Khamis, 18 April 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Top TV show 'Dexter' to end run

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 09:31 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cable channel Showtime on Wednesday pulled the plug on Dexter, the critically acclaimed show about a police analyst who is also a serial killer.

Starring Michael C. Hall (pic) in the title role, the show that pushed boundaries in terms of violence and dark humor will conclude this summer at the end of its eighth season.

"When it debuted in 2006, Dexter redefined the genre, by taking the anti-hero to new heights ... its cultural impact will be felt for years to come," Showtime Chairman and CEO Matthew C. Blank said in a statement.

Dexter earned Hall a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award. The show has more than 13 million fans on Facebook and about 7 million Americans watched last season's finale. The series is also broadcast in parts of Europe and Asia.

Hall, who is also an executive producer, told Entertainment Weekly that his character was ready for a final chapter after Dexter's secret life of killing - which he justified on ethical grounds - was discovered by his police officer sister Debra at the end of the sixth season.

"I've been an advocate for having a dialogue with the writers and getting a sense of how to best bring this story home - not wrap everything up with a tidy bow, but find some sort of conclusion," Hall told Entertainment Weekly earlier this month.

"There has to be an end game. Once Deb found out, it felt like we were moving toward a place where the world as Dexter knew it would end," he added.

The final season of Dexter will begin on 30 June.


The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Pakistan police arrest former president Musharraf

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 08:50 PM PDT

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani police arrested former president Pervez Musharraf at his residence on the outskirts of Islamabad on Friday and presented him in court in connection with allegations he committed treason while in office, television stations reported.

Television footage showed Musharraf being escorted by uniformed police officers to an Islamabad court. A judge issued an arrest order for the former army chief on Thursday.

Pakistan's former President and head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) political party Pervez Musharraf salutes as he arrives to unveil his party manifesto for the forthcoming general election at his residence in Islamabad April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

Pakistan's former President and head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) political party Pervez Musharraf salutes as he arrives to unveil his party manifesto for the forthcoming general election at his residence in Islamabad April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999-2008, returned to Pakistan last month from nearly four years of self-imposed exile in the hope of running in next month's general elections.

But his bid to run for office has been rejected by election officials and he has instead found himself battling a host of legal challenges relating to his years in power.

(Reporting By Matthew Green; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Gunshots heard on Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus - school website

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 08:48 PM PDT

(Reuters) - Gunshots were heard near a building on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, the school said on its website on Thursday.

The shots "were reported near Building 32 ... which is currently surrounded by responding agencies," according to a statement on the MIT website for emergency information.

A woman walks across the campus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

A woman walks across the campus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

The university's Twitter page also warned students of an "active shooter incident" and told them to "stay indoors and away from the area."

An MIT police officer was shot, CNN and WCVB-TV reported.

A representative for the MIT Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, David Bailey in Minnesota and Kevin Gray in Miami; Editing by Stacey Joyce and Kevin Gray)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Maduro looks for South American backing in Venezuela dispute

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 08:41 PM PDT

LIMA (Reuters) - Venezuelan President-elect Nicolas Maduro was expected to get a collective show of support from South American leaders in Lima on Thursday, but also face calls to defuse tensions with his opponents over the disputed vote.

Venezuela's President-elect Nicolas Maduro smiles before he receives from the National Election Council a certificate confirming him as winner of Sunday's election, in Caracas, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Venezuela's President-elect Nicolas Maduro smiles before he receives from the National Election Council a certificate confirming him as winner of Sunday's election, in Caracas, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

The last-minute meeting of the regional group Unasur was being held in Peru a day before he is to be sworn in on Friday.

Protests erupted in Venezuela after Maduro won Sunday's election by about 2 percentage points, and at least eight people have been killed in violent clashes.

Maduro blamed the United States for casting doubt on the result. He was named by late President Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in March, as his chosen successor.

"In Venezuela we don't have an opposition, we have a permanent conspiracy cheered on by the United States," he said in a televised speech before boarding a plane to Lima. He did not speak to reporters upon arrival.

Fans and foes of Maduro banged pots and pans and waved Venezuelan flags in competing protests in Lima's Plaza San Martin.

The governments of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Argentina, among others, have already recognized Maduro's victory.

But two of the more moderate countries - Peru and Brazil - are worried about growing polarization in Venezuela.

Diplomatic sources said regional heavyweight Brazil is looking to encourage Maduro to calm tensions with the opposition to help governance in the OPEC nation.

Peruvian lawmakers said they were told by their foreign minister that President Ollanta Humala would propose Maduro enter into a dialogue with the opposition and carry out an audit of the votes.

Leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales, who was a close ally of Chavez, said Unasur aimed to "express our support for President-elect Maduro and the legality of the Venezuelan election."

Morales said Washington had no right to question Maduro's victory because U.S. President George W. Bush was re-elected by a similarly narrow margin in 2004.

"This is clearly meddling," Morales said earlier in the day. "We condemn this and repudiate it. We won't permit that Bolivia or Latin America be treated as the U.S. government's backyard."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday told lawmakers he favoured a recount because of possible voting irregularities. Washington has not recognized the result.

The European Union has suggested Venezuelan authorities consider an audit of the vote.

Maduro's supporters have defended the legitimacy of his win with repeated references to the 2000 U.S. election dispute, when the U.S. Supreme Court halted a recount in Florida and Bush was declared the winner in the state by just 537 votes.

Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, who was a fierce critic of Chavez, urged a recount overseen by international observers to "stop the authoritarian drift that seems to be underway."


Peru holds the rotating presidency of Unasur and the group's election monitors have said Maduro's win was legitimate.

Most of the leaders, including Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, will head to Venezuela for the swearing-in ceremony after the meeting in Lima.

The outcome of Sunday's vote has been rejected by Maduro's rival, Henrique Capriles, who has alleged thousands of irregularities at polling centres and wants a full audit of the ballots.

Maduro's allies have said a recount is unnecessary because the electoral council had already carried out a partial audit.

On Thursday, Tibisay Lucena, the head of Venezuela's National Electoral Council, said the remaining 46 percent of the electronic votes cast would be audited. It had already audited 54 percent.

While that is not the manual recount that Capriles has asked for, the move could constitute a concession to the opposition that may pave the way for a negotiated settlement of the standoff.

(Additional reporting by Carlos Quiroga in La Paz,; Enrique Andres Pretel and Brian Ellsworth in Caracas, Patricia Velez in Lima, and Brian Winter and Alejandro Lifschitz in Buenos Aires; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Xavier Briand)

Related Stories:
Election body widens vote audit in Venezuela

Capriles accepts wider vote audit in Venezuela

Copyright © 2013 Reuters


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Fire hits Lorenzo, Rossi Austin build-up

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 06:34 PM PDT

AUSTIN: World champion Jorge Lorenzo and seven-time champion Valentino Rossi endured a dramatic start to the Grand Prix of the Americas weekend when a fire broke out in their Yamaha garage.

The fire took place in the early hours of Thursday and resulted in the MotoGP machines and the team's equipment being heavily doused in water and fire retardant materials from the emergency sprinkler system.

"The first impression we had when we arrived was really bad but fortunately it doesn't look as bad as we initially thought," said team director Massimo Meregalli.

There were no injuries from the fire which occurred in the next door Tech3 building.

Meregalli said all their bikes would have to be taken apart for drying, cleaning and then re-assembled again.

"For sure it could have been a lot worse," he said.

Lorenzo won the season-opener in Qatar two weeks ago. -AFP

Ahmad more confident with new Kawasaki

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 04:37 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Ahmad Fuad Baharudin is hoping to end his podium drought with a new and improved Kawasaki engine in the opening round of the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championships (ARRC) , which begins today at the Sepang International Circuit.

The 34-year-old Fuad, who is competing in the SuperSports 600cc class with Bike ART Kawasaki Racing, last ascended the podium with a double victory in Zhuhai, China, back in 2010. Since that impressive feat, he had struggled to keep pace with the factory supported teams and riders who are superior in terms of technology and technical development.

Despite all that, Fuad had constantly reminded his rivals that he was no pushover following his two top five finishes last year in Sepang and Zhuhai.

Fuad said that they were more competitive now with their meaner machines.

"We fell short in several aspects compared to the established teams but we are definitely more competitive now compared to our debut season. We expect to up the ante for 2013. Of course, with a bigger grid this year things won't be so easy but we are well prepared," said Fuad.

A strong outing during the pre-season tests in February with the new engines indicate Faud's team have what it takes to give their rivals a run for their money.

England's Davis takes slim lead at Heritage

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 06:29 PM PDT

HILTON HEAD, South Carolina: England's Brian Davis had eight birdies in a six-under par 65, grabbing a one-stroke lead after the first round of the $5.8 million US PGA Tour Heritage tournament on Thursday.

Davis, who lost a playoff to Jim Furyk on the same Harbour Town Golf Links course in 2010 - after he called a penalty on himself - appeared pleased to have the chance to put it behind him, though the incident lingers.

"It's good in this game to have a short memory - good or bad," he said.

Davis penalized himself when he knocked a loose stalk during his backswing when playing out of the rough three years ago - violating the rule against moving a loose impediment during a takeaway.

"I still have people stop me in the street or at the golf club or at airports," he said. "People do remember, but for me I'm just trying to move on from that, and trying to win a golf tournament."

His efforts Thursday included a run of six birdies in seven holes, starting at the par-five fifth.

The burst was sandwiched between bogeys at the fourth and 12th, but Davis picked up two more birdies at the 13th and the par-three 17th to give himself the lead over Americans Kevin Streelman and Charley Hoffman.

Streelman and Hoffman each had six birdies and one bogey in their five-under 66s.

Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman, both trying to bounce back after falling short at the Masters, were tied with American Johnson Wagner on 67.

Day and Leishman avoided bogeys and the former was happy to be in a less stressful environment than Augusta National, but he was quick to add that he didn't consider this week's tournament a holiday.

"Playing last week it felt like there was pressure the whole week," said Day, who finished third at the Masters after missing out on the playoff in which compatriot Adam Scott defeated Argentina's Angel Cabrera.

"Coming into this week it's pretty laid back, but it is a tour event and I want to do well." -AFP


The Star Online: Business

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Sime, Petronas Chemicals weigh on KLCI

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 06:16 PM PDT

Published: Friday April 19, 2013 MYT 9:16:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips fell in early trade on Friday on mild profit taking of index-linked stocks including Sime Darby and Petronas Chemicals.

At 9.03am, the FBM KLCI was down 0.43 of a point to 1,705.83. Turnover was 16.92 million shares valued at RM11.63mil. There were 56 gainers, 43 losers and 80 counters unchanged.

Worries over global growth capped Asian share prices on Friday as more soft U.S. economic data and mixed U.S. earnings results further undermined investor sentiment already hit by a broad sell-off that started earlier in the week, Reuters reported.

At Bursa Malaysia, PetChem fell seven sen to RM6.39 while among plantations, Sime Darby lost five sen to RM9.40 while KL Kepong was down 16 sen to RM21.50 and PPB Group eight sen to RM12.52.

Among consumer stocks, BAT fell 40 sen to RM62.10 and Nestle 20 sen to RM61.50 in thin trade.

The world's biggest glove maker, Top Glove saw its share price slip eight sen to RM6.40 after the recent price surge on the China bird flu outbreak.

On a more positive note, MAHB gained 19 sen to RM5.94 while among the banks, HL Bank rose six sen to RM14.50 and AmBank four sen to RM6.53.


Up to EPF to decide RHBCap privatisation, says group MD

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 06:12 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no plan at the moment to privatise RHB Capital Bhd (RHBCap), its top official said.

"At the present time, there is no plan. We have not proposed any privatisation.

"However, to be fair, this would need to come from the major shareholder," RHBCap group managing director Kellee Kam said.

The major shareholder of the banking group is Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which holds a 41% stake.

Kam's comments were prompted by a business weekly report which said that a potential privatisation of RHBCap could be on the cards as part of a restructuring exercise.

"As an ongoing process, we are always looking at proposals of various nature that can bring value to our shareholders. It is hard to pin down any plan. If a privatisation does happen, it won't be from RHBCap," he added.

Kam, who was speaking to the media in conjunction with the completion of RHB Investment Bank Bhd-OSK Investment Bank Bhd merger, also said that candidates for the post of chief executive officer at the newly merged entity had been shortlisted.

However, he did not reveal names.

StarBiz has recently reported that the search for a new head was gaining traction, with names such as Credit Suisse head of Malaysian equities Stephen Hagger, OSK group founder Tan Sri Ong Leong Huat and his son Ong Ju Yan being rumoured as likely candidates.

Industry sources said a new CEO at RHB Investment was necessary not only as a result of the recently completed merger but also because current RHB Investment officer-in-charge Mike Chan might not want to remain as head honcho of the newly merged entity.

It could also be that Chan's position was only temporary before a suitable CEO was found.

Following the merger, RHB Investment is now the largest investment bank in Malaysia by assets and one of the biggest in Asean with a combined staff strength of about 3,600 and a network of 98 offices across seven countries.

Is it also one of the top three brokerages in Malaysia with about 1,400 brokers and 60 branches. All OSK branches in Malaysia have been rebranded to RHB-OSK while its subsidiaries overseas will undergo a similar branding exercise.

As a result of the merger, Chan said RHB Investment's deal pipeline was very strong.

"Yes, our pipeline is very strong and over the next few months you will see some transactions coming to the market," he said.


The retail space of Suiwah’s RM50mil Sunshine Bertam mall is fully-booked

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 06:03 PM PDT

GEORGE TOWN: Suiwah Corp Bhd's new RM50mil shopping mall in Bertam, Kepala Batas, is expected to open in June.

Group executive director Cynthia Hwang said the tenant-control mixed shopping mall, Sunshine Bertam, located on 2.43ha, would have some 200,000sq ft of lettable area.

"The hypermarket, called Sunshine Bertam, would occupy approximately 50,000 sq ft.

"The remaining floor space would be leased out to shops. The retail space is fully-booked," she added.

Hwang was speaking at a press conference attended by Suiwah directors Datuk Ahmad Osman and Datuk Radzali Hassan, Sunshine Amanjaya's Datuk Rafique Abdul Karim, and Bertam Properties Sdn Bhd's Datuk Roslan Ibrahim.

Hwang said there would be four cineplexes and some 500 carpark bays.

"The size of each retail lot ranges between 200 sq ft and 1,000 sq ft.

"There will be goldsmith, florist, telecommunications, and food and beverage outlets.

"There would also be a karaoke and reflexology centre," she added.

Bertam town has a population of around 100,000 people, upon which the shopping mall could depend for support.

Roslan, meanwhile, said that Sunshine Bertam was in the Bertam Perdana township. "The township is now in the third phase of development, located on a 6.47ha site, which is 60% completed.

"We have sold most of the 70 units of shop-offices in the third phase.

"The third phase should be completed in September 2013," he said.

Roslan said Bertam Properties still had 32.37ha to 36.42ha in Bertam for commercial development, where the plan was to develop some RM200mil worth of commercial properties over a period of eight to 10 years.

"As for residential properties, we still have 202.34ha in Bertam.

"The plan is to develop some RM300mil worth of residential properties over the next eight to 10 years," he said.

Listed in 1995, the group owns Sunshine Square, a pioneer department store and supermarket in Bayan Baru, Sunshine Farlim Shopping Mall, and Sunshine Lip Sin, a supermarket in Gelugor.

It also owns a chain of convenience stores in multi-national companies such as Kobe, Agilent, Lumileds and ASE.

The group has also diversified into manufacturing, property development and international trading.



The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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Veteran US comic Jerry Lewis to get Cannes tribute

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 03:54 AM PDT

PARIS: Jerry Lewis, the US comedy star from the 1950s and 1960s who later poured his efforts into raising money for muscular dystrophy research, will get a special tribute at next month's Cannes Film Festival, organisers said on Thursday.

Lewis, 87 and with a history of ill-health, has a strong following in France, which awarded him the Legion of Honour in 1984.

After launching a career in post-World War II radio with Dean Martin, Lewis branched out on his own, mining success with manic, slapstick films such as "The Nutty Professor" and "The Delicate Delinquent."

He is best known today for launching marathon fund-raising on television for muscular dystrophy, which is emulated in France.

Lewis will attend a screening of his latest film, "Max Rose," in which he plays the role of an elderly jazz pianist facing the loss of his wife.

The Festival runs on the Riviera from May 15-26. - AFP

Sofia Coppola gets Cannes spot

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 01:39 AM PDT

PARIS (AFP) - Filmmaker Sofia Coppola's film The Bling Ring starring Harry Potter star Emma Watson will open the Cannes Film Festival's new talent section Un Certain Regard, organisers said on Wednesday.

Inspired by a true story, the film tells the story of a group of adolescents who rob the homes of celebrities after becoming obsessed with the world of 'beautiful people' and luxury consumer goods.

Danish director, scriptwriter and producer Thomas Vinterberg was also named as president of the section's jury.

Artistic director Thierry Fremaux will on Thursday unveil the films in the running for festival's coveted Palme d'Or at a press conference in Paris.

About 50 films will be named in the official selection -- half in the official race for the Palme d'Or and the other half in the Un Certain Regard section.

The French Riviera film fest, the world's premier cinema showcase, runs from 15-26 May.

John Grisham's 'The Litigators' set for the big screen

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 12:15 AM PDT

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the producers of Twilight and Fox 2000 want to turn John Grisham's 25th novel, into a movie.

This legal thriller centers on a lawyer in Chicago who goes from working in a top business consultancy to a seedy legal firm run by crooks.

When they decide to sue a pharmaceutical giant because its new anti-cholesterol drug is causing heart attacks, the character, David Zinc, must take on the first big legal case of his career alone.

The film is still in its early stages. The producers are currently looking for a screenwriter to adapt the novel, which was published in 2011.

Hollywood has often sought inspiration in John Grisham's work, as can be seen from previous movies such as The Firm, The Pelican Brief and The Rainmaker. Fox 2000 is already working on an adaptation of The Racketeer, which will be directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House).

Director Adrian Lyne (Nine 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction) and screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) are meanwhile working on The Associate.


The Star Online: Nation

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GE13: Sg Siput likely to see three-way contest

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 09:27 AM PDT

IPOH: The Sungai Siput parliamentary seat could see a three-cornered fight between PSM, DAP and Barisan Nasional.

Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said Thursday the state party leadership might put forward their own candidate if discussions between PSM and Pakatan Rakyat, at national level, on Sungai Siput and Jelapang state seats broke down.

"Sungai Siput was traditionally a DAP seat. The incumbent Dr Michael Jeyakumar contested under the PKR ticket in 2008.

"We understand that if the discussions do not work out at the national level, then we will put our own candidate there.

"PSM has to choose between Jelapang or Sungai Siput," he told reporters after the state Pakatan announced the candidates Thursday.

A three-cornered fight is also imminent in Jelapang as DAP has already announced its candidate.

"The people chose DAP in 2008 and not PSM, thus we will contest.

"We leave it up to the constituents to decide which candidate they want," he added.

DAP to contest under PKR, PAS banners if RoS does not revoke letter derecognising party’s CEC

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 08:43 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP has given the Registrar of Societies (RoS) until 3pm Friday to revoke the letter derecognising their central executive committee members.

Failing which, the party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said late Thursday that they will instruct all their candidates to use the PAS and the PKR symbols when handing in their nomination forms on Saturday.

Lim reiterated that all 53 parliamentary candidates and 103 state seat candidates will then use the PAS symbol in peninsula Malaysia, and the PKR banner in Sabah and Sarawak.

In a press conference Thursday after an emergency CEC meeting, he also stressed that the party will accept nothing less than a formal letter from the RoS revoking their letter dated April 17.

His father and party stalwart Lim Kit Siang also chimed in, saying that RoS also had to give them time to spread the word to their candidates if it did not rescind its decision.

"Any report in the press is completely unacceptable. We want it in writing," he said.

Meanwhile, Guan Eng, together with party chairman Karpal Singh, said they felt emotional about having to use other symbols instead of the DAP's Rocket.

"I'm sad. We've been forced into this," said Karpal.

"We feel angry. How can they do this to us 48 hours before nominations?" asked Guan Eng.


PETALING JAYA: DAP can contest in the general election as the Registrar of Societies (RoS) has merely issued it with a show-cause notice, said Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.

"(DAP) can contest. The RoS gave them a show-cause notice," said Aziz in an SMS reply to The Star when asked about the status of the Opposition party.

EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, when contacted, said that the DAP would be allowed to contest if the decision by the RoS only involved the Registrar not recognising the political party's central committee following its probe into the DAP internal election.

"They will not be allowed to contest using the DAP symbol only if the party is de-registered by the RoS," said Wan Ahmad.

He said any decision by the EC regarding the status of the DAP in the coming general election would need to be based by the decision made by the RoS.

Bernama reported Thursday that the Registrar of Societies Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman said the DAP had not been deregistered and could still use its symbol for the general election on May 5.

He said in a statement here that the RoS' office informed the DAP on Wednesday that it was studying the party's registration following a dispute among its members.

Pending the resolution of the dispute, the RoS, as provided for under Section 3A of the Societies Act 1966, did not accord recognition to the office-bearers of the committee formed in the party elections on Dec 15 last year, he said.

"However,the DAP has not been deregistered and it can still use its symbol during the GE13," Abdul Rahman said.

He also said that the investigation relating to the party elections would proceed, according to Bernama.

However, DAP slammed the RoS's decision to not recognise the central executive committee appointed after the controversial party election last December.

DAP claims that the RoS ruling derecognising the central executive committee appointed after the party election last December would effectively render the secretary-general's position vacant.

DAP said all election candidates from all political parties were required to hand in a letter of authorisation from the party leadership allowing them to contest under their respective party symbols.

DAP claimed that if their secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was not recognised, it would render the letters of authorisation to their candidates as worthless and that they would be forced to contest as independent candidates.

"So in this extraordinary and emergency situation, we may use the PAS symbol for our candidates in peninsula Malaysia, and the PKR logo for those in Sabah and Sarawak," said Lim in an emergency press conference here on Thursday.

He added that the party's CEC will meet Thursday night to assess the situation and will come up with their decision on the party symbol.

At the same time, he wants the RoS and the EC for written letters clarifying the matter, even though the EC deputy chairman had said the party could still contest under the Rocket symbol.

"How am I supposed to trust the EC? I cannot risk our entire election campaign when their promises have always been broken," fumed Lim.

He added that the party's lawyers had tried in vain to communicate with the EC and RoS.

Lim also said he personally messaged EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof on Thursday but had yet to receive a reply.

In the letter signed by the Abdul Rahman to the DAP dated April 17, RoS stated that the party was being investigated for complaints that 753 delegates did not receive the notice for the annual general meeting, and that while the party was under investigation, the RoS would not recognise office bearers of the party.

Lim said that it was "malicious" of the RoS to make such a ruling less than 48 hours before nomination day for candidates.

"They assured us that they would postpone their investigations to May 9 and yet they were already punishing us even before their inquiry has started," he said.

In the press conference flanked by PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali as well as PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution, Lim also insisted that DAP would never field their candidates as independents.

"We are definitely not independent. We are DAP and we are a part of Pakatan Rakyat," he said.

Meanwhile, both Mustafa and Saifuddin said that their respective parties were ready and willing to lend their party symbols to DAP candidates.

"I am willing to sign every single letter of authorisation if needed. I have spoken to both the party spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and they both also said that this would not be a problem for them," said Mustafa.

Saifuddin also said that both his party president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have also consented to the "loan".

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

Related Stories:
GE13: DAP can use Rocket logo for polls, says Guan Eng
GE13: Inform ROS if not notified of congress, DAP branches told
GE13: Submit names of 753 delegates to ROS, DAP told

GE13: Federal Territories - BN launches manifesto, residents to be directly involved in development plans

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 08:38 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories (FT) citizens will be directly involved in plans for development for the territories, and the government will merely serve as a facilitator to ensure the people get what they want, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said at the launch of the FT Barisan Nasional manifesto here on Thursday.

"One initiative is to have a council where the elected representatives will discuss with the public on proposals to develop Federal Territories," said the BN FT chairman.

He also said no citizen in FT will be left behind in urban development.

The manifesto under the theme "Janji Dikota" contains four points - urban well-being, sustainable development objectives, no citizens left behind, and the urban economic shift.

It highlights the promises made and fulfilled by the Barisan Nasional, as well as ongoing projects and future plans for the Federal Territory.

Muhyiddin also said it was important for the 13 candidates in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan to explain to voters the hopes and aspirations of the party for the social and economic development of the people.

"We need to strengthen our machinery, as the task ahead is not easy.

"Do not underestimate the Opposition, and remember that we must work hard to spread our manifesto to over 800,000 voters in the Federal Territory," he said.

Also present at the event were BN FT deputy chairman Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, Barisan Nasional secretary general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

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


The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

Art in sight for the blind

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 02:37 AM PDT

HER eyes see nothing, but when Barbara Appel runs her fingers over the face of a Picasso sculpture in New York's Museum of Modern Art, she sighs with pleasure.

Most people go to museums to look at exhibits, but for some at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), love of art is literally blind.

Each month, a small group with various levels of impaired vision accompanies an expert guide to the famed Manhattan museum.

For Appel, who is 62 and suddenly lost her sight just over a decade ago, the Art inSight programme is a lifeline to a vital part of her world that she feared had vanished.

"With this, I really feel I'm connected, I'm connected to something I've always loved, something that gave me so much motivation," she said, recalling the inspiration she drew from museums in her career as a jewellery designer.

On this month's tour, a group of about 20 visited an exhibit called "Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925."

Most of the works were fragile paintings or drawings, so touching was not allowed.

Visitors had to rely instead on their guide – and their imaginations – to visualise the rule-breaking, hard-to-describe works of Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and other early 20th century iconoclasts.

At each piece, the group paused not just for a careful description from the guide, but a conversation about the work's meaning.

Much time was spent at a 1918 sculpture by Marcel Duchamp with the deliberately awkward title, A Regarder (l'autre cote du verre) d'un oeil, de pres, pendant presque une heure, or "To be looked at (from the other side of the glass) with one eye, close to, for almost an hour."

"It's a long rectangle base which is just the base, not the artwork," the guide, Jennifer Gray, said, pointing at the box under the actual Duchamp.

As she detailed the sculpture – a cracked glass screen filled with geometric shapes – one of the visitors lifted a mini-telescope to her eye.

Barbara, who uses a wheelchair, looked vaguely in the right direction as her husband Barry filled in the gaps.

"The glass is cracked," he said.

"Really? That's interesting," she exclaimed.

Then Barry peered through the Duchamp piece. "I'm looking into the future," he quipped.

When it was time to move on to another Duchamp, Gray reorientated the group, saying: "The box behind, behind me, behind my voice."

Carrie McGee, who oversees MoMA's programmes for the disabled, said the blind were first invited to tour sculptures in the 1970s.

Then a decision was made to take on the challenge of showing the unique visitors paintings and other objects that couldn't be touched.

"We often brainstorm to make the experience as multi-sensory as possible," she said.

For example, when blind visitors were taken to a version on loan to the MoMA of Edvard Munch's iconic Scream, they were invited to reenact the open-mouthed, hands-on-face pose at the centre of the painting.

One of the guides – all outside art experts brought in by the MoMA – said working with the partially sighted had opened her own eyes.

"It helps me to see the art better, because I have to describe it in a way that is more discernible," Deborah Goldberg said. "They'll discover things that we overlook frequently."

But the direct connection made by touching sculpture is unbeatable.

After the regular tour, MoMA staff agreed to take Barbara to the Picasso exhibit, which includes one of the first steps in the development of Cubism, a bronze head of the artist's lover Fernande Olivier.

Barbara's expression, eyes fixed somewhere on the ceiling, was of pure concentration and delight as her left hand navigated the unusual contours.

She touched the angular nose and cheeks.

"This is her face, here," she said.

"Feel the sharpness of her nose," her husband suggested.

"You touch what's being described to you and it becomes total reality," Barbara said. "I'm still seeing. I'm still taking in the arts as I did. There's wonderful sight in the mind of a person." – AFP Relaxnews


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Tough task for young Zoe

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 06:35 AM PDT

BUDDING artistic gymnast Zoe Tan Jiayi is expected to face a tough transition period in her debut year in the girls' Under-12 contest.

It is going to be an uphill task for the young talent from Petaling Perdana to stamp her mark going up against more established competitors in the Selangor Schools Sports Council (MSSS) championships scheduled to be held at the Selangor Sports Council gymnasium in Seksyen 6, Shah Alam, from May 6 to 9.

The Year Five pupil from Sri Kuala Lumpur has been going through a correction phase over the past three months to develop stronger fundamental skills under the tutelage of former Slovakian men's artistic gymnastics champion Josef Safko at the school's gymnasium in Subang Jaya.

Josef said Zoe had chalked up encouraging progress, training up to five times a week in recent months.

"Zoe has picked up 15 new techniques over the short period. She overcame her initial fear of learning the more complex moves with hard work. On average, she is putting in a maximum of 11 hours in her weekly training.

"She has demonstrated great flexibility and strength in making the necessary adjustments to improve. She can apply her newly acquired skills when attempting more difficult routines in the future," he added.

In the previous two seasons, Zoe showed her promise, securing back-to-back victories in bagging the top overall position in the girls' Under-10 contest at the MSSS.

However, she could not repeat her previous impressive haul of six gold medals when she settled for second in her favourite vault discipline last year.

Besides leading the Petaling Perdana side to capture the gold medal in the girls' Under-10 team event, Zoe was the top performer in three individual disciplines — uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.

Currently, Zoe possesses balanced strength in all four individual disciplines — balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars and vault.

Josef admitted that Zoe was still untested in the Under-12 age-group at the state level.

"This is just another new beginning for her. It is hard to predict her chances because we do not know her actual strength. We have not seen her in action.

"She will need to prove that she has steady nerves in handling the pressure. It is important to acquire the calm competition temperament to perform to her true ability.

"We are confident that she will make a breakthrough with the solid foundation and conscientious follow-through," he added.

Meanwhile, another two hopefuls Alisandra Ali and Dena Ryzali are also vying to secure their places in the Petaling Perdana girls' Under-12 line-up for the MSSS meet.

Unisel undergrads experience first-hand unique cultures of ethnic groups

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 06:35 AM PDT

A GROUP of 48 students and five lecturers from Universiti Selangor (Unisel) recently went on a three-day, two-night trip to Kuching, Sarawak to learn about the culture of the different ethnic groups there.

The students, from the Communication and Media Faculty, visited the Sarawak Cultural Village where they learnt about the different tribes in Sarawak, like the Iban, Melanau and Bidayuh as well as Malays and Chinese.

The students also had the chance to stay in a longhouse, watch cultural shows by the different tribes and sample local food such as Mee Kolok and Laksa Sarawak.

A cultural night was held for the students where they had the opportunity to see the Rajang Be'uh (Eagle Dance) performed by the Bidayuh folk.

One student even had the opportunity to try the sumpit (blowgun made of wood or bamboo) when she was called on stage to fire at a balloon.

The following two days saw the students and lecturers visiting other interesting places such as the Sarawak Museum and the Kuching Waterfront, a place considered by many locals as a must-visit.

The students especially enjoyed their time at The Waterfront, as the esplanade is where food stalls, restaurants and entertainment are found.

The group also did not miss the opportunity to buy some Kek Lapis Sarawak, well-known throughout Malaysia for their freshness and delicious taste.


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Despite its agricultural activities, Pagoh is set to see more colleges

Posted: 17 Apr 2013 05:48 PM PDT

PAGOH: This district is home to one of the nation's bloodiest battle during the Malayan Emergency when an armed encounter occurred at the Bukit Kepong police station when it was surrounded and seiged by almost 200 communists in a pre-dawn assault.

However, those who died fighting on February 23, 1950 have since been immortalised in history, literature, songs, poems and even movies as they never backed down when faced with overwhelming odds and fought till they died.

A total of 25 people were killed in the attack.

Since then, Bukit Kepong which is located within the Pagoh constituency, is now a tourist destination attracting people to visit a police museum located beside the river.

Pagoh is carved out of the state seats of Bukti Serampang and Jorak.

These days Pagoh is fast developing as an educational hub with numerous universities and colleges slated to open up branch campuses here including International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Southern Campus, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) Pagoh Campus, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Research Centre, Pagoh National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN) and Pagoh community college.

While the residents enjoy the slow paced life and commodities such as oil palm and rubber, residents are still hoping for more street lights, assistance from the government, for the council to regularly clean up clogged drains and better bus services. Oil Palm and rubber are the main source of revenue.

"The spirit of never give up trying, exists in many people in the Bukit Kepong area until this day," said Ali Husin Md Said, 75, who lives in Kampung Bukit Bendar about five kilometres from the police station where the incident took place 63 years ago.

Ali was 12-years-old when the Bukit Kepong incident occurred and the memory is still fresh on his mind till this day.

"Since then, this area has seen development especially since the 1970s when roads were built through this area. Two primary schools and a secondary school have also been built. Now with Felda and Felcra settlements, this area has oil palm and rubber estates," he said.

Ali, who had been the Kg Bukit Bendar village head for 38 years until he stepped down in 2005, said a futsal court and free wireless internet was set up in the nearby villages about two years ago as facilities for the youth.

"The children who received the free 1Malaysia netbooks are able to make full use of the free Wifi service here. Even a computer center equipped with 20 Internet enabled computers, photostat and printer service was set up here for the usage of residents and students here for nominal fee of RM1 per hour," he said.

He however, hoped that boats could be given to some of the seven villages in the area as the area was prone to flooding as experienced in the major floods of 2006 and 2011 where roads were fully submerged.

The father of 11 children said he had never missed casting his vote since the first general election in 1959 and relishes casting his vote for the 13th time.

Driving instructor See Tiam Kwee, 44, who runs a driving school at the small town of Pagoh, urged the authorities to build a traffic light near the market in Pagoh town.

He said because many lorries and heavy vehicles pass through the town as a shortcut from Batu Pahat industrial area to the Pagoh exit of the North South Expressway, traffic has become very heavy and accidents frequently occurred.

"On school days, especially in the mornings, traffic is so heavy to the point that traffic policemen are stationed near the three-way junction in Pagoh town.

"The same junction is used an entrance for parents to send their children to the Chinese vernacular school as well as for residents of the village and housing estate inside.

"To make matters worst, the lorry drivers, park their vehicles by the side of the road to have breakfast and this causes people who try to exit the junction, difficult to see oncoming traffic," he said.

He added that the drains in the area needs to be cleaned as Pagoh town was severely hit by floods in 2006 and 2011 and as such, more effort must be made by the district council to ensure the waters in the drains were running smoothly.

See said most of the Chinese in the area were living in the Pagoh town and Taman Pagoh Jaya while the Malays were mostly living in the villages and the Indians were mainly living in the Panchor area and in estates.

Stall trader Mohd Asid Jamari, 43, whi sells cendol, said he welcomed the rapid development, which he has seen in Pagoh over the past five years.

This includes street lights from the town right up to the Pagoh toll exit, various universities and colleges, new shoplots, a big housing estate on high ground at Taman Pagoh Jaya, a Klinik 1Malaysia and Kedai 1Malaysia, street lights in villages, erecting a wall to prevent floods near Pagoh town and new construction of a secondary school and "sekolah teknik".

"Ever since Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin became the deputy prime minister he has brought about much welcomed changes to this area," he said.

He added that apart from oil palm plantations being the main industry in the area, there is also the Pagoh industrial area, which mostly consists of furniture factories.

Siti Azwanahani Salleh, 22, said more facilities for the youth must be set up in the Pagoh area to cater to the students of the universities when completed.

"There are no hypermarkets here and the closest recreation spots are located in Muar town about 25km away. University students who come here to study would find it very boring as there is barely anything to keep them entertained after hours of studying," she said.

She however, added that she expects a lot of developments to take place in the next couple of years once the universities are fully set up.

Her sister, Siti Haslinda Salleh, 16, complained that the frequency of the bus service must be increased as she takes the bus daily to come home from school.

"The bus schedule here is very irregular and they pass by only once every 60 to 90 minutes. This is because the bus travels from Muar to Bukit Kepong before travelling back," she said.

She added that another secondary school to complement SMK Alauddin Riayat Shah I must be built as the school is unable to cope with the present number of students. The school has two sessions to try cope with the increase in the number of students.

M. Thiruvengadam who is the headmaster for SJK(T) Ladang Lanadron – the oldest Tamil school in the state was pleased with the government's concern of the Indians in the area especially in the area of education.

"Last week, Tan Sri Muhyiddin (Yassin) officiated the new three-storey school block in the school. He understands that by providing good quality education, it will help improve the Indians' education," he said.

He said the community were mostly working in the estates but there are few who have ventured out to become teachers and civil servants and that their quality of life has improved since independence.

This election both Barisan Nasional and the opposition will be going all out to woo the 46,880 voters in the area.

GE13: Battling for Teruntum state seat

Posted: 17 Apr 2013 05:42 PM PDT

KUANTAN: Kuantan DAP has declared war with its ally PKR over the right to contest the Teruntum state seat.

Its division chief Michael Cheah said if PKR was not willing to return the seat to the DAP, the Pakatan Rakyat coalition in the district level would cease to exist.

"We are not threatening them but our grassroots are very upset with PKR for trying to grab all urban seats for themselves.

"By right, the seat belongs to us as we have been contesting there for a total of nine general elections.

"In 2004, the PKR candidate who stood in Teruntum was in fact, a DAP member (Pang Jon Kong) while in 2008, we have been given the official appointment scroll to contest for the seat but on the nomination day, a PKR candidate (Siew Fook Chan) was filed at the eleventh hour," he said.

The seat was won by Barisan Nasional's Datuk Chang Hong Seong with a majority of 293 votes.

Cheah said division members were still upset over the incident but in the spirit of Pakatan, decided against creating a ruckus to undermine the coalition.

"Now, it is only right for the PKR to repay our gratitude and return the seat to us graciously.

"We cannot keep quiet any more and if PKR insisted to contest the seat, an independent may be fielded," he said, adding that there were also suggestions for the party not to campaign for the PKR candidate.

Cheah asserted that the seat was loaned to PKR to contest in 2004 as part of a strategy to promote Keadilan parliamentary candidate Fuziah Salleh, who eventually lost to Barisan's Datuk Fu Ah Kiow.

Fuziah managed to wrest the seat in 2008, defeating Fu with a majority of 1,826 votes.

Earlier this year, Cheah had expressed his unhappiness against the PKR for a posting in a Facebook account, promoting a division PKR leader as the candidate for the seat.

In the posting, the Kuantan PKR service centre executive director Sim Chon Siang, who is also the special assistant to Fuziah, was seen carrying a party flag promoting himself as the possible candidate.

However, the PKR had denied the posting, claiming it was the work of certain quarters to create uneasiness among Pakatan partners.

GE13: Muhyiddin - Abdul Ghani ideal candidate for Gelang Patah

Posted: 17 Apr 2013 05:45 PM PDT

JOHOR BARU: Barisan Nasional has a strategy to win the Gelang Patah seat by fielding Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman against DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang in the GE13.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Gelang Patah battle would be the focus not only in Johor but also in the country.

He said Abdul Ghani was the ideal candidate to take on Lim as he had been playing a pivotal role in bringing development and progress in Gelang Patah area under Iskandar Malaysia initiave.

Muhyiddin said voters in the constituency could witness by themselves the changes in the area since Iskandar's inception seven years ago.

"Unlike Lim who has been moving around so many times in the previous elections, Ghani has been in Johor for about 19 years and able to transform the state as one of the most developed in Malaysia,'' he told a press conference after handing about RM15.38mil allocations to 125 Chinese vernacular schools in Johor.

He said there were unlikely to be any sabotage from supporters of Gelang Patah MCA division chief Jason Teoh who was not fielded by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"PM has spoken to Jason personally on why he was not chosen to contest against Lim and as a young man he has future potential as politician,'' said Muhyiddin adding that Barisan top leaders would meet Jason an his supporters to help Abdul Ghani campaign.

In a separate event where he met with entrepreneurs under the Tekun Nasional programme, Muhyiddin said that the Government had proven its competency in improving the country's economy.

He added that Barisan had help improved the life of the rakyat especially under the various transformation programmes.

"The Opposition will only hamper the country's development with its populist decision in their manifesto if they be able to form the Government," he said.


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