One of the names on the list is Jennifer Lawrence. She nabbed an Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook earlier this year and she will return to the big screen as Katniss Everdeen in the much-anticipated The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in November. She is only 22.

Likewise, Justin Bieber, who is 19, is still riding on the success of Believe and though the tabloids have not been kind to him of late, the fact that he is constantly in the news is a sure sign that his star is still shining brightly.

These and 23 other stars, including Nicholas Hoult, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Demi Lovato, Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Ed Sheeran, Adele and HyunA are poised for a stellar year.

Read about what's next for them in the April 16-30 issue of Galaxie.

In the same issue, Ellie Goulding reveals what it was like performing for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge plus Smash stars Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty talk to Galaxie's Geraldine Jeremiah about real-life competition on Broadway in an exclusive interview from the set of the TV show in New York.

If you're looking to decorate your walls with new posters, Galaxie's new issue comes with gorgeous pictures of Pretty Little Liars star Ian Harding, Pink, Fall Out Boy, One Direction and Taylor Swift plus a must-have poster of The Wolverine.

Readers also stand a chance of winning attractive goodies like OneRepublic's new album entitled Native, Guy Sebastian's Armageddon CDs and Oxy hampers. All these and more on top of the reports on the latest in music, movies and TV as well as celebrity goings-on.

Galaxie, which is owned by Star Publications (M) Bhd and voted Entertainment Magazine Of The Year for the years 2011 and 2012, also has a presence online at galaxieblog.com.my. For further updates on the magazine and the entertainment world, follow Galaxie on Twitter (@galaxiemag) and visit its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GalaxieMagazine).

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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Ashley Judd joins 'Divergent'

Posted: 15 Apr 2013 09:13 PM PDT

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ashley Judd (Olympus Has Fallen) is in talks to participate in the upcoming trilogy Divergent, a mix of adventure, action and romance akin to The Hunger Games.

Author Veronica Roth's Divergent books are set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic Chicago.

Survivors live behind protective walls and are divided into five factions: Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Candor and Amity.

The film's story will center on Tris Prior, a 16-year-old girl who must choose her faction. She was raised in an Abnegation family but she, like a few others in the population, is described as "Divergent."

She finally chooses to join Dauntless, the faction responsible for maintaining order. This choice will be the starting point of an adventure to stop an Erudite plot to overturn the political system.

If talks with Summit Entertainment studios are successful, Judd (pic) will play Natalie Prior, the mother of the heroine who watches her two children leave for other factions.

The American actress would join a cast featuring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Zoƫ Kravitz, Maggie Q, Aaron Eckhart and Ray Stevenson.

Director Neil Burger (Limitless) has started filming Divergent in Chicago. The movie is set for release on 21 March, 2014 in North American cinemas.

(Relaxnews)

'Oblivion' tops international box office

Posted: 15 Apr 2013 08:58 PM PDT

According to the Rentrak Institute, Oblivion made US$61.1M worldwide over the weekend ending Sunday, 14 April.

The film, which has been released in 52 countries -- but not yet in the United States -- has knocked sci-fi movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation off the top spot.

G.I. Joe, starring Channing Tatum and Bruce Willis, has fallen to fourth place with takings of US$26.4M.

DreamWorks' prehistoric comedy The Croods is in second place with US$38.7M.

42, the biopic about baseball player Jackie Robinson, is in third place (US$27.25M) even though it has only been released in the United States.

Starring Harrison Ford, it is top of the American box office.

(Relaxnews)

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The Star Online: Nation

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Wisma Putra: No Malaysians affected by Boston Marathon bombings

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 08:54 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Foreign Ministry has confirmed that no Malaysians have been reported to be affected by the Boston Marathon bombings in the United States on Tuesday.

Wisma Putra, in a statement here said the ministry was constantly monitoring the latest developments on the incident and would issue updates from time to time.

The Consulate of Malaysia in New York can also be reached at +1-2124902722 and +19179696700, the statement said.

In the incident on April 15 at 3pm local time, two bombs exploded not far from the finishing line of the Boston Marathon, with the second explosion occurred 10 seconds later, resulting in three deaths, 134 people injured, 17 in critical conditions and 25 in serious conditions.

Early reports indicated that the bombings were using small devices and no sign of high grade explosives. - Bernama

Related Stories:
Malaysian marathoner misses Boston bomb blasts by 30 minutes
Malaysians tweet condolences to victims of Boston Marathon bomb blast

GE13: DAP picks Teo Nie Ching for Kulai parliament seat

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 08:51 AM PDT

KULAI: DAP's Teo Nie Ching (pix) will be moving from Serdang where she served as MP to contest in the Kulai parliamentary seat in the 13th general election.

The announcement was made by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng during a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah in Jalan Pasar here Tuesday night.

The announcement also put an end to speculation for the Kulaijaya seat between Teo and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua who were both shortlisted as candidates for the seat, which was held by former MCA president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.

Teo will be facing Kulai MCA deputy chairman Tay Chin Hein, 45.

Meanwhile, Lim also announced the party's Johor Socialist Youth (Dapsy) assistant publicity secretary and progressive social research executive director Wong Shu Qi, 30, as the candidate for the Senai state seat.

This also means that incumbent Senai state assemblyman Ong Kow Meng has been dropped.

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

GE13: Musa Aman breaks nine-year CM jinx

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 06:49 AM PDT

KOTA KINABALU: After breaking Sabah's infamous nine-year jinx that has haunted past chief ministers, state Umno chief Datuk Musa Aman (pix) is set to lead the Barisan Nasional for a record third term.

Musa, who in March last year broke the jinx that has seen no chief minister serving more then nine years, will defend his Sungai Sibuga state seat as Sabah Barisan takes on a resurgent but fractious opposition.

Musa said that he was confident that the Barisan will do well and equal its last election performance of winning 59 of the 60 state and 24 of the 25 parliamentary seats.

"God willing, we can do it again," he told reporters as he unveiled the list of Sabah Umno candidates.

Musa named former chief minister and current state Speaker Datuk Mohd Salleh Tun Said for his former Usukan state seat.

Salleh was among the six new faces from Sabah Umno's 32 seats.

The others included Datuk Yusoff Apdal, the younger brother of Umno vice-president Datuk Shafie Apdal, who will contest the Lahad Datu state seat while its incumbent Datuk Nasrun Datu Mansur will contest the Silam parliamentary seat.

Five term assemblyman Datuk Karim Bujang was dropped from his Bongawan seat and was replaced by the Kimanis division's youth chief Mohammad Alamin as Sabah Umno maintained most its incumbents.

State minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun will contest the Beaufort parliamentary seat that was held by Datuk Lajim Ukin who left the party.

All Sabah Umno's federal ministers - Datuk Anifah Aman (Kimanis) and Shafie (Semporna) and Puteri Umno chief Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shirlin (Papar) - have been retained with Umno fielding Datuk Jumaat Idris for the Sepanggar parliamentary seat.

Musa said the decision on the Tenom seat currently held by Raime Unggi will be made by Wednesday.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who announced his party's list simultaneously at the party headquarters in Penampang, said that super principal Datuk Mary Yap will be contesting the Tawau parliamentary seat.

Pairin, who is defending his Keningau parliamentary and Tambunan state seats, also named businessman Fung Len Fui for the Sri Tanjung state seat and lawyer Chin Teck Ming for the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat.

The three seats are now held by the opposition.

No other changes were made to his remaining two MPs and 11 assemblymen as other Sabah Barisan parties announced their line up with Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and Sabah Gerakan retaining their incumbents.

Upko led by Tan Sri Bernard Dompok will defend his Penampang parliamentary seat while secretary general Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau will stand in Tuaran.

Upko, which has been allocated four parliamentary seats and six state seats is fielding newcomers in the Kuala Penyu (Limus Jury) and Bingkor (Keneddy Jie John) state seats while retaining the other incumbents.

Liberal Democratic Party led by Datuk V.K.Liew, who retains Sandakan parliamentary seat, is fielding Charles Pang for the Karamunting state seat and putting youth leader Chin Su Yin in Likas.

Sabah MCA chairman Datuk Edward Khoo will defend his Kapayan state seat and the party has been allocated a second state seat Luyang which will be contested by Sabah MCA Wanita chief Datuk Agnes Shim.

PBRS will see no changes with its president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup staying put in the Pensiangan parliamentary seat and party deputy Datuk Alfred Ellron Angin staying on in the Sook state seat.

Sabah Gerakan, which will be contesting for the first time under a Barisan ticket in Sabah, will retain the state seats Tanjong Papat (Datuk Raymond Tan) and Elopura (Au Kam Wah) who both did not follow SAPP when it left the coalition in Sept 2008.

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

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