Khamis, 2 Mei 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Dude, wanna win a car?

Posted: 03 May 2013 03:09 AM PDT

Answer your phone with the secret phrase of the day and you might walk away with a car.

DUDE, Where's My Car? is not only the name of the popular comedy starring staring Ashton Kutcher and Sean William Scott, it is also the name of Red FM's contest which is said to be one of the easiest radio competitions.

Red FM's Dude, Where's My Car? contest lets listeners win cash as well as stand a chance at driving home a brand new car. What do you have to do? Easy. Register at and listen to JJ and Lil' Kev on The Red Breakfast WTF where the secret phrase of the day will be revealed.

Red FM will then call listeners who have registered, and if you answer the phone with the secret phrase of the day, you will immediately walk away with RM100 and be in the running to win a brand new car at the grand finals. The competition, which kicked off on April 29, runs till May 24 with the grand finals, to be hosted by JJ and Lil' Kev, being held on May 25 at Empire Shopping Gallery where participants will vie for a Brand New Honda CR-Z.

"We wanted to give away a car that not only appeals to our listeners but also personifies the Red FM brand. What better car to give away then the CR-Z. It's slick, it's sporty and it's a Hybrid. That's living it," said programme manager of RedFM Prem Anand,

The Red Breakfast WTF duo said that they have never given away such a grand prize in their entire careers hosting radio shows. JJ said: "We've given out cars before, but nothing as big as this. It's so expensive even I can't afford it." Lil' Kev added: "Remember, registrations are still open which means you still have a chance (to win the car)".

For more information, log on to, like Red FM on Facebook at or follow them on Twitter @iloveredfm. Red FM is a subsidiary of Star Radio Group.


The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Hundreds flee homes as wildfire rages near California coast

Posted: 02 May 2013 09:02 PM PDT

CAMARILLO, California (Reuters) - A wind-driven wildfire raging along the California coast north of Los Angeles prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes and a university campus on Thursday as flames engulfed several farm buildings and recreational vehicles near threatened neighbourhoods.

A water-dropping helicopter makes a drop on a fast moving brush fire, as seen from Potrero Road in Ventura County May 2, 2013. REUTER/Patrick T. Fallon

A water-dropping helicopter makes a drop on a fast moving brush fire, as seen from Potrero Road in Ventura County May 2, 2013. REUTER/Patrick T. Fallon

A smaller blaze in Riverside County, 80 miles (128 km) to the east, destroyed two houses and damaged two others before firefighters halted its spread, and at least five additional wildfires were burning in Northern California.

The outbreak of brush and wildfires marked a fierce start to a fire season in California that weather forecasters predict will be worsened by a summer of high temperatures and drought throughout much of the U.S. West.

The largest of the blazes erupted about 6:30 a.m. beside the U.S. 101 freeway, less than 10 miles (16 km) inland from the Pacific coast, and quickly consumed 6,500 acres (2,630 hectares) of dry, dense chaparral and brush near the communities of Camarillo and Newbury Park, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Los Angeles.

Hot, dry Santa Ana winds fanned the so-called Springs Fire southward toward the ocean for much of the day, prompting authorities to close a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Bill Nash said no injuries were reported.

News footage broadcast by KTLA-TV showed heavy smoke in the area and flames engulfing recreational vehicles parked near the evacuation zone. Later footage showed several farm sheds and other structures at the edge of an agricultural field going up in flames, apparently ignited by burning embers.

Fire department spokesman Tom McHale told KTLA that authorities were worried people could be exposed to toxic fumes that might be released from agricultural facilities.


"The winds are a big factor in this firefight," he said. "Our concern is with pesticides and fumigants and things of that nature."

Ventura fire department spokeswoman Lori Ross later confirmed that a number of homes, vehicles and farm buildings had been damaged, but she had no details about the extent of property losses.

Emergency calls were placed to residents of two subdivisions near Camarillo and scattered houses along the coastal highway telling them to flee the fire zone, an evacuation encompassing 855 homes and thousands of people, Ventura County sheriff's spokesman Eric Buschow said.

Evacuations were also ordered for the California State University at Channel Islands campus, according to a bulletin posted on the fire department website.

"It was nerve-wracking," said Shannon Morris, 19, a first-year psychology major at the school, recounting the ominous sight of flames creeping over a nearby hill as she and a friend drove away from the campus in her car. "The whole sky was gray and the sun was like burning red."

Phil Gibbons, 57, a writer who works from home near the campus, said he realized the fire was close when he looked out his back window and saw heavy smoke blanketing his normally pristine view of a canyon.

"When I left, I was actually really, really frightened," said Gibbons, one of 70 evacuees at a Camarillo shelter. "I thought it was only a matter of time that the houses (in his neighbourhood) would catch fire."


More than 500 firefighters were dispatched to battle the blaze, along with six water-dropping helicopters and several bulldozers. Airplanes equipped to drop payloads of fire-retardant chemicals were grounded by high winds and thick smoke in the area, officials said.

At Point Mugu Naval Air Station, a coastal installation south of Camarillo, all non-essential personnel on the coast south of the fire were sent home early, spokesman Vance Vasquez said, adding that the base was not in immediate danger.

Evacuation orders were lifted for some areas on Thursday afternoon as the Santa Ana winds eased and cooler offshore breezes picked up, allowing firefighters to gain 10 percent containment of the blaze.

Officials said it would be up to administrators at the university to decide whether students could return on Friday, when temperatures were expected to reach into the 90s (30s C) again, complicating efforts to fully contain the fire.

"We're not going to call this thing caught until we have a good line around it and that line can hold the conditions that are presenting at the time," Ventura County Fire Captain Mike Lindbery said.

"There's a real good chance that right after the sun goes down, we could have heavy winds blowing once again," he said.

The separate blaze east of Los Angeles in Riverside County erupted on vegetation in a roadway centre divider and quickly swept across 12 acres (5 hectares) of brush, destroying two houses before firefighters managed to halt the advancing flames.

That blaze, apparently triggered by a discarded cigarette or some other hot object, was reported completely contained within hours. It destroyed five outbuildings, 10 vehicles and a parked boat, Riverside County fire spokesman Mark Annas said.

(Additional reporting by Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Tim Dobbyn and Peter Cooney)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

U.S. seeks North Korean amnesty for American jailed for 15 years

Posted: 02 May 2013 07:58 PM PDT

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea sentenced an American citizen to 15 years of hard labour on Thursday for what it said were crimes against the state, prompting the United States to call for his immediate release to keep him from becoming a bargaining chip between the two countries.

An undated still image of a video footage released in Seoul by Yonhap News Agency on May 2, 2013, shows a portrait of U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae. REUTERS/Yonhap

An undated still image of a video footage released in Seoul by Yonhap News Agency on May 2, 2013, shows a portrait of U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae. REUTERS/Yonhap

Kenneth Bae, 44, was born in South Korea but is a naturalized U.S. citizen and studied psychology for two years at the University of Oregon. His sentencing comes after two months of sabre-rattling that saw North Korea threaten the United States and South Korea with nuclear war.

Pyongyang has previously tried to use American prisoners as negotiation assets in talks with Washington. Washington is not looking for an envoy to try to secure Bae's release as it has sometimes done, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said the United States has sought in recent years to break out of a pattern of having to resolve repeated crises with North Korea through transactional deals.

"We urge the DPRK (North Korea) to grant Mr. Bae amnesty and immediate release," State Department deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell said. It was not clear if Bae had been taken immediately to jail.

Bruce Klingner, a former CIA North Korea analyst, dismissed the idea that Bae's release would trigger the renewal of long-stalled diplomacy.

"Previous arrests of U.S. citizens didn't lead to changes in North Korean policy, resumption of bilateral dialogue or breakthroughs in U.S.-North Korean relations," said Klingner, a senior fellow at Washington's Heritage Foundation think tank.

Human rights activists in South Korea say Bae may have been arrested for taking pictures of starving children.


Bae is "a committed Christian," said David Ross, director of a missionary training centre at Antioch World Ministries Inc in Monroe, Washington.

"He has feelings for orphans and has done some ministry work feeding orphans," added Ross, who said he has been a casual acquaintance of Bae since they met four years ago through church affiliations in Hawaii. "He has a missionary heart," Ross said.

Bae's mother, Myung-Hee Bae, told Reuters in a brief telephone interview that she had last spoken to her son on April 23 and that he told her during the call that he was well. Myung-Hee Bae, who lives in the Seattle area, said it was the only call she had received from her son since he was detained.

His sister, Terri Chung, told CNN in an interview that he had been working as a tour guide bringing people from China into North Korea and that he had never before run into trouble doing so.

"We can't really know for sure why he would be arrested. He's only had the biggest heart for the people and the nation of North Korea," she said. "We are baffled just like anybody else about why a man like my brother could be arrested."

"We just pray and ask for leaders of both nations to please just see him as one man caught in between and we just ask that he be allowed to come home," Chung said.

Bae was one of five tourists who visited the northeastern North Korean city of Rajin in November and has been held since then. The State Department recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travel to North Korea, although it does not block trips.

"U.S. citizens crossing into North Korea, even accidentally, have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention," reads the department's travel warning, updated in March.


Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who has made numerous trips to North Korea that included efforts to free detained Americans, said Bae's case should not become entangled in the current U.S.-North Korea impasse.

"Now that the sentencing and the North Korean legal process has been completed, it is important that negotiations begin to secure Kenneth Bae's release on humanitarian grounds or a general amnesty," said Richardson, who visited North Korea in January with Google Inc CEO Eric Schmidt.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said any negotiations with North Korea were "dependent upon the North Koreans demonstrating a willingness to live up to their international obligations."

North Korea is the subject of U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for an end to its nuclear and missile tests, as well as punitive U.N. sanctions.

Some media reports have identified Bae as the leader of the tour group. NK News, a specialist North Korea news website, said he was the owner of a company called Nation Tours that specialized in tours of northeastern North Korea.

The reports could not be verified and North Korean state news agency KCNA did not list any specific charge other than crimes against the state, and used a Korean rendering of Bae's name, Pae Jun-ho, when it reported the Supreme Court ruling.

"North Korea has shown their intention to use him as a negotiating card as they have done in the past," said Cheong Seong-chang, senior fellow at the Sejong Institute, a think tank in Seoul.

North Korea appears to use the release of high-profile American prisoners to extract a form of personal tribute, rather than for economic or diplomatic gain, often portraying visiting dignitaries as paying homage.


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who has travelled to North Korea before to try to free a detained American, has no plans to do so for Bae, Carter's spokeswoman said.

According to North Korean law, the punishment for hostile acts against the state is between five and 10 years' hard labour.

"I think his sentencing was hefty. North Korea seemed to consider his acts more severe," said Jang Myung-bong, honorary professor at Kookmin University in Seoul and a North Korea law expert.

North Korea is one of the most isolated states on earth. Its official policy of "Juche," or self-reliance, is a fusion of Marxism, extreme nationalism and self-sufficiency centred on the cult of the ruling Kim family.

Bae likely will not be incarcerated in one of the North's notorious slave labour camps, such as the one where defector Kwon Hyo-jin was locked up. There, Kwon said, prisoners were worked to death and often survived only by eating rats and snakes.

"If an American served jail together with North Korean inmates, which won't happen, he could tell them about capitalism or economic developments. That would be the biggest mistake for North Korea," said Kwon, a North Korean sentenced to a camp for seven years until 2007. He defected to South Korea in 2009.

"(Bae) would be sent to a correctional facility that only houses foreigners and was set up as a model for international human rights groups."

Bae's sentencing brought bad back memories for Euna Lee, one of two U.S. journalists sentenced to 12 years in 2009 and released only after a visit to Pyongyang by former President Bill Clinton. She cried out loud in the courtroom when her labour camp sentence was handed down.

"The word 'labour camp' took the tiny hope I had away from me. I was physically and mentally weak and I really thought I would not make it home," South Korea-born Lee said via email.

Lee, then a journalist for Current TV, said her 12-year sentence included two years for illegal border crossing and 10 for the "hostile act" of making a documentary on North Koreans who risk their lives fleeing their country for nearby China.

Bae was given counsel by the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang because the United States does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea. The embassy has declined to comment on the case and Ventrell said the Swedes did not attend Bae's trial.

(Additional reporting by Christine Kim in Seoul, Matt Spetalnick and Arshad Mohammed in Washington, Laura L. Myers in Seattle and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Alistair Bell, David Brunnstrom and Mohammad Zargham)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Boston bombing suspects had planned July 4 attack, official says

Posted: 02 May 2013 07:09 PM PDT

BOSTON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The two brothers suspected of carrying out the deadly attacks on the Boston Marathon had originally planned to set off their bombs on July 4, a law enforcement official said.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, is pictured in 2010 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is pictured in an undated FBI handout photo in this combination photo. REUTERS/The Sun of Lowell, MA/FBI/Handout

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, is pictured in 2010 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is pictured in an undated FBI handout photo in this combination photo. REUTERS/The Sun of Lowell, MA/FBI/Handout

The official said the suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, advanced the date of their attack because they completed building bombs more quickly then they originally anticipated. The official declined to be identified and did not offer more details.

Police say the brothers detonated two bombs made with pressure-cookers in the April 15 attack on the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded 264.

An attack on Boston's packed July 4 celebrations would have carried the extra symbolism of disrupting the city's widely followed Independence Day celebrations.

Citing unnamed officials, The Boston Globe reported on its website that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger brother who was captured by police four days after the bombing, told investigators the pair discussed detonating their explosives at the city's famed celebration on its Charles River Esplanade.

News of the alleged July 4 attack plan and other details supplied by Tsarnaev to investigators was earlier reported by The New York Times and other media outlets.

NBC News, also citing unnamed officials, reported Tsarnaev told investigators the bombs were made in the home of his brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police early on April 19.

The Times reported the ethnic Chechen brothers also considered suicide attacks and that they had viewed online sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born cleric who was killed by an American drone strike in Yemen in 2011. There is no indication the brothers communicated with Awlaki, however, the newspaper reported on its website.

What, if any, ties the two suspects had with foreign militants is a key question for investigators trying to determine how the pair became radicalized. How they selected their target would also shed light on their mindset.

Mitch Silber, executive managing director at K2 Intelligence and former head of intelligence analysis at the New York City Police Department, said a July 4 attack in Boston might have been more deadly given the fact that greater numbers of people gather for the city's annual celebration.

Former federal prosecutor Mark Rasch said a July 4 attack would have sent a stronger message.

"The essence of terrorism is all about symbolism," Rasch said. "The Boston Marathon just does not have as much of a symbolic feeling as the Fourth of July to the United States."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was 26 when he was killed in the shootout with police in Watertown, Massachusetts. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was wounded in the shootout and captured later that day.

Both are also suspected of killing a university police officer. Another officer was badly wounded in the Watertown confrontation.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with crimes in connection with the bombing that could carry the death penalty if he is convicted, and is being held at a prison medical facility in Devens, Massachusetts.


Tamerlan Tsarnaev's remains were claimed on behalf of his family on Thursday. His body had been kept at a Boston facility for more than a week.

Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Massachusetts, said a funeral services company retained by the family had claimed the body. Harris declined to provide details including the cause of death or where the body had been taken.

On Tuesday, Tsarnaev's widow, Katherine Russell, said through an attorney that she wished his remains to be released to the Tsarnaev family.

Russell's attorney could not immediately be reached on Thursday.

Investigators have questioned Russell as they seek clues about how the suspects allegedly built the two bombs used in the attack and whether they had help.

The Tsarnaevs' parents previously lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but have since returned to Russia. Other relatives remain in the United States, including an uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Maryland.

Officials said on Thursday that three men who had been charged with interfering with the investigation of the bombing were in custody at a jail in Middleton, Massachusetts, a small town about 20 miles (30 km) North of Boston.

The three 19-year-olds - Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev and Robel Phillipos - had been transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility in Middleton on Wednesday after they were charged in Boston. Authorities have described them as college friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

(Additional reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Related Stories:
Number of names on U.S. counter-terrorism database jumps

Copyright © 2013 Reuters


The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Genting S’pore weaker results weigh on Genting Bhd

Posted: 02 May 2013 07:13 PM PDT

Published: Friday May 3, 2013 MYT 10:14:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Genting Bhd fell to a low of RM10.32 on Friday after its subsidiary Genting Singapore reported a poor set of results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

At 9.52am, Genting was down 12 sen to RM10.38. There were 309,900 shares done at prices ranging from RM10.32 to RM10.50.

Overall market sentiment was also cautious ahead of the weekend while Malaysians go to the polls on Sunday.

The FBM KLCI fell 5.8 points to 1,707.66. Turnover was 93.05 million shares valued at RM152.33mil. Declining stocks beat advancers 229 to 97 while 202 counters were unchanged.

Reuters reported Genting Singapore's January-March adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to S$249.7mil from S$381.4mil a year ago. Five analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected a profit of S$359mil.

Maybank Kim Eng Research said Genting Singapore's poor results were due to a low VIP win rate of 2.12%. Although VIP volume surged 38% on-year, they did not expect this momentum to last.

"We raise our earnings estimates by 2-3% on a higher FY13 VIP volume growth forecast of 20% (10% previously) and enterprise value/ earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EV/EBITDA) based target price by 2% to S$1.70 but with only 6% upside, we downgrade Genting Singapore from Buy to Hold.

"At 12.7 times one-year forward EV/EBITDA, Genting Singapore is on par with mean valuations of the Macau casino sector," said Maybank Research.


As honey bee numbers drop, US sees threat to food supply

Posted: 02 May 2013 07:13 PM PDT

WASHINGTON: Honey bees, which play a key role in pollinating a wide variety of food crops, are in sharp decline in the United States, due to parasites, disease and pesticides, said a federal report released on Thursday.

Genetics and poor nutrition are also hurting the species, which help farmers produce crops worth some $20 billion to $30 billion a year.

Honey bee colonies have been dying and the number of colonies has more than halved since 1947, said the report by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department.

The decline raises doubt about whether honey bees can fulfill their crucial role in pollinating crops that play a role in about one-third of all food and beverages sold in the United States, the report said.

"Overall losses continue to be high and pose a serious threat to meeting the pollination service demands for several commercial crops," the report said.

Pollination demands have increased so much in recent years that California's almond crop alone requires 60 percent of all managed colonies devoted to pollination -- rather than honey or beeswax production.

The United States is not alone in facing this concern: The European Union moved on Monday to protect its own falling bee population by banning three of the world's most widely used pesticides for two years.

The Varroa mite, a parasite first found in the United States in 1987, is the single biggest cause of colony loss in the United States and other countries, the report said.

Another main concern is the effect of pesticides on bee colonies. More research is needed to find out how much pesticide exposure bees get and their effects, the U.S. report said.

U.S. honey bees also lack genetic diversity, the result of many colonies being descended from fewer than 600 queens. That lack of diversity limits bees' ability to develop resistance to new diseases and to develop productive worker bees.

The report also found modern weed control methods, which result in large fields with a single crop, has hurt bees by limiting the range of nutrients in their diet, compared with past decades when bees had access to a wider array of plant foods in a smaller range.

The report is the result of a conference the EPA and Agriculture Department held in October 2012. Its findings will be the basis for a revision of a federal plan to combat the decline in honey bees. Reuters


Flagstar to pay US$110 million to settle MBIA mortgage lawsuit

Posted: 02 May 2013 07:05 PM PDT

NEW YORK: Flagstar Bancorp Inc said Thursday it would pay $110 million to settle a lawsuit by MBIA Inc accusing the bank of misrepresenting the quality of loans underlying $1.1 billion in mortgage-backed securities.

MBIA filed the lawsuit in January in the latest legal spat between bond insurers and banks that packaged mortgage financial products at the center of the 2008 financial crisis.

"Today's announcement represents another major milestone in putting legacy challenges behind us," Flagstar CEO Michael Tierney said in a statement.

MBIA, based in Armonk, New York, in the lawsuit said it had agreed to insure two mortgage-backed transactions by Flagstar in 2006 and 2007. But mortgage defaults mounted, resulting in MBIA paying out $165 million, the lawsuit said.

MBIA CEO Jay Brown in a statement said the settlement amount was "consistent with our recovery expectations."

The settlement has no impact on a separate lawsuit filed in 2011 by another bond insurer, Assured Guaranty Ltd , which following a trial won a $106.5 million judgment against the Troy, Michigan-based lender.

Flagstar is appealing against that decision, which came out of the first trial in the bond insurers' lawsuits against the banks. MBIA's case had been assigned to the same judge, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan.

MBIA said Thursday that Flagstar would pay the settlement to its structured finance insurer MBIA Insurance Corporation.

The subsidiary will in turn use the money to partially pay down a secured loan from MBIA's municipal bond insurer, National Public Finance Guarantee Corp.

The amount of the loan outstanding at the time of the settlement was $1.7 billion, MBIA said on February 27 in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The loan was secured in part by any future receivables MBIA expected in pursuing claims against banks over mortgage-backed securities.

MBIA has cases still pending against other banks, including Countrywide Financial Corp, which Bank of America Corp bought in 2008.

The case is MBIA Insurance Corporation v. Flagstar ABS, LLC, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 13-0262. - Reuters



The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Back-up shuttlers come to the rescue as Daren crashes out

Posted: 02 May 2013 06:07 PM PDT

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Malaysia when local hope Liew Daren crashed out while back-up shuttlers Goh Soon Huat and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin assured the hosts a place in the men's singles final.

The 25-year-old Daren was sent packing 10-21, 20-22 by Chen Yuekun of China in the men's singles quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

Daren had a chance to turn things around towards the end of the second game but a hasty return at 20-21 saw the 23-year-old Chinese thrilled to bits at setting up a date with Indonesian Alamsyah Yunus in the semi-finals today.

"This was my first meeting against him. I couldn't follow him in the first game and made lots of mistakes. I regained my momentum in the second game but did not have a good finishing," said Daren.

While Daren was downcast, national coach Hendrawan's charges – Soon Huat and Iskandar – were jumping for joy after finally achieving breakthrough results.

The 23-year-old Soon Huat, ranked 71st in the world, dumped seventh seed and All-England semi-finalist Tanongsak Saensom-boonsuk of Thailand 21-18, 21-13 in the third round and followed it up with another superb 21-17, 21-15 win over Chan Yan Kit in the last eight.

"I grew confident after beating Tanongsak. The Thai is a strong attacking player but I'm good in defence. Today, I was able to rattle him," said Soon Huat.

"I lost narrowly to Chan in the German Open but this time I was better prepared. To beat two higher ranked players in a day for the first time is certainly an achievement for me."

Soon Huat was glad that all the hard work he has put in over the last four years under Hendrawan has paid off.

"I've cried in pain after tough trainings and there have been frustrating moments after all the early knockouts all these years. Finally, there is a breakthrough ... hopefully, this will be the start of better things to come," he said.

"I'll be up against team-mate Iskandar for the first time in an international tournament and I reckon it'll be a close affair as we know each other so well."

Iskandar, who had beaten Lee Dong-keun of South Korea 21-12, 15-21, 21-19 in the third round and India's R.M.V. Gurusaidutt by default yesterday, was thrilled with his exploits.

Gurusaidutt was trailing 19-21, 2-5 when he conceded a walkover due to an injury.

"I've never reached the quarter-final of an Open tournament before. The win against the Korean was the turning point for me," said former World Junior runner-up Iskandar.

"I am happy that Soon Huat and I have assured a ticket for Malaysia in the final. It can be anyone's game tomorrow (today)."

Malaysia are also assured a place in the men's doubles final when top pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong set up a last four clash against former internationals Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari.

Malaysia's interest in the women's doubles is still alive when Goh Liu Ying-Lim Yin Loo defeated Fu Mingtian-Shinta Mulia Sari of Singapore 21-15, 21-17 to set up a meeting with top seeds Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia.


(Malaysians unless stated)


Third round: Chen Yuekun (Chn) bt Beryno Wong Jiann Tze 21-6, 21-7; R.M.V. Gurusaidutt (Ind) bt Riichi Takeshita (Jpn) 21-19, 21-16; Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin bt Lee Dong-keun (Kor) 21-12, 15-21, 21-19; Liew Daren bt K. Srikanth (Ind) 21-17, 22-20; Alamsyah Yunus (Ina) bt Chan Kwong Beng 21-16, 21-16; Wei Nan (Hkg) bt Derek Wong Zi Liang (Sin) 21-15, 21-16; Goh Soon Huat bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) 21-18, 21-13; Chan Yan Kit (Hkg) bt Sameer Varma (Ind) 21-15, 21-19.

Quarter-finals: Goh Soon Huat bt Chan Yan Kit (Hkg) 21-17, 21-18; Chen Yuekun (Chn) bt Daren Liew 21-10, 22-20; Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin bt R.M.V. Gurusaidutt (Ind) 21-19, 5-2 rtd; Alamsyah Yunus (Ina) bt Wei Nan (Hkg) 21-18, 15-21, 22-20.


Second round: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong bt Ronald Alexander-Selvanus Geh (Ina) 21-16, 21-11; Bodin Issara-Pakkawat Vilailak (Tha) bt Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko (Jpn) 21-17, 21-18; Andrei Adistia-Gideon Markus Fernaldi (Ina) bt Chooi Kah Ming-Ow Yao Han 21-19, 21-17; Alven Yulianto-Markis Kido (Ina) bt Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech (Tha) 21-18, 22-20;

Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari bt Hardi Hardianto-Agripinna Prima Rahmanto Putra (Ina) 22-20, 21-16; Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah bt Terry Hee-Terry Yeo Zhao Jiang (Sin) 21-15, 22-20; Chow Pak Chuu-Tan Bin Shen bt Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock 21-17, 24-22; Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong bt Chen Zhuofu-Kai Lu (Chn) 21-16, 21-19.

Quarter-finals: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong bt Bodin Isara-Pakkawat Vlailak (Tha) 21-16, 21-7; Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari bt Chow Pak Chu-Tan Bin Shen 25-27, 21-12, 21-12; Alven Yulianto-Markis Kido (Ina) bt Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong 21-15, 21-11; Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem bt Andrei Adistia-Gideon Markus Fernaldi (Ina) 14-21, 21-19, 21-18.


Second round: Hera Desi (Ina) bt Lydia Cheah 21-12, 21-17; Gu Juan (Sin) bt Maria Febe Kusumastuti (Ina) 21-17, 10-21, 21-18; Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Tha) bt Sarita Suwannakitborihan (Tha) 21-13, 21-11; Aya Ohori (Jpn) bt Nichaon Jindapon (Tha) 21-10, 21-19;

Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Yao Xue (Chn) 12-21, 21-15, 21-14; Tee Jing Yi bt Xing Aiying (Sin) 21-12, 21-17; Kana Ito (Jpn) bt Liang Xiaoyu (Chn) 21-16, 14-21, 21-12; P.V. Sindhu (Ind) bt Cheung Ngan Yi (Hkg) 11-21, 21-18, 21-10.

Quarter-finals: P. V. Sindhu (Ind) bt Hera Desi (Ina) 21-17, 21-17; Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Tha) bt Kana Ito (Jpn) 21-18, 21-12; Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Tee Jing Yi 22-20, 21-13; Gu Jun (Sin) bt Aya Ohori (Jpn) 15-21, 21-18, 21-19.


Second round: Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella-Vita Marissa (Ina) bt Shella Devi Aulia-Khairunnisa Imma Muthiah (Ina) 21-18, 21-19; Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta (Ina) bt Payee Lim Peiy Yee-Lim Zhean Peiy 21-3, 21-6; Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean bt Soyoka Yamaguchi-Saya Yamamoto (Jpn) 21-9, 12-21, 21-14; Melati Daeva Oktaviani-Rosyita Eka Putri Sari (Ina) bt Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho 22-20, 21-17;

Vanessa Neo Yu Yan-Yao Lei (Sin) bt Gu Juan-Liang Xiaoyu (Sin) 21-15, 21-10; Goh Liu Ying-Lim Yin Loo bt Luo Yu-Yaqiang Huang (Chn) 21-11, 13-21, 21-12; Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei bt Chochuwong Pornpawee-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) 21-11, 21-13; Fu Mingtian-Shinta Mulia Sari (Sin) bt Serithammarak Artima-Peeraya Munkitamorn (Tha) 21-14, 21-17.

Quarter-finals: Vanessa New Yu Yan-Yao Lei (Sin) bt Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei 21-13, 13-21, 21-19; Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta (Ina) bt Chow Mei Kan-Lee Meng Yean 21-13, 21-18; Goh Liu Ying-Lim Yin Loo bt Fu Mingtian-Shinta Mulia Sari 21-15, 21-17; Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella-Vita Marissa (Ina) bt Melati Daeva Oktaviani-Rosyita Eka Putri Sari (Ina) 24-22, 21-9.

*Mixed doubles

Quarter-finals: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying bt Kai Lu-Luo Yu (Chn) 21-12, 21-19; Praveen Jordan-Vita Marissa (Ina) bt Edi Subaktiar-Gloria Emanuelle Wijaja (Ina) 21-17, 21-16; Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella (Ina) bt Lukhi Apri Nughoro-Annisa Saufika (Ina) 21-19, 23-25, 21-15; Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing bt Chan Yun Lung-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) 25-27, 21-16, 21-18.

Jaded Peng Soon longs for a short break to get him raring again

Posted: 02 May 2013 03:45 PM PDT

Mixed doubles specialist Chan Peng Soon is hoping to regain his touch and motivation before two majors – Sudirman Cup (at Stadium Putra from May 19-26) and World Championships in Guangzhou, China (August).

Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying moved a step closer to defending their mixed doubles crown when they checked into the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold with a 21-15, 22-20 win over Kai Lu-Luo Yu of China yesterday.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying face the formidable Indonesian pair of Praveen Jordan-Vita Marissa next.

Despite the win, something was clearly amiss in Peng Soon's game and he revealed that "I've been been struggling with a lack of motivation on court".

Last week, world No. 5 Peng Soon-Liu Ying crashed out in the quarter-finals of the India Open.

The 23-year-old Peng Soon is hoping that a short break after the Malaysian GP Gold will help him clear his mind and come back revitalised.

"I think right now Liu Ying is playing well and I'm not. I don't have that drive to push myself on court," said Peng Soon.

"Maybe Liu Ying and I have been playing in too many tournaments and I'm mentally tired.

"My ultimate goal is to win a medal with Liu Ying at the world meet."

But for now Peng Soon, who relishes playing in front of the home crowd, will try to regain his touch today.

"I like crowd but this stadium is small and cannot accommodate many people. Anyway, I hope to play better. Liu Ying and I will not underestimate Praveen-Vita as they have made life difficult for some top pairs," he said.

Malaysia will also have Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing in the semi-finals today after they fought tooth and nail for a 25-27, 21-16, 21-18 win over Hong Kong's Chan Yun Lung-Tse Ying Suet.

Aik Quan-Pei Jing will face Indonesians Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella in the last four.

In the men's doubles, second seeds Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei failed to make the semi-finals after losing 13-21, 21-13, 19-21 to Singaporeans Vanessa Neo Yu Yan-Yao Lei.

Tat Meng pleased with women’s progress

Posted: 02 May 2013 06:09 PM PDT

MALAYSIA's women's singles challenge ended when a gritty Tee Jing Yi bowed out 20-22, 13-21 to Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold.

But national women's singles coach Wong Tat Meng was still a happy man.

In the seven months since he took over, the women's singles shuttlers have been showing signs of revival – putting up spirited and confident displays on court.

Prior to his arrival, and since the retirement of former international Wong Mew Choo in 2011, women's singles players used to make early exits in international tournaments,

Now, he has players making the quarter-finals.

Earlier, Jing Yi made it to the last eight after stunning Singapore's Xing Aiying 21-12, 21-17.

Jing Yi and Sonia Cheah have also confirmed their tickets for the World Championships in Guangzhou in August. Malaysia did not have a single woman qualifier at the last edition in Wembley in 2011.

Sonia has been beating higher-ranked players while her elder sister Lydia is no longer bugged by injuries.

The other three women under his charge are Yang Li Lian, Lim Yin Fun and Lim Chiew Sien.

Tat Meng believes that Malaysia has the talent to narrow the gap on women shuttlers from China, South Korea, Thailand, India, Japan, Indonesia.

"Many countries have good women singles players now. Countries like Thailand, India, Japan and Indonesia have many young talents. Yes, we've been left behind but I believe that it won't be too long before we catch up with them," said Tat Meng.

"So far, the results have been encouraging. I've got a dedicated bunch of players and am looking forward to more good results from them."

The women's singles shuttlers will come under close scrutiny when Malaysia shift their attention to the Sudirman Cup, which will be held at Putra Stadium from May 19-26.

Malaysia will either field Jing Yi or Sonia – depending on the strategy – in the world mixed team event.


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Movie mayhem

Posted: 02 May 2013 02:30 AM PDT

Get ready for a slew of summer blockbusters.

SUMMER is the most exciting season for movies and so Galaxie is serving its annual Movie Issue in the 1-16 May publication.

If you're wondering what movies are coming our way, Galaxie gets you up to speed with the super stars, super heroes and super movies that are in store. Iron Man 3, Man Of Steel, Fast & Furious 6, Monsters University, The Wolverine, Elysium and World War Z are just a few among the many blockbusters in the list.

The magazine also reveals interesting details on Robert Downey Jr, Hugh Jackman and new Superman Henry Cavill. Yes, we can boldly tell you that Man Of Steel had to down some 5,000 calories per day to fill out his Superman suit. Not losing out, Hugh Jackman, we find out, is in the best shape you've ever seen him in for The Wolverine. We also tell you why you can't imagine anyone else as Tony Stark besides RDJ.

It's not just all about the movies and movie stars. If you like the song Thrift Shop, get to know interesting facts about the flashy singer, Macklemore.

Due to requests from readers for more info on the popular TV show Oh My English!, Galaxie also managed to get an exclusive interview with Zain Saidin who plays handsome teacher Henry Middleton on the show. For a more grim perspective on things, check out the interview with Hugh Dancy, the lead star of the hot new serial killer show Hannibal.

For a breezier read, the Fashion pages see fashionistas like Emma Watson, Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift, Zoe Saldana and Carrie Underwood step out in style. You will also see Katy Perry strip down to simple wear as she heads to Madagascar on a UNICEF mission.

A must-read is the piece on the six Hollywood celebrities who've insured their body parts big time. It's true… Jennifer Lopez's booty is insured for US$27mil (RM83.7mil)!

For iSnap enthusiasts, we have eight pages of iSnappable photos/trailers and music videos.

Those who have a thing for contests will be happy to learn that you have the chance to win Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall soundtrack, Iron Man 3 movie merchandise and also Walk Off The Earth's albums. For all these and more, pick up a copy of Galaxie's 1-16 May issue.

Galaxie, voted Entertainment Magazine Of The Year for two years straight, is owned by Star Publications (M) Bhd. The magazine also has an online presence at Follow Galaxie on Twitter (@galaxiemag) and visit the Facebook page (

The beautiful warrior

Posted: 02 May 2013 02:26 AM PDT

A Hollywood actress returns to her roots for one of Malaysia's biggest films this year.

NORWEGIAN actress Natassia Malthe has been in the entertainment industry since the mid-1990s. She made her big screen debut in the teen drama Disturbing Behavior (1998), where she starred alongside Katie Holmes, James Marsden and Nick Stahl.

Since then she has appeared in many movies and television shows like This Means War, Halloween: Ressurection, Elektra, Stark Raving Mad, Wish You Were Here, Fallen and Fringe.

Now, with a co-starring role as Brynna in KRU Studios' Vikingdom – The Blood Eclipse, Malthe hopes to expand her acting career in Asia.

In an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently, the gorgeous model-turned-actress said that she had been trying to make a name for herself in the region for the past three years. Unfortunately, she had not been too successful.

"I guess it was due to the fact that I didn't know anyone here. I needed to know the right people in the industry here.

"But I am glad that after all my efforts, I landed a role in Vikingdom. This is timely because I really want to expand (my career) in Asia before returning to Hollywood," said Malthe, who is half Malaysian. The actress revealed that her mother hails from Sabah. "She met my dad (who is Norwegian) on a trip to Toronto, Canada." Malthe is currently based in Bangkok, Thailand, where her father resides. Handpicked by KRU Studios to be the leading lady in their big-budget feature film, Malthe, 39, said that she was more than happy to be in Vikingdom.

"I like being the only girl among guys ... and kicking them!" she said, half-jokingly.

The action-adventure tells the story of a Viking warrior named Eirick, who must face his violent past and lift the sword to face Thor, the God of Thunder. Thor is on a mission to gather key ancient relics that will allow him to continue ruling over and conquering mankind. However, he needs to do this before the once-in-800-years Blood Eclipse, which is happening soon. It is now up to Eirick to stop him.

Malthe stars alongside US actor Dominic Purcell (of Prison Break fame) who plays Eirick, and Australian actor and former wrestler Conan Stevens (Game Of Thrones, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) who plays Thor. Other actors include Craig Fairbass and Jon Foo.

Malthe explained that her character Brynna – Eirick's love interest – is a woman of principle. "My character has a lot of integrity, and she gets to kick a lot of big Vikings (around). Brynna is also a loner and her own person," she said.

She added that the action scenes in Vikingdom were hard yet fun to do.

"Seriously, the fighting scenes were pretty awesome. Yes it was difficult as we had to learn the steps and memorise the choreography. I got a couple of minor injuries – sprained my ankle, broke my finger. But I only realised my injuries when we completed the filming!" she said with a laugh. Malthe thinks that her 20-year training in ballet has helped a lot in keeping her flexible.

"I guess I'm lucky to be able to do my own stunts. (Ballet) helped me to be flexible and move well. I just love action movies and the stunts, the fight scenes – you get such an adrenaline rush."

Vikingdom was mostly shot in Malaysia, in several locations such as Kellie's Castle and Gua Tempurung in Perak. Malthe noted that being half Norwegian and half Malaysian, this meant something special to her. (Norway has a strong historical and geographical link with Vikings.) She also said that her working experience with the KRU Studios was a pleasant one.

"I guess when you were working in a Hollywood production, it is such a big company that nobody really bothers about anyone unless you are a big star or something. But working for Vikingdom I felt so at home. Everyone was so cool and easy to work with," she shared.

The movie's trailer was released in March and the CGI-heavy production looks slick and promising. For updates and more information on the movie, checkout Vikingdom's Facebook page ( or subscribe to their YouTube channel ("VikingdomTheMovie").

Vikingdom – The Blood Eclipse is expected to be released nationwide in September.

Free Hummingbird Tickets

Posted: 01 May 2013 11:05 PM PDT

Homeless and on the run from a military court martial, a damaged ex-special forces soldier navigating London's criminal underworld seizes an opportunity to assume another man's identity -- transforming into an avenging angel in the process.

Hummingbird starring Jason Statham hits cinemas here on 9 May. We have 25 pairs of tickets to give away for a special screening on 8 May.

All you have to do is print this page and bring it along with you to our redemption table at GSC Tropicana City Mall. Please see details below.

Please note that tickets will be given on a first come, first served basis. Each person will be given only one pair of tickets. Be the first six (6) in line and you'll receive a Hummingbird t-shirt with your pair of tickets.

Redemption Details

Date: 8 May 2013 (Wednesday)

Time: 8pm

Venue: GSC Tropicana City Mall

Screening Details

Date: 8 May 2013 (Wednesday)

Time: 9pm

Venue: GSC Tropicana City Mall

Rules & Regulations

1. This redemption is open to all eCentral fans.

2. Print out the contest page and redeem it at the venue given in this article.

3. Each page entitles you to two movie tickets only. Each person is allowed to redeem only once.

4. Tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis.

5. Queue-jumping and reserving places in line during the redemption are strictly prohibited. The organizers reserve the right to refuse tickets to anyone found doing so.

6. Tickets are not exchangeable for cash.

7. This movie is not yet rated.. Movie ratings will strictly apply for this movie. The organizers reserve the right to refuse entry to the cinema hall to those not within the permitted age limit. No exceptions will be made at any time for any reason.

8. I hereby expressly consent to the collection, collation, use and/or disclosure of all my personal data by Star Publications (M) Berhad for the purposes of the Hummingbird contest.

9. For enquiries, please e-mail


The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

GE13: PR will only take country to brink of destruction, says Najib

Posted: 02 May 2013 09:53 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat, which has been playing the racial card in its quest for power, should not be given the opportunity to form the government because it will only take the country to the brink of destruction, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The prime minister said on the other hand, the Barisan Nasional (BN) emphasised on harmony and progress in the multi-racial society and would not allow any quarters to incite racial hatred.

"If you play racial issues just to be popular or to win seats, the seats will eventually be used to destroy the country," he said in front of about 10,000 people at a dinner hosted by the Business Association of Wangsa Maju at Prima Setapak here.

He said as a multiracial coalition, the BN adhered to a policy that preserved peace and harmony among the people.

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

Malaysia out of US watch list on IP protection for second year

Posted: 02 May 2013 08:54 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR,: Malaysia, for the second time, is not on the Watch List of countries which fail to reach a certain enforcement level in intellectual property protection, as announced by the United States recently.

The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry said the announcement was made by the US Trade Representative through the 2013 Special 301 Report issued on April 30.

The ministry said in a statement that Malaysia's non-inclusion in the Watch List showed the US acknowledged and appreciated the Malaysian government's efforts, particularly through the ministry, in combating copyright piracy and the production and sale of imitation goods.

"These include amending the provisions in the Copyright Act 1987 and Trade Description Act 2011, making the enforcement more effective. "This is another proud achievement by Malaysia at the international level and will directly raise foreign investors' confidence to continue investing in this country."

It said the achievement was also due to the close cooperation between the ministry with the owners of branded goods listed in the Basket of Brands.

"This initiative has facilitated enforcement against the sale of imitation goods, making it more proactive and speedier," it added.

According to the report, there are over 20 countries throughout the world which are on the Priority Watch List, as they have not reached the enforcement level expected for intellectual property protection.

They include Algeria, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand and Venezuela.

Countries on the Watch List include the Philippines, Vietnam, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Israel, Turkey, Paraguay, Jamaica, Finland, Italy, Greece, Romania and Peru. - Bernama

GE13: No statement issued barring civil servants from PR activities, says PM's Department

Posted: 02 May 2013 08:38 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister's Department has denied that its Property Management Division had issued a notice prohibiting civil servants living in Putrajaya from getting involved in Pakatan Rakyat's activities.

Its senior deputy secretary-general, Datuk Othman Mahmood, said the department had never issued the notice bearing the division's name and logo, claiming that action would be taken against those who took part in Pakatan Rakyat's activities. He said the department had never issued any instruction or official notice without its official stamp.

"It has never given permission to any party to use the division's official emblem and logo as disseminated in the print and social media, and pasted at several places in Putrajaya quarters," he said in a statement.

He said the department had lodged a police report on the matter at the Putrajaya police station. - Bernama

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


The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

RAs have no right to close off public roads

Posted: 02 May 2013 06:27 AM PDT

IF road barriers are illegal under the Streets, Drainage and Building Bylaw Act 133, then what right do residents' associations (RAs) have to permanently block public roads?

Which law or guideline gives these RAs the authority to close off public roads?

It does seem that the local authorities are not doing their job by allowing RAs to bend the rules where it suits them, with no regard to the roads being public property.

All motorists pay road tax, therefore everyone has a right to use these blocked roads.

I refer to the following letters which appeared in The Star — "Guarded communities are now bolder in enforcing own rules" (March 22), "Council should enforce the law" (April 3) and "Illegal structures on public space" (March 26).

In USJ Subang Jaya, for example, it has become the "norm" to find roads being closed and blocked with locked boom gates everywhere and perimeter fencing permanently cutting off all excess to public roads.

A majority of the residential areas adopting these guarded community schemes are blatantly ignoring most of the guidelines.

Some of these residential areas are located just next to the local council's office building. Obviously, the guidelines to setting up a "guarded community" are just for show.

Why are the local councils allowing these to happen when it is obviously wrong and illegal?

Some of the RAs, like the one in USJ18, have even gone to the extent of making non-residents pay for their security car stickers to enter their "guarded" area. Is this legal?

Does this have the approval of the local council as well?

I am not a resident of USJ18 but the kindergarten where my son goes to is located in this area. I had to pay RM20 for two security car stickers that are valid for only six months to enter this "guarded" area.

Since when and under which law or guideline does the RA have the right to demand that the public buy their security stickers to enter a public area?

It is clearly stated under the Guarded Community Scheme guidelines that vehicles cannot be prohibited from entering housing estates and guards employed by residents have no power to seek identification or stop anyone from entering.

Based on the Selangor guidelines, the gated-and-guarded scheme is voluntary and residents cannot be forced to be part of it.

I urge the RA of USJ18 to refund the money collected from non-residents as it is wrong to force the scheme on any one, even the residents.

RAs have a responsibility not only to the residents but also to the public at large and they must adhere to the guidelines as it involves public roads.

Subang Jaya

Jalan Gasing-Templer roundabout needs to go

Posted: 02 May 2013 06:27 AM PDT

MOTORISTS who use the Jalan Gasing-Templer roundabout in PJ Old Town face an enormous amount of stress every day. The traffic at the roundabout is a nightmare during peak hours, especially for elderly drivers.

I understand the roundabout was built in the early 1960s when there were few motor vehicles in Petaling Jaya.

However, after half a century, the roundabout remains the same and there have been no improvements to accommodate the tremendous increase in the number of vehicles that converge there every day.

Roundabouts are suitable only when the number of vehicles approaching it is small, as is common in newly-developed areas. .

In this regard, on behalf of Petaling Jaya motorists, I thank the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) for resolving the protracted Rothmans roundabout issue and turning it into a traffic-light-controlled cross junction.

In the same manner, MBPJ should now focus on the notorious Jalan Gasing-Templer roundabout with a view to either build a suitable flyover or convert it into a traffic-light controlled cross junction to ease the extremely heavy traffic flow.

The sooner it is done, the better it will be for motorists.

Petaling Jaya


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