Ahad, 19 Mei 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Hands-on VJ

Posted: 19 May 2013 04:11 PM PDT

Another gorgeous model fronts The MTV Show but VJ Hanli is far from just a pretty face.

PARENTS of MTV VJ Hanli definitely had a knack for predicting the future. Hanli Hoefer, the newest face of MTV Asia, recently spoke to Star2 while in town to promote The MTV Show, a weekly music and pop culture programme.

Placing her elbows on the table and resting her chin on her hands, the classic beauty started the interview by explaining the meaning behind her unique name.

"In Chinese, 'han' means person and 'li' means pretty," said the 20-year-old Singaporean of German and Peranakan-Chinese parentage. She added that her parents were randomly piecing together names at first – although beginning the name with the letter "H" was intentional, owing to a family tradition – but "Hanli" eventually stuck.

And like a self-fulfilling prophecy, she grew into a breathtakingly beautiful, 1.74m-tall lass with bewitching dark brown eyes, long cascading hair, megawatt smile and not to mention, svelte figure.

It's no surprise then that the statuesque beauty became a model. Ave Management (the same agency that represents Canadian top model Coco Rocha and our very own international model Gwen Lu) offered her a modelling contract early last year and she has since graced the covers of Her World and Shape.

"Looking back, being a model feels very safe compared to what I'm doing now. Being very new to hosting, I'm taking a step outside my comfort zone," the TV presenter shared. In fact, Hoefer, who joined the MTV family in January, revealed that she made her first-ever appearance on a live TV show and radio segment just hours before this interview.

She also challenged the perception that VJs are mere talking heads. "VJs are more than just people who read off the teleprompter. We're involved with a lot of behind-the-scene work. We're expected to contribute to the creative process and spot new music and pop culture trends," she explained.

True enough, the MTV VJ definitely did her homework, sounding incredibly well-versed when asked if she could name a trend that would sweep over the music industry in 2013.

"I started listening to trap music around mid last year. I was in a small bar in Singapore recently and they were playing it. I thought, 'You're kidding me!' I didn't know anyone else who knew this. I really think it will take over. It will be the next 'house'," she predicted, adding that YouTube sensation Austin Mahone might be the next big thing in pop music.

Hoefer said she first noticed her love for music in her teens when she became the go-to person for all things music among her friends. Today, although she described her music taste as "a mix of everything", she named Alt-J, ASAP Rocky, Tame Impala and Azealia Banks, as her current obsession.

As such, landing the hosting job with MTV was no doubt a dream come true for the music lover. But Hoefer, who has been tuning into MTV since she was 12, was also excited about her new gig as she was able to follow in the footsteps of her favourite MTV VJ – Denise Keller.

"Denise and I have similar backgrounds (Keller is also of German and Chinese ancestry). So, when I was watching her on TV as a young girl, I'd be like, 'Wow! That person is like me.' And I loved that fact that she didn't care how she looked like. She would often make (silly) faces and she would do it all for entertainment," Hoefer gushed.

Speaking of past MTV VJs, Hoefer also confessed that she felt anxious taking over from Holly Grabarek. Grabarek ended her two-year stint with MTV late last year to further her studies. "I was nervous at first. Holly is such a sweet girl and she was loved by everybody. So I have big shoes to fill. But I just have to remind myself that I am a different person and this is the second season of The MTV Show, so things are going to be completely new," she reasoned.

Indeed, season two of The MTV Show promises a slew of new initiatives (For the uninitiated, The MTV Show is a wacky, irreverent 30-minute programme featuring the hottest music videos, latest celebrity news and movie scoop as well as the latest trends in pop culture). For one, the inclusion of another fellow newly-minted host, VJ Alan Wong, means viewers will be looking at entirely fresh faces on the show.

But the biggest change in the new season will be its effort to up the ante on social media engagement. Sari Trisulo, executive producer at Viacom International Media Networks Asia, said in a press statement: "This is the basis of season two of The MTV Show – content driven by millennial viewers, who lead us and inform our platforms, our content.

"MTV is no stranger to leveraging social media in our programming formats, but the pulse of the new season puts the power in our viewer's hands, and truly engages across multiple social media platforms."

Hence, the show will be built around "The People's Chart" where viewers can go online and vote for their favourite tunes from a pool of 100 songs within the past decade. During the show, the VJs will reveal the top 10 most popular selections, gradually counting down to the number one choice.

Viewers can also participate by submitting their Instagram dedications and the most creative submission will not only be featured on the show but stand to win prizes. The MTV Show is also looking to expand its online presence by introducing an original web-only series that will touch on current youth-related issues as well as offer viewers a behind-the-scene look at the show. Audiences who have questions or opinions can also let the VJs know via Facebook and Twitter.

Hoefer is excited about connecting with viewers on the social media platforms and is taking her role very seriously, stating: "I have to be very active on social media so I can hear from the audience and speak on their behalf. Like, if I'm going to meet someone like Justin Bieber, I need to find out what people want to know about him.

"So as a VJ, it's my job to be the voice of my generation."

Season Two of The MTV Show airs every Saturday, noon, on MTV (Astro Ch 713). To find out more about VJ Hanli, visit her Facebook page (facebook.com/MTVVJHanli) or follow her on Twitter (@HanliHoefer) and Instagram (@HanliHoefer).

The secret to winning a car

Posted: 19 May 2013 04:12 PM PDT

The number of recruited "988 Secret Tune Secret Agent" is steadily increasing. You too should be an agent if you want to win a car. 988's Secret Tune finale will be held on May 26 (Sunday) where the finalists aka "Secret Agents" battle for a brand new Toyota Camry worth RM150,000.

Tune in to 988 and dial 03-7710 3988 when you hear the cue to call. Successful callers walk away with RM100 immediately. Then, in the next two seconds, if you can guess the title of the song and name of artiste correctly, you are recruited to be 988's "Secret Agent" – a step towards winning a new stylish car.

The Secret Tune contest runs until May 24.

Also on 988 this week

The Feature (Monday, Tuesday, 9am-10am)

Viagra and Tongkat Ali have aphrodisiac qualities. Those taking these form of medication will never admit to it, even to their closest friends. The Feature takes a look at these products and the "effects" they have on the body.

Morning Up VIP (Wednesday-Friday, 9am-10am)

Hong Kong actor Jerry Koo Ming Wa agrees that his most successful role to date was playing So Kei in the popular TVB drama Divas In Distress. Koo shares that four years ago when his daughter was diagnosed with an illness that requires long-term medical treatment, he contemplated on quitting the industry. But his daughter didn't want her father to give up something he enjoys doing. Listen to more of the interview with Koo.

Music VIP (Monday-Friday, 2pm)

What does Singaporean singer-songwriter, Lin Jun Jie (aka JJ Lin) think of his journey in life so far? With 10 albums under his belt, which album is his personal favourite? Find out more on Music VIP.

Download the 988 app or stream it online at 988.com.my. 988 is a subsidiary of Star Radio Group.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Obama walks a fine line with Myanmar president's landmark visit

Posted: 19 May 2013 04:09 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will walk a fine line between fostering a U.S. ally in China's backyard and trying to defend human rights when the president of Myanmar becomes the first head of his country to visit the White House in 47 years on Monday.

U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) stands next to Myanmar's President Thein Sein (C) during their meeting in Yangon November 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) stands next to Myanmar's President Thein Sein (C) during their meeting in Yangon November 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Rights groups and some U.S. lawmakers fear Obama has moved too quickly since forging a dramatic breakthrough in relations in 2011 after half a century of military rule in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

U.S. officials argue that reforms by President Thein Sein's quasi-military government - freeing democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and hundreds of political prisoners, scrapping censorship, legalizing trade unions and protests - are transformative and deserve support from Obama, who confirmed the end of Myanmar's pariah status with the West with a landmark visit last November.

However, ethnic or sectarian violence, particularly in the western state of Rakhine, has worsened since Washington started easing sanctions, and a Reuters special report published last week found apartheid-like policies segregating minority Muslims in prison-like ghettos there.

At least 192 people died last year in violence between ethnic Buddhists in Rakhine and Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship by Myanmar. Most of the victims, and the 140,000 people made homeless in the attacks, were Muslims.

The Myanmar government's rights record has long been poor, especially in resource-rich areas inhabited by ethnic Shans, Karens and Kachins.

The Washington-based U.S. Campaign for Burma says 1,100 ethnic Rohingya and 200-250 Kachin have become political detainees in the past year, and the situation has led some to question how far Washington should go in its policy shift.

"When they abuse ethnic minorities, it really undercuts their credibility and undermines our ability to work with them," said Republican Representative Trent Franks, one of a group of U.S. lawmakers arguing for lifting U.S. sanctions more slowly.

Obama administration officials believe that to deepen and sustain the reforms, Thein Sein has to be able to demonstrate tangible benefits to overcome opposition from powerful military leaders. To back that, Washington has narrowed the scope of its ban on business dealings with Myanmar officials and businessmen.

"Yes, there is still more work to do but ... the progress they have made has been significant and they have put in place an ambitious reform agenda and we encourage them to keep doing more," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday, after Myanmar freed 23 political prisoners.

On Monday, the two countries are expected to announce plans to work out a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement that would lead to regular talks on boosting trade, labour standards and investment, a business leader familiar with the issue said.


Even critics in Congress of Obama's Myanmar policy support the U.S. strategic goal of bringing Myanmar, a nation of 60 million people tucked between China and India, out of its isolation from the West.

The long U.S.-Myanmar estrangement was a drag on America's relations with ASEAN, the 10 nation Southeast Asian regional grouping that looks to Washington as a counterbalance to the more assertive China of recent years.

Ernest Bower, senior adviser for Southeast Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said improving relations with Myanmar fits into the wider U.S. policy of revitalizing its Asia-Pacific relationships.

"Myanmar is the keystone state that links China, Southeast Asia and India, and if we didn't get it right, we wouldn't be able to play the chess game that is required in order to deal with China," he said.

But the concerns about rights abuses are holding back a fuller U.S. embrace of Thein Sein, a retired general, who was taken off the U.S. Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals visa blacklist last year to facilitate engagement.

Thein Sein was a close confidante of former military ruler Than Shwe, who ran Myanmar for 19 years, a period that saw mass jailing of opponents, the gunning down of pro-democracy protesters and widespread abuses in ethnic minority areas.

Jennifer Quigley, head of the U.S. Campaign for Burma, said that even without the killings in Rakhine, the Myanmar military's heavy hand in forced land seizures and corrupt trade in natural resources in Kachin and other states in multi-ethnic Myanmar should give Western countries pause.

Myanmar's most coveted resources - natural gas, minerals, gems and timber - lie in ethnic areas that have been war zones for decades and remain largely untouched by reforms, she said.

"Our biggest concern about welcoming Thein Sein to the White House is that it reinforces this positive impression of him and of what is going on in Burma, while we have serious misgivings that he is not interested in pursuing critical reforms," said Quigley.

The military has run Myanmar since a 1962 coup by Ne Win, whose 1966 visit to Washington at the invitation of President Lyndon Johnson was the last such visit by the country's head of state.

The European Union has moved faster than the United States on Myanmar, lifting its last sanctions on trade, the economy and individuals last month, although it retains an arms embargo.

Earlier this month, Obama scrapped a ban on U.S. entry visas to Myanmar's military rulers and their associates but kept sanctions on investing or doing business with figures involved in repression since the mid-1990s.

Franks and Democratic U.S. congressman Rush Holt are using budget legislation to press the Obama administration to hold back on expanding nascent U.S. military ties with Myanmar's armed forces until the country stops abuses of ethnic groups and enacts reforms to reduce the military's huge role in the economy.

"The Burmese military is the historic perpetrator of human rights abuses, and, one may presume, also the current perpetrator, so sanctions against them should be the last to go," said Holt.

(Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Editing by Alistair Bell)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Militants kill 10 Iraq policemen in checkpoint attacks

Posted: 19 May 2013 03:29 PM PDT

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - - Militants killed at least 10 Iraqi policemen in a series of attacks on checkpoints in the West of the country on Sunday, police and local officials said.

Sectarian tensions in Iraq have been amplified by the conflict in neighbouring Syria, where mostly Sunni rebels are fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad who is backed by Shi'ite Iran.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Iraqi attacks, but Sunni militant groups have previously targeted security forces in a campaign to destabilize the Baghdad government, which they reject as illegitimate.

Seven policemen were killed when militants attacked checkpoints and patrols near the western town of Haditha, 190 km (120 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police sources said.

"We were manning a checkpoint when suddenly a group of militants in many vehicles surrounded us and opened fire. Seven of my colleagues were killed instantly," said a policeman at the site.

In Rawa, 260 km (160 miles) northwest of Baghdad, gunmen attacked police checkpoints, the house of a member of the provincial council and a police chief's residence, killing three policemen and wounding two others, police sources said.

The attacks took place in the Sunni heartland of Anbar, where gunmen on Saturday ambushed and kidnapped 10 policemen near the provincial capital of Ramadi, and four members of a government-backed Sunni militia fighters were killed near Falluja city.

When Sunni-Shi'ite bloodshed was at its height in 2006-07, Anbar, which shares a border with Syria, was in the grip of al Qaeda's local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, which has regained strength in recent months.

Minority Sunnis, embittered by Shi'ite dominance since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by U.S.-led forces in 2003, have been staging street protests against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki since December.

A bloody government raid on a Sunni protest camp in Hawija last month ignited a surge of violence. Monthly death tolls are well below those of 2006-07, when they sometimes topped 3,000, but more than 700 were killed in April by a U.N. count, the highest figure in almost five years.

(Reporting by Kamal Naama; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Hezbollah steps up Syria battle, Israel threatens more strikes

Posted: 19 May 2013 03:11 PM PDT

AMMAN (Reuters) - Lebanese Hezbollah militants attacked a Syrian rebel-held town alongside Syrian troops on Sunday and Israel threatened more attacks on Syria to rein the militia in, highlighting the risks of a wider regional conflict if planned peace talks fail.

A Free Syrian Army fighter is seen with his weapon in a damaged house in Deir al-Zor, May 18, 2013. Picture taken May 18, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A Free Syrian Army fighter is seen with his weapon in a damaged house in Deir al-Zor, May 18, 2013. Picture taken May 18, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Activists said it was the fiercest fighting in Syria's two year-old civil war involving Hezbollah, a Shi'ite group backed by Iran which they said appeared to be helping President Bashar al-Assad secure a vital corridor in case Syria fragments.

Speaking from Qusair near the border with Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, activist Hadi Abdallah said Syrian warplanes bombed the town in the morning and shells were hitting the town at a rate of up to 50 a minute. At least 52 people were killed.

"The army is hitting Qusair with tanks and artillery from the north and east while Hezbollah is firing mortar rounds and multiple rocket launchers from the south and west," he said.

Assad poured scorn on the idea that a U.S.- and Russian-sponsored peace conference planned for Geneva next month would end fighting that is deepening the sectarian fault lines between Sunnis against Shi'ites across the Middle East.

"They think a political conference will halt terrorists in the country. That is unrealistic," he told the Argentine newspaper Clarin, in reference to the mainly Sunni groups seeking to unseat him.

Assad declared "No dialogue with terrorists", but it was not clear from his remarks whether he would agree to send delegates to a conference that may falter before it starts due to disagreements between its two main sponsors and their allies.

The opposition will agree its stance on the proposed peace conference in a meeting due to start in Istanbul on Thursday, during which it will also appoint a new leadership.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was "preparing for every scenario" in Syria and held out the prospect of more Israeli strikes inside Syria to stop Hezbollah and other opponents of Israel getting advanced weapons.

"We will act to ensure the security interest of Israel's citizens in the future as well," Netanyahu said.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied reports that it attacked Iranian-supplied missiles stored near Damascus this month that it believed were awaiting delivery to Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006 and is allied with Assad.


Attacks by troops and militias loyal to Assad, who inherited power in Syria from his father in 2000, have put rebel brigades under pressure in several of their strongholds across the majority-Sunni country of 21 million people.

In one attempt to strike back, opposition sources said rebel fighters had abducted the father of Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in the province of Deraa, one of many tit-for-tat kidnappings being carried on by both sides.

"Mekdad's nephew was taken before, and exchanged for Free Syrian Army (rebel) prisoners. The speculation is that a similar deal will be struck for his father," said activist Al-Mutassem Billah of the opposition Sham News Network.

In the fighting near Lebanon, rebel fighters clashed with mechanised Syrian army units and Hezbollah guerrillas in nine points in and around Qusair, 10 km (six miles) from the border, activists said.

The region is needed by Assad, who is from the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, to secure a route from Hezbollah's strongholds in the Bekaa to areas near Syria's Mediterranean coast where many Alawites live, they said.

Opposition sources say Syria's coastal region could serve as an Alawite statelet if Assad should lose control of Damascus, a potential fragmentation of Syria along ethnic and sectarian lines that raises the prospect of many more deaths.

Sources in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley said shells fired by rebels had hit the edges of the town of Hermel, a Hezbollah stronghold, but no casualties were reported.

Syrian Television said troops "leading an operation against terrorists in Qusair" had reached the town centre.

"Our heroic forces are advancing toward Qusair and are chasing the remnants of the terrorists and have hoisted the Syrian flag on the municipality building. In the next few hours we will give you joyous news," the television said.

But al-Siddiq Brigade, one of several Islamist units defending Qusair, including the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, said in a statement that attempts to storm the town had failed and that 45 government troops and Hezbollah guerrillas had been killed in the battles.

Abu Imad, another activist in the Qusair region, said the rebel grip was tenuous but the army was far from in control.

"If Qusair falls, it will be a big problem because the regime will be in control of most of the countryside south of the city of Homs and the rebel forces holding Old Homs will be squeezed," he said.

The United Nations says at least 80,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which started with peaceful protests against four decades of rule by Assad and his late father.

Related Stories:
One killed in northern Lebanese city of Tripoli

Outlook dim as Syria diplomacy gathers force

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

MIDF Research: Return of local retail investors

Posted: 19 May 2013 07:23 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: MIDF Equities Research said local retail investors turned net buyers in the week ended May 17, which was the first time in 24 weeks, although it was a marginal RM16.8mil.

The research house said on Monday there was a heightened participation rate of RM1.5bil, higher than that of foreign investors.

"Local retailers do have cash, having sold net RM5.9bil this year, surpassing the net RM4.2bil offloaded in the entire 2012," it said.

MIDF Research said however, selling by local funds continued to be aggressive last week. Net sale by local funds was RM1.1b compared with RM2.4b the week before.

It pointed out their participation rate of RM2.5bil was the second highest this year after the RM3.6bil the week before.

"As is the case with local retailers, local funds are also sitting on a huge pool of liquidity, having reduced their equity exposure in 2013 by a massive RM12.7bil net in the open market, compared with RM9.5b net sold down in the entire 2012," it said.

As for foreign buying, the intensity faded as expected after an unprecedented surge in foreign buying in the aftermath of the 13th General Election.

"Foreign investors bought net RM1.1bil net of Malaysian equity in the open market (that is excluding off-market deals) last week.

"It was much lower than the net RM3.1bil snapped the week before, but sizeable enough to be the fourth highest in a week this year. It was also a record 23 straight weeks of net buying by the foreigners," said MIDF Research.

SapuraKencana drives KLCI higher in early trade

Posted: 19 May 2013 06:51 PM PDT

Published: Monday May 20, 2013 MYT 9:52:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Rising interest in the oil and gas (O&G) sector saw SapuraKencana Petroleum emerging as among the top gainers in early Monday trade, driving the FBM KLCI higher.

At 9.32am, the KLCI was up 2.95 points to 1,772.11. Turnover was 416.07 million shares valued at RM227.51mil. Advancing counters beat decliners 452 to 92 while 190 counters were unchanged.

JF Apex Research said the after the KLCI took a breather following the recent spike following the outcome of the 13th General Election, "we expect the index to consolidate before climbing and re-testing the resistance of 1,800," it said. SKPetro rose 15 sen to RM2.70 and smaller O&G player Deleum added 13 sen to RM3.48.

Consumer stocks regained their momentum on Monday, with GAB adding 58 sen to RM21, Nestle 50 sen to RM65.50 and Dutch Lady 22 sen to RM47.98 with 100 shares done.

Among the insurers, Allianz gained 25 sen to RM9.75 and MNRB 22 sen to RM3.62.

IGB and Time dotCom rose 15 sen each to RM2.70 and RM4.50.

Genting Plantations fell 25 sen to RM8.80 with 100 shares done while among the banks, HLBank and AmBank fell 10 sen each to RM14.20 and RM7.14.

Petrol One which will be suspended from Wednesday until further notice, fell six sen to eight sen.

Sino Hua-An in the black, posts RM3.33m net profit

Posted: 19 May 2013 06:35 PM PDT

Published: Monday May 20, 2013 MYT 9:36:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Sino Hua-An International Ltd was in the black in the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 with net profit of RM3.33mil versus net loss of RM19.91mil a year ago.

It reported net loss of RM10.78mil in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2012 also.

Sino Hua-An said on Monday that however, revenue fell 12.5% to RM334.16mil from RM382.12mil a year ago.

Earnings per share were 0.3 sen compared with loss per share of 1.77 sen.

Trading was halted from 9am to 10am for the announcement.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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Chong Wei urges team-mates to bounce back from shock defeat to Taiwan

Posted: 19 May 2013 05:57 PM PDT

ALTHOUGH visibly shocked and disappointed, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei made a clarion call to his team-mates to bounce back from their surprise 3-2 defeat to Taiwan.

Yesterday, Chong Wei and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were the only winners in Malaysia's Group C opening tie against Taiwan at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Hosts Malaysia had hoped for a flying start but top doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong were blown apart 18-21, 18-21 by Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin in 31 minutes.

Sonia Cheah was expected to salvage the situation but she only lasted 28 minutes before bowing out at 7-21, 13-21 to a determined Tai Tzu-ying.

Like the saviour he had been for countless times, Chong Wei restored some order when he blew away Yang Chih-hsun 21-8, 21-13 in just 24 minutes to the delight of the home fans to keep Malaysia's hope alive at 1-2.

Then, all hoped rested on top women doubles shuttlers Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo to defy the odds against the more experienced Cheng Wen-hsing-Hsieh Pei-chen but they lost 17-21, 19-21 despite playing their hearts out.

In a match that had no bearing, Peng Soon-Liu Ying beat Lu Ching-yao-Lai Chia-wen 25-23, 21-11, for the overall 3-2 score in favour of Taiwan.

Chong Wei admitted that the shock defeat of Kien Keat-Boon Heong had rattled the team.

"I did not expect Koo and Tan to lose. They did not play to the rhythm of their game. They committed plenty of mistakes," said Chong Wei.

"Sonia too could not handle the pressure although she had beaten Tzu-ying twice during the Axiata Cup. Playing in the Sudirman Cup is different.

"But I hope the team will not give up. The road has become tougher but we can still rise from this defeat.

"We will be playing Germany next (tomorrow). We need to win to keep alive our hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals. We will support and encourage each another. The battle is not over."

Vivian-Khe Wei was disappointed that they could not save the tie for Malaysia although they knew the team depended on them.

"We have never met them and tried our best but it was not good enough," said Khe Wei.

Vivian, who was only a reserve in the team two years ago, said: "We lost but this is not the time to cry over it. We still have a chance and we must re-focus on the next tie against Germany."

"There was certainly more pressure playing than sitting on the bench but it was certainly a great experience for me. We will only get better from here."

·Division 1

Group A: China bt India 5-0.

Group B: Thailand bt Hong Kong 3-2.

Group C: Taiwan bt Malaysia 3-2 (Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin bt Tan Boon Heong-Koo Kien Keat 21-18, 21-18; Tai Tzu-ying bt Sonia Cheah 21-7, 21-13; Yang Chih-hsun lost to Lee Chong Wei 8-21, 13-21; Cheng Wen-hsing-Hsieh Pei-chen bt Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo 21-17, 21-19; Lu Ching-yao-Lai Chia-wen lost to Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Yong 23-25, 11-21.)

Group D: Denmark bt Singapore 4-1.

·Division 2

Group A: Scotland bt Russia 4-1.

Group A: Sweden bt United States 3-2.

·Division 3

Group A: Sri Lanka bt Turkey 3-2; Philippines bt New Zealand 3-2.

Group B: Vietnam bt Kazakhstan 5-0, Australia bt Lithuania 4-1.


·Division 1

(12 noon)

Group A: Indonesia vs India

Group D: Japan vs Singapore


Group B: South Korea vs Hong Kong

Group C: Germany vs Taiwan

·Division 2

(12 noon)

Group B: Holland vs Australia


Group B: France vs Canada

·Division 3

(12 noon)

Group A: Ukraine vs Philippines, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka


Group B: Switzerland vs Kazakhstan, Vietnam vs Lithuania

Kien Keat-Boon Heong may not play in Group C tie against Germany

Posted: 19 May 2013 03:18 PM PDT

IT looks like men doubles shuttlers Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong may not get a chance to play in Malaysia's next Group C tie against Germany in the Sudirman Cup tomorrow.

Although a decision has not been made, all indications show they may be rested if the comments by chief coaches Rashid Sidek and Tan Kim Her are any indication during a post press conference after Malaysia's shocking 2-3 defeat to Taiwan in their opening tie yesterday.

Rashid said that Kien Keat-Boon Heong's 18-21, 18-21 loss to Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chai-hsin had sent a rippling effect on the team's performances yesterday.

"I did not expect this. Our plan was to win the men's doubles, men's singles and mixed doubles but we could not deliver because of Koo-Tan's defeat," said Rashid.

"In fact, even Sonia (Cheah) felt the effect. She had beaten her opponent (Tai Tzu-ying) before but she could not play her game at all. We will discuss on what is the best strategy against Germany next (tomorrow)," he said.

Kim Her was more subdued despite the defeat and said that Boon Heong had lost his concentration mid way through the match.

"No, there is no misunderstanding or any other problems. I spoke to Boon Heong and he said that he lost his concentration and he did not have the feel of the game," said Kim Her.

"But of course, we will discuss their performances in the team meeting. We will decide our best line-up against Germany," said Kim Her.

When asked whether his other players – Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah were ready to play if Kien Keat-Boon Heong were rested, Kim Her said: "As I said before, all three pairs are ready to play. The back-up players are ready. For now, we have to decide which pair will best suit our strategy against Germany."

Koo-Tan’s stunning loss rocks Malaysian camp

Posted: 19 May 2013 03:18 PM PDT

THE misery for Malaysia's beleaguered doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong continued at the Sudirman Cup yesterday.

The world No. 3 Kien Keat-Boon Heong took another huge beating to their morale when they went down 18-21, 18-21 in a horrid 31-minute match to Taiwanese Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin.

Theirs was the first match during Malaysia's opening Group A tie against Taiwan in the Sudirman Cup at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Malaysia had hoped for a flying start – as the duo had beaten the same pair en route to reaching the final of the Hong Kong Open last year but they failed – big time.

Their awful defeat came just two weeks after they to their younger compatriots Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem in the final of the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold tournament at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara.

Now, their confidence is seriously at their lowest ebb ahead of the World Championships in Guangzhou in August.

Kien Keat, dejected with their defeat, said that they did not underestimate the world No. 26 Taiwanese pair although they were a scratched combination.

"Our front court play was a letdown. We could not control them and their attacking play was good. We lost control," lamented Kien Keat.

"No, we did not underestimate our opponents. Lee is a old timer and has been playing since the same time I started."

The stocky Kien Keat said that although demoralised, he was not ready to give up his fight with Boon Heong with the world championships just three months away.

"I will play with Boon Heong as long as the trust is there. I admit that we seriously need a boost ahead of the world meet but the only way to do that is to never give up," said Kien Keat.

"I am not panicking. After the Olympic Games in London, there was no expectations on us and we were enjoying ourselves. Now, when there is expectations, we are finding it hard."

Boon Heong was utterly disappointed and he had left it to the coaches to determine his future in the ongoing Sudirman Cup mixed team event.

"This defeat has affected my confidence and I will leave it to the coaches to decide whom they want to field for the other ties," said Boon Heong.

The coaches – Tan Kim Her and Paulus Firman – have the option of fielding Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem or Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong for the tie against Germany tomorrow.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

Book the dates

Posted: 19 May 2013 01:02 AM PDT

The highly anticipated MPH Distributors Warehouse Sale is back with an impressive selection of titles.

WANT to whip up a quick Italian recipe, boggle your mind with Sudoku, get an insight into the most powerful woman in the business world or lose yourself in a good murder mystery? Fiction, self-help, business, romance ... whatever you want next on your bookshelf, here's a chance to buy it on the cheap: head over to the MPH Distributors Warehouse Sale starting on Tuesday.

Star2 readers get to enjoy further marked down prices for a selection of titles. Just present this original page (no photocopies) upon payment to enjoy the special prices. This offer is valid only during the sale, from May 21 to 26, while stocks last. It is not valid with other promotions and is not exchangeable for cash. One page is valid for a maximum of five of the titles featured on this page.


A Bride By Moonlight by Liz Carlyle (warehouse sale price: RM15 / Star2 price: RM10) – Faced with murder charges, Lisette Colburne never imagined aligning herself with Scotland Yard. But when Commissioner Royden Napier proposes that in exchange for her freedom she pretend to be his wife so he can unravel a brutal mystery, she agrees. What neither counts on is their sizzling, undeniable attraction.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (WP: RM15 / SP: RM10) – This re-issue of a beloved work from one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers shares with a new generation 18 startling tales that unfold across a canvas of tattooed skin. Set in worlds where cities take their vengence and technology awakens primal instincts, the stories examine the nature of mankind.

Manuscript Found In Accra by Paulo Coelho (WP: RM29 / SP: RM25) – As Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the Crusaders, a mysterious man known only as the Copt summons the townspeople to address their fears with truth. Centuries later, the wise man's words are a record of human values that have endured the test of time.

Children and teens

Baby Einstein First Colours by Marcy Kelman (WP: RM20 / SP: RM16) – An introduction to colours for babies and toddlers aged nine months and above. This board book set contains five colour booklets of flashcards on everyday items.

Big Nate Flips Out by Lincoln Peirce (WP: RM18 / SP: RM14) – Big Nate is back in the fifth instalment of his own super-funny series. And when Nate's sloppiness gets out of hand, his best friend Francis gets in serious trouble. Can Nate clean up his act? Or will he flip out first?

Disney 3D Story And Activity: Toy Story 2 (WP:RM7 / SP: RM5) – Within the pages of this book you will find a 3D story of the greatest toy rescue mission, 3D stickers and fun 3D activities starring your kids' favourite toys.

Disney Pixar Cars Race For Rewards Chart (WP: RM14 / SP: RM9) – Record your kid's achievements with these popular Disney characters in reward charts. Child and parent can work together on this project, which encourages learning, interactive play, good manners and more.

Disney Winnie-The-Pooh Let's Learn! Flashcards (WP: RM10 / SP: RM8) – An introduction to numbers, colours, actions and shapes that can serve as a companion to learning for younger readers.

Seven Wonders #1: The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis (WP: RM20 / SP: RM15) – Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones in this epic adventure.

The first book in a seven-book series, The Colossus Rises chronicles the story of Jack McKinley, an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem: He is going to die in a few months unless he finds seven magic Loculi that have been hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The Usborne Picture Book Gift Set (WP: RM99 / SP: RM89) – A contemporary and humorous take on 20 famous children's stories, this is the perfect gift for any child who is hooked on reading. Each of the 20 books is filled with fun illustrations.

Tony Buzan's Mind Maps For Kids 3-in-1 Bundle (WP: RM89 / SP: RM82) – These mind maps are recommended for kids who are seven to 14 years old. The books are packed with tips for improving memory and concentration, as well as jokes, cartoons and brainteasers.


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (WP: RM40 / SP: RM35) – The buzz about this book put its author, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, on the cover of Time magazine. In Lean In, one of Fortune magazine's "Most Powerful Women in Business" draws on her experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves.

Mama's Italian Family Cookbook (WP: RM20 / SP: RM14) – This vintage cookbook is filled with traditional Italian-style recipes, from starters, antipasti and light lunches, through to pasta, pizzas and desserts.

Mini Delights: Whoopie Pies (WP: RM12 / SP: RM8) – Contains easy to follow recipes for delicious, home-baked whoopie pies. Browse through the selection of traditional flavours and fancy finishes to indulgent twists on old favourites, including classic, gourmet and party whoopies.

The Hour Between Dog And Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings, And The Biology Of Boom And Bust by John Coates (WP: RM16 / SP: RM13) – Shortlisted for the 2012 Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award and the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, this book is a resonant exploration of economic behaviour and its consequences.

Times Fiendish Su Doku Book 6 (WP: RM15 / SP: RM10) – Over five million copies of The Times Su Doku series have been sold worldwide since the first Su Doku puzzle appeared in the British newspaper in November 2004. Are you a Solver type in need of a supply of ultra-difficult puzzles? This might be just the thing for you.

Why 'A' Students Work For 'C' Students And Why 'B' Students Work For The Government by Robert T. Kiyosaki (WP: RM40 / SP: RM36) – Kiyosaki urges parents not to be obsessed with their kids' "letter grades" and focus instead on concepts, ideas and helping their child find their true genius. – Compiled by Rouwen Lin

The MPH Distributors Warehouse Sale will be held from 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Sunday (May 21-26), at Bangunan TH, No.5, Jalan 13/4, Petaling Jaya. For inquiries, call 03-7958 1688. 'Like' the sale at facebook.com/MPHDistributors for the latest updates.

And look out for more great 'Star Buy' titles in the Reads pages on Tuesday!


Posted: 19 May 2013 12:53 AM PDT

FOR week ending May 12, 2013:


1.       Limitless: Devotions For A Ridiculously Good Life by Nick Vujicic

2.       Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed

3.       Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

4.       Unstoppable: The Incredible Power Of Faith In Action by Nick Vujicic

5.       The Art Of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

6.       Only 13: The True Story Of Lon by Julia Manzanares & Derek Kent

7.       Bossypants by Tina Fey

8.       Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insight On China, The United States, And The World by Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwill & Ali Wyne

9.       Syed Mokhtar Albukhary: A Biography by Premilla Mohanlall

10. 10 Steps 10 Minutes To Motivate Yourself by Amwork Publications


1.       I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

2.       The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

3.       Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

4.       The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

5.       The Great Gatsby (movie tie-in) by F. Scott Fitzgerald

6.       The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

7.       The Host (movie tie-in) by Stephenie Meyer

8.       A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

9.       The Witness by Nora Roberts

10.       World War Z by Max Brooks

       Weekly list compiled by MPH Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur; www.mphonline.com.

No chance for an Inferno

Posted: 19 May 2013 12:54 AM PDT

THE world is engulfed in an Inferno, Dan Brown's latest work based loosely on Dante's Divine Comedy. My inbox too is flooded with news alerts concerning its release, and some of my Facebook buddies have flashed their copies, looking smitten, their faces enlivened.

It is great to have such hype. Such excitement buoys the publishing industry. An "event" publication like this gives book lovers something to beam about in front of techno geeks or fashion watchdogs – why, a book as prettily designed as Inferno is practically an accessory! Your copy is a ticket to join in the world's literary craze. Lest you are neither a tech enthusiast nor a fashionable trendsetter, picking up a book like that makes you part of a cultural cosmology.

Off I therefore went to the library last Tuesday, when the book was released worldwide, hoping to read Brown's first sentence and hoping that it will lure me in. But the few copies available were out of reach in the hands of deeply-engrossed patrons. One of them, a male, was bitting his fingernails while reading. It must be good if it is nerve-wrecking, I decided, so I waited. One at the time, they walked out with the Inferno checked out and placed contentedly under their arms, denying me the little peek I needed to decide whether I would be "in" or "out" of this latest publishing phenomenon.

So I am now an outcast. Neither tech savvy nor fashion conscious, I, in my faded jeans and brown woollen sweater bought in flea market, roamed around, sifting through the bookshelves and hoping to find a book to outshine Inferno, to salvage my injured pride.

A friend texted to ask if I was reading Inferno because he was. The answer was obvious, but answering his second question, as to when I had read The Da Vinci Code, was as taxing as my son's math questions. I remember reading it at about the same time when the picture of a famous Hollywood celebrity appearing in its film flashed across a newspaper's entertainment section. That must be a decade ago, and one serving of Dan Brown is enough unless Prof Robert Langdon is willing to travel to more exotic locations to solve esoteric mysteries with only one piece of crucial information, as seems to be typical in all of Brown's novels.

Why not? Let the mystery be not in historic Florence, Italy, but in Mumbai, India. Langdonji (as he would be respectfully addressed in India) may be outsmarted by the locals or he may be genuinely assisted, who knows, because in Mumbai everything comes in two extremes. In fact, come to think of it, the decision to move out of a European setting into an Indian one really does make sense. The flamboyant culture could replace the solemnly Christian atmosphere, and the hot weather lighten up Europe's grey skies. Better yet, Langdon's efforts to foil the posthumous plot of a sophisticated Indian genius may not be as easy as the typical Brown cat-and-mouse race; it may now be complicated by the Indian people's will to survive on a subsistence level. As well as state of the art technology, exotic help may be deployed. Ghost seers and snake charmers, for once, can help, and heavily-bearded police officials may intervene to steal a speck of limelight. The world will be watching and reading, so who wouldn't want to be part of it?

These are just my wishful musings, dear reader, to make up for not joining the hordes in being swept up by the hype. But to pass the time, since I was there in that majestic library, I thought I might as well look for a good read. It had to be something simple, pleasant, and down to earth. And it had to be set in India, a place I have gained much understanding of from reading, of late. It could be a novel, but I would much rather go for short stories because Indian novels tend to be too prolix. It had to be moving too, and written with compassion, wit and intelligence. It had to be an "inferno", but in terms of human suffering as opposed to the fiery destruction Brown likes.

What book will deliver that, I wondered, as I sifted through each shelf with books sorted neatly by authors' last names. Which book could replace Inferno? Which would give me pleasure 10 times greater than that I could possibly derive from a peek into Brown's latest offering to the world?

At that, I stopped at "M" and sought out Rohinton Mistry, an old and reliable pal. The book I pulled out was Swimming Lessons And Other Stories From Firozsha Baag. Set in India? Yes, and it is Mumbai. Witty and compassionate? Yes, penetratingly. A collection of short stories? Yes, and reading them guarantees delightfulness. An inferno? Yes, psychologically. A good replacement for Inferno? Without a doubt!

So I walked out with Mistry's collection of stories about a handful of seemingly insignificant lives lived in an apartment building in Mumbai called Firozsha Baag. I felt like flashing it at people just as my Facebook friends had with Inferno. I didn't, but I know my face was enlivened.

Abby Wong asks you to go for Swimming Lessons And Other Stories From Firozsha Baag if you are, like her, short of a chance to read Inferno. Read it too if you, like her, love to go against the herd.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Four killed in freak car crash on MRR2

Posted: 19 May 2013 07:23 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Four people were killed after their car, heading towards Ulu Klang on the Middle Ring Road 2, was rammed by a car careering down Bukit Antarabangsa.

In the mishap, the two men in the other car, suspected of having sustained brake failure, were seriously injured and rushed to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

Ampang Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Amiruddin Jamaluddin confirmed the accident happened at 5.30pm on Sunday and that the four, including two women, had died on the spot.

Another car and a motorcyclist were also involved in the crash.

Firemen took about 30mins to retrieve the bodies.

The dead have yet to be identified.

Forest fire razes 40ha in Dungun

Posted: 19 May 2013 06:46 AM PDT

DUNGUN: A 12-hour fire, suspected of being started by the open burning of rubbish, razed more than 40ha of forest in Kuala Abang here.

Dungun Fire and Rescue Department senior officer Abdullah Ahmad said the fire was believed to have started about 2pm in an open area off Kampung Kuala Abang and spread eight km up to Kampung Rhu Batil.

"The fire destroyed some agriculture, private and government reserve land. The hot weather and wind conditions hampered our efforts but we managed to control the situation about 2 am this morning. There were no casualties," he said here Sunday.

Three fire engines from Dungun, Paka and Marang and 23 personnel were rushed to the scene, he said.

He advised the public not to burn rubbish in the open, especially during the current hot and dry season.

EC mulls action against those who slandered it

Posted: 19 May 2013 06:37 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission has collected evidence against those who have slandered it and is now mulling the next course of action, said its deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

"The EC has decided not to take the slander and allegations lightly.

"We have all the evidence and they cannot run away from it. Our legal division is studying them and will advice on what is the best action to be taken.

"The elections are over and yet these people are still slandering the EC and blatantly lying to the people," he said Sunday.

Action, he added, would be taken against the leaders of the groups, including those in Pakatan Rakyat, whom he said had defamed the EC.

The EC has been accused of electoral fraud by the Opposition following the 13th general election which saw Barisan Nasional heading the Federal Government and Pakatan retaining Selangor, Kelantan and Penang but losing Kedah.

Pakatan Rakyat has been organising rallies nationwide to protest the poll results with PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim questioning the legitimacy of the Barisan government and alleging that the elections process was flawed and fraudulent.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Life on the Fast track

Posted: 19 May 2013 12:02 AM PDT

There's no slowing down The Fast And The Furious franchise that introduced us to heart-thumping street racing and high-speed heists.

Who would have imagined that a movie on illegal street car-racing would go on to spawn six sequels? And all of them, amazingly enough, actually have an interconnecting story arc.

Currently being released in cinemas across the world is the sixth movie in The Fast And The Furious franchise: Fast & Furious 6, or Furious 6 as the opening credits style it.

What's more, the cameras will start to roll on the seventh movie within the next few months, according to series' co-star and producer Vin Diesel.

For someone who says he was "shy about doing sequels" at the beginning of his career, Diesel has certainly embraced the idea.

Meeting with the Asian press in Manila, the Philippines, Diesel says that it wasn't until he worked with American director Sidney Lumet that he lost his fear of "doing too much action or doing sequels". And that was the point when he really committed to doing The Fast And The Furious movies.

Lumet directed Diesel in the 2006 film Find Me Guilty. That was also the same year The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift – the third movie in the franchise – was released.

Diesel had a cameo at the end of the movie, after turning down a role in the second movie 2 Fast 2 Furious. Starting from the fourth movie, 2009's Fast & Furious, Diesel not only returned as lead character Dominic Toretto, but also served as one of the producers.

According to him, the fourth, fifth and sixth movies were envisioned as a trilogy.

"In fact, at one point, (Fast And Furious) Six and Seven were going to be shot at the same time. And the reason why the studio would entertain that is because there is economy of scale if you shoot two movies at the same time. And yet, because of so many different locations, we had to take a hiatus, and we start shooting Seven this summer in LA," he says.

Filming in London

Fast & Furious 6 takes place in several places across Europe, most notably, in London where the film was allowed to shut down Piccadilly Circus to film a street race between Toretto and former lover Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), who was thought to have died in the fourth movie.

Welsh actor and London local Luke Evans, who plays the villain Owen Shaw in Fast & Furious 6, shares that the film is only the third production to have been allowed to shut down the major traffic intersection in London's West End theatre district, and a well-known tourist attraction in its own right.

Although he was not involved in the scene, Evans and a friend went to check out the filming at around 12.30am, as they had just come from an event in The Savoy, just over a kilometre away.

"I was in a tuxedo, watching this car sequence around Piccadilly Circus, together with the director (Justin Lin) ," he remembers.

"London is a wonderful place, and when you see London in a different light, like you see in the film, (you go) this is my home, (and) I'm very proud of it," he adds.

Evans' character Shaw is a former British army SAS (Special Air Forces) major specialising in vehicular warfare, who now runs his own heist gang.

Ortiz, who survives a murder attempt on her life, but subsequently loses her memory, serves as his second-in-command.

The return of Letty Ortiz

Rodriguez's return to the series was strongly demanded by fans, but Diesel reveals that he had promised her at the beginning of the fourth film that her character was not really going to die, as she is an integral part of the saga.

"I'd even go as far as to say, if there wasn't Letty's return, there wouldn't have been a Fast & Furious 5 or 6. She became the appeal point, she became the leverage," Diesel says.

Although the crew led by Toretto and ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) are now enjoying the sweet life with the US$100mil they stole from Brazilian crime lord Hernan Reyes in the last movie, the guys decide to return to help bring Ortiz back and take down Shaw's gang.

The great motivation for both Toretto and O'Conner is United States Diplomatic Security Services agent Luke Hobbs' (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) offer of a full pardon for their crimes in exchange for their aid. This would allow the crew to return home.

And of course, a running theme throughout the series has always been one of family.

Diesel says: "We are doing something beyond action. There is something that is being promoted here within the saga that is beyond the spectacle of incredible action sequences. And that's heart, and that's family. And we make the statement that you can create a huge blockbuster, and not sacrifice heart and family."

That's not to say that the action takes a back seat; this movie seriously ups the ante with a couple of the more unbelievable action scenes involving a tank versus cars, and cars versus a huge cargo plane.

Diesel also says that the upcoming Fast & Furious 7 was conceptualised as the first of a third trilogy, meaning that we can expect an eighth and ninth instalment of the series if all goes well. He even reveals, for the first time, that one of the potential action sequences in the possible eighth movie is a car race on the Great Wall of China.

"We will be making Seven, Eight, Nine; and then, it would be up to the public and their appreciation of the movies to see us through."

Fast & Furious 6 opens in cinemas nationwide on May 23.

Related Stories:
A drive downmemory lane

A drive downmemory lane

Posted: 19 May 2013 12:09 AM PDT

Before Fast & Furious 6 opens in cinemas, we get you up to speed on all the previous instalments.

The Fast And The Furious (2001)

With fast cars, hot babes and macho men, this movie was always meant to be pure mindless entertainment.

Inspired by a magazine article on illegal street racing in New York, the movie revolves around Los Angeles undercover cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) trying to find out which street crew is behind a series of high-speed truck heists.

In the process of infiltrating the street-racing scene, he befriends Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), the leader of a street crew, and even starts dating his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster).

Of course, the problems begin when O'Conner discovers who's actually behind the heists, in addition to him and Toretto accidentally pissing off a rival street crew led by Johnny Tran (Rick Yune).

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Considering that Diesel was half of the top billing on the original movie, relying on Walker alone to carry this sequel seemed a tad risky.

On the run after helping Toretto escape, O'Conner is eventually caught by his former colleagues in Miami and offered a deal – help undercover US Customs agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) bring down drug lord Carter Verone (Cole Hauser), in exchange for a pardon.

This film had the highest babe quotient with Mendes and Devon Aoki as racer Suki.

Scenes to watch out for include a deliberate car crash onto a yacht and a game of musical cars designed to confuse the cops.

The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

The odd one out in the franchise, this third movie actually comes last chronologically in the current series.

Seventeen-year-old Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) gets sent off to Tokyo to live with his Navy officer dad after one too many driving violations in the States.

Naturally, he gets involved in the local racing scene, where instead of the usual nitrous oxide (Nos) boost, the gimmick is the driver's skill in drifting.

A cameo by Diesel at the end of the movie ties it in with the rest of the series.

Fast & Furious (2009)

The original leads from the first movie are back for this fourth instalment where we catch up with Toretto, girlfriend Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) and their new crew.

The impetus for the plot is Ortiz's murder by one of drug lord Arturo Braga's men, while she is working undercover for O'Conner in exchange for a pardon for Toretto.

Brought together by this event, Toretto and O'Conner partner up to achieve their objectives: finding Ortiz's murderer and bringing down Braga respectively.

The highlight of this movie is probably the usage of underground tunnels that bypass the US-Mexican border, especially during the first night-time desert drug run.

Fast Five (2011)

Picking up directly from Fast & Furious, the action moves to Rio de Janeiro where Mia, O'Conner and Toretto are fully embracing a life of crime, only to discover that they are robbing the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The trio discovers that one of the cars they stole contains a chip detailing the illegal empire of crime lord Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), including the location of US$100mil in cash.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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