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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Don’t bet on it

Posted: 23 May 2013 04:28 AM PDT

If there is one lesson to be learned, it is never to mess with Air Asia's group chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes. He's raking up a list of "victims". First, it was Virgin Airlines boss Sir Richard Branson. And now it's radio personalities JJ and Lil' Kev.

On their morning show The Red Breakfast WTF, the deejays had Fernandes on air to talk about The Apprentice Asia. Little did they know that they would end up losing a bet to Fernandes. And now, they will have to dress up as flight attendants for a six-sector Air Asia flight.

"We thought we would win!" said JJ. "He said he was a 'walkaround manager', who knows every member of his staff. So we wanted to test his claim."

They got Fernandes to call Tune Hotel in Penang to try and get a room for free, just by introducing himself as "Tony Fernandes" to the front desk. To their surprise, he managed to do it.

"He said all the staff members know his voice," said JJ.

Are they scared after what happened with Branson? For Lil' Kev, it's "been there, done that".

"When I was with another radio station, I lost a bet as well and dressed up as a female flight attendant and even appeared on the cover of a magazine," remembered Lil' Kev.

The duo have a choice, to dress up as either male or female flight attendants. They will also have to go for training.

"We're going to be serving nasi lemak and drinks, but the safety demonstration is going to be weird," JJ laughed.

Meanwhile, Red FM's Dude, Where's My Car Grand Finals will be held at The Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya on May 25. The winner will drive home in a shiny red Honda CR-Z. The event, hosted by JJ and Lil' Kev, will be broadcast live on Red FM.

Red FM 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

Japan's wartime brothels were wrong, says 91-year-old veteran

Posted: 22 May 2013 08:54 PM PDT

[unable to retrieve full-text content]SAGAMIHARA, Japan (Reuters) - When Masayoshi Matsumoto joined the Japanese army in 1943 and was sent to occupied China as a medic, he thought he was taking part in a righteous war to free Asia from the yoke of Western imperialism.

Man linked to Boston bombing suspect killed by FBI in Florida

Posted: 22 May 2013 08:17 PM PDT

ORLANDO, Fla./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Chechen immigrant who was being questioned about his possible links to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was shot and killed by a federal agent in Florida on Wednesday after he suddenly turned violent, the FBI said.

Ibragim Todashev is pictured in this undated booking photo courtesy of the Orange County Corrections Department. REUTERS/Orange County Corrections Department/Handout

Ibragim Todashev is pictured in this undated booking photo courtesy of the Orange County Corrections Department. REUTERS/Orange County Corrections Department/Handout

A friend of the dead man identified him to Reuters as 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev, who had lived in Boston and knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers suspected of planting two bombs at the marathon on April 15, killing three people and injuring 264.

NBC News reported that Todashev confessed to his involvement in an unsolved 2011 triple homicide in a Boston suburb that investigators believe was drug related, citing law enforcement officials.

CBS News, citing law enforcement sources, said Todashev implicated himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the triple murder during the questioning by agents on Tuesday night.

Reuters could not immediately confirm those details.

Authorities were investigating possible connections between Tsarnaev, who died in a shootout with police, and the 2011 incident.

Three men, including a close friend of Tsarnaev, were found stabbed in the neck in an apartment on September 12, 2011, in Waltham, Massachusetts. News reports said marijuana was strewn over their bodies.

Wednesday's incident took place at an apartment complex near the Universal Studios theme park, where the FBI and members of other law enforcement agencies were interviewing the man about the marathon bombing.

"A violent confrontation was initiated by the individual," the FBI said. A special agent, it said, "acting on the imminent threat posed by the individual, responded with deadly force. The individual was killed and the special agent was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries."

The possibility that Tsarnaev was connected to the Waltham murders is "being looked at seriously," said Republican Representative Peter King, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. Other U.S. officials confirmed the investigation involved Tsarnaev's possible role.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar are suspected of setting off two pressure-cooker bombs at the marathon finish line. Dzhokhar is being held at a prison hospital west of Boston awaiting trial on charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.


Todashev knew Tsarnaev because both were mixed martial-arts fighters in Boston but had no connection to the bombing, a friend of Todashev, Khusen Taramov, told Reuters in an interview.

Todashev was tailed by law enforcement agents since the day the Tsarnaev brothers were identified as suspects in the Boston bombing and called in for questioning repeatedly, he said.

"They called him a lot. They would just call and question him," Taramov said, adding he and his friend had met with FBI agents on several occasions.

Asked about the 2011 triple homicide, he said it never came up in the meetings with the FBI that he personally attended. He said Todashev never mentioned the murders either.

"He had nothing to hide. Everything he knew, he told them," Taramov said.

Taramov said he met FBI agents on Tuesday night outside the apartment complex where his friend was killed but was told by the FBI to leave shortly before the shooting happened around midnight. He added that Todashev, who was in the United States as a legal permanent resident, had been planning a trip back to Russia where his parents live.

Law enforcement officials have also interviewed another person of Chechen origin, ex-rebel Musa Khadzhimuratov, at his home in New Hampshire, the New York Times reported last week. Khadzhimuratov, who had served as a bodyguard to a top Chechen separatist leader during the region's civil war with Russia more than a decade ago, also had contact with Tsarnaev.

Todashev was arrested on May 4 and charged with aggravated battery after getting into a fight with another man over a parking space at an Orlando shopping mall, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office in Orlando.

The man, who suffered a split upper lip and had several teeth knocked out of place, did not to press charges against Todashev, who was released from jail on a $3,500 bond, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Before the Boston bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been listed on multiple U.S. government databases, including a master list of potential terrorism suspects. U.S. authorities also were asked twice by Russia to investigate Tsarnaev for possible involvement with Islamic militants, U.S. officials have said.

On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was scheduled to meet in Washington with Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Russia's interior minister. The meeting's agenda was unclear, but U.S. investigators are anxious to learn what Russian authorities knew about the Tsarnaevs and about what Tamerlan Tsarnaev did during a trip to Russia last year.

(Additional reporting by Jane Sutton and Kevin Gray; Editing by David Adams, Tom Brown, David Gregorio, Lisa Shumaker and Stacey Joyce)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

U.S. military lawyers put more pressure on Guantanamo

Posted: 22 May 2013 07:30 PM PDT

MIAMI (Reuters) - Military and civilian lawyers for prisoners at the Guantanamo naval base urged U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to improve conditions for detainees, putting more pressure on the Obama administration to make good its promise to close the camp.

Activists wearing orange jumpsuits mark the 100th day of prisoners' hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay during a protest in front of the White House in Washington May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Activists wearing orange jumpsuits mark the 100th day of prisoners' hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay during a protest in front of the White House in Washington May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The plea from 18 lawyers representing "high-value" prisoners came before a speech by President Barack Obama on Thursday when he will address counterterrorism measures such as drone strikes and closing Guantanamo.

Obama is struggling to emerge from a series of domestic scandals that critics say show his administration is secretive and bullies the media and political opponents.

Thursday's speech at the National Defense University in Washington is meant as an effort to show he is eager to protect civil liberties.

Calls on Obama to close the Guantanamo Bay camp have risen as a hunger strike at the U.S. naval base in Cuba lingers. Prisoners are in their fourth month of the strike to protest the failure to resolve their fate after 11 years of detention.

More than 100 people have joined the protest and 31 have lost so much weight that they are being force-fed liquid nutrients through tubes inserted into their noses and down to their stomachs to keep them alive.

It is the largest hunger strike at the camp in several years.

"While the hunger strike continues to increase in scope and severity, there is much you can do, right now, to improve the quality of life for all the prisoners," the lawyers said in their letter to Hagel, which was dated earlier this week and seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

They said that detention practices at Guantanamo violated the Geneva Conventions, the international treaties that govern the treatment of captives during armed conflict.

Camp officials spy on lawyers' supposedly private meetings with their clients, seize confidential legal documents and harass prisoners with daily cell shakedowns and degrading bodily searches, the lawyers said.

Obama has promised repeatedly to close Guantanamo, but opposition in Congress, which controls funding for transferring detainees out of the camp, has stopped him.

He will call again for Guantanamo to be emptied when he speaks on Thursday and will announce a number of specific steps to advance that goal, a White House official said.

As part of its push for transparency, the administration acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that it had killed four Americans, including militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.

One effort that Obama might make on Guantanamo is to name an official to head the transfer of detainees. Of the 86 prisoners cleared for transfer or release, 56 are Yemenis.

"Keeping (Guantanamo) open is not efficient. It's not effective. And it's not in the interests of our national security. And I think senior members of the military have testified to that fact," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a briefing.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the Obama administration was set to restart transfers of detainees from Guantanamo in the coming weeks, starting the process of closing the camp down.


The lawyers who wrote to Hagel represent the captives previously held in secret CIA prisons, some of whom are facing death penalty trials by military commission for allegedly plotting the September 11 hijacked plane attacks and the deadly 2000 bombing of a U.S. warship, the USS Cole, off Yemen.

Army Captain Jason Wright, a lawyer for alleged September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said that unlike other prisoners, the former CIA captives were held in isolation tantamount to solitary confinement and prevented from contacting their families.

The U.S. government maintains it has the right to hold them forever even if they are acquitted at trial and to keep holding other captives whom it does not intend to try.

"So now these men are facing the indefinite prospect of detention for the remainder of their lives," Wright said.

He said Mohammed "has been observing a religious fast for quite some time," but apparently was not among those being force-fed.

Nearly 800 men were rounded up after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and held at Guantanamo on suspicion of involvement with al Qaeda and the Taliban. More than half of the 166 remaining prisoners have been cleared for transfer or release, but efforts to repatriate them have stalled.

Shutting Guantanamo is fraught with difficult legal and political questions.

An aide to House Armed Services Chairman Republican Howard McKeon said that if Obama was trying to close Guantanamo, he needed to give "concrete answers on what the president intends to do with those terrorists who are too dangerous to be released but cannot be tried; how he would ensure that transferred detainees can't rejoin the fight; and what he will do to detain and interrogate new terrorist captures or those very dangerous terrorists still held in Afghanistan."

Camp officials say 103 detainees were taking part in the hunger strike. One detainee was in the hospital but did not have life-threatening conditions, a Guantanamo spokesman, Army Lieutenant Colonel Samuel House said on Wednesday.

"The biggest difference between this hunger strike and the ones previous is the ones earlier were for living conditions and other tangibles, whereas this one focuses on indefinite detention," House said.

An investigation ordered by the Obama administration in 2009 found that the Guantanamo prison complied with the humane treatment standards required by the Geneva Conventions.

But the lawyers said conditions had worsened during the past year and accused the current detention camp commanders of waging a campaign to dehumanize the prisoners through isolation, force-feedings and collective punishment of hunger strikers.

House said camp officials do not comment on detainee allegations made through their attorneys but provide safe, humane, legal and transparent care of those detained there.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Alistair Bell and Lisa Shumaker)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

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The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Ice queen Nicol into British Open quarters

Posted: 22 May 2013 05:28 PM PDT

HULL, United Kingdom - World number one Nicol David (pic) survived a huge temperature drop to carry her bid for a fifth British Open title into the quarter-finals with a straight games win over a surprise survivor Wednesday.

The game's greatest legend did that with an 11-4, 14-12, 11-2 success against the unseeded Sarah Kippax in single figure outdoor temperatures which were almost 20 degrees celsius colder than first round matches played indoors.

David saved a game point in the second game as Kippax, who on Tuesday upset the former finalist Natalie Grinham, started to hit a better line and length, and then grew a little in confidence, advancing to 11-10.

But David responded by simplifying her game, using her consistency and mobility, before once more attempting some more ambitious attacking ploys as she stretched her lead in the third game.

"It was like day and night," she said, when asked how different the conditions for the first and second rounds had been.

"It was so bouncy on the other court (at the Pontefract squash club) and here this was so much colder and you have to work so much harder on the ball. Both of us were putting so much into hitting every shot."

David was asked how she had almost allowed Kippax to level at one game all, after which the match may have taken a different character.

"With home crowd advantage she was feeding off the crowd and going with the momentum," the champion replied. "I was just trying to make sure I took that game."

David will now have a day's rest before taking on Joelle King, the sixth-seeded New Zealander, who progressed with an 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 win over Annie Au, the 13th seed from Hong Kong.

Kasey Brown, the 12th-seeded Australian, made a tenacious recovery from two games down to beat Sarah-Jane Perry, the English surprise packet who had already despatched the seventh seeded Low Wee Wern.

"I lost last year when I was two games up, so I thought I really ought to turn this one around," said Brown after a 8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 12-10 win in which she was twice within two points of defeat. "After the third game I thought I would win."

Brown will now face Alison Waters, the fourth-seeded English player, who lost a two-game lead but still scrambled home 11-2, 11-4, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4 against 36-year-old Rachael Grinham.

Nick Matthew, the only Englishman to have won the British Open three times, reached the quarter-finals with a 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 win over Laurens Jan Anjema, the world number 17 from The Netherlands.

Matthew, 32, next plays Karim Darwish, the former world number one from Egypt, who played with commendable accuracy in winning 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 against Daryl Selby, the world number 13 from England.

"I was pleased with the way I played, and I have always said I want to win the British Open before I retire," the 31-year-old said.

"So that's what I shall be trying to do."

Matthew is seeded to contest Sunday's final with Ramy Ashour, the man who last year took away his world title and world number one ranking, and popular opinion suggests that the Egyptian will perform another steal.

Ashour makes his bid to reach the quarter-finals on Thursday when he plays England's Chris Simpson.

Tarek Momen underlined Egypt's impressive dominance of the sport by causing the tournament's biggest upset so far - a four-game win over Peter Barker, twice a former semi-finalist.

The 25-year-old from Cairo is only his country's sixth best player, yet took advantage of the cold conditions superbly to score a 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 win over one of the tour's most consistent top ten players. - AFP

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Australia to consider following ban on anchor putters

Posted: 22 May 2013 04:31 PM PDT

SYDNEY: The Professional Golfers Association of Australia yesterday suggested they would follow the Royal & Ancient and US Golf Association in banning anchored clubs, but said they would not be rushed into a decision.

Golf's main ruling bodies on Tuesday announced that broomstick-style putters would be outlawed from the start of 2016.

The new rule will ban players from anchoring a club directly, or by use of an anchor point, against any part of the body, effectively banning belly and chest putting.

The anchored stroke has been in the spotlight since being used by a series of players to win Major championships, with Australian Adam Scott the latest to use the club to claim the Masters title at Augusta in April.

The ban is a blow to Scott, and PGA of Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn said the organisation would not rush into any rule change.

"We wish to clarify that the PGA of Australia will now take this formal announcement on board and consider whether it will be appropriate to apply the new rule to PGA Tour of Australasia tournaments," he said in a statement.

Thorburn said Australian members competed around the world and "therefore we shall be liaising closely with our fellow Tours through the International Federation of PGA Tours and with the PGAs around the world".

"We would like to avoid a situation where our members play under different rules in different countries, therefore hope sanity prevails and we continue to play under a common rule," he added.

"We expect that our decision will be made reasonably soon and we will make a formal announcement at that time." — AFP

Intxausti wins 16th stage, Nibali still keeps pink jersey

Posted: 22 May 2013 05:11 PM PDT

IVREA (Italy): Astana's Vincenzo Nibali kept possession of the Giro d'Italia race leader's pink jersey for another night after a strong showing in Tuesday's 16th stage.

Benat Intxausti (pic) of Spain, riding for the Movistar team, won the stage, a 238km ride from the French resort of Valloire, in 5'52:48.

Intxausti beat Estonian Tanel Kangert into second in a sprint finish, with Nibali and his rivals in the general classification, Austra-lian Cadel Evans and Colombian Rigoberto Uran, coming in as part of the same peloton 14 seconds behind.

Evans stands 1:26 off Nibali, with Uran 2.46 off the Italian's pace.

"You might have thought the stage would be easy, but it wasn't the case," Nibali said.

"A lot of riders from Monday's day off. The Giro, the Tour, they're raced like that. In the final descent, I didn't try to gain time, I only sought to control. It's been a good day, I can only be happy."

The big loser of the day's racing was Mauro Santambrogi, the Vcini Fantini rider starting in fourth overall but losing more than two minutes.

"Over three weeks, a bad day can happen to anyone," said Santambrogio in reference to Bradley Wiggins and Michele Scarponi.

"Today was my turn. Tomorrow, I'll ride out calmly with the goal of doing well at each occasion that presents itself.

"Even if it didn't happen today as I had hoped, I can't complain about my Giro."

Intxausti, competing in the Giro for a third time, took his moment perfectly for his first-ever stage win on a Grand Tour.

"It wasn't an easy sprint. At 3km, Kangert got on my wheel and I knew he was my opponent," said the 27-year-old Intxausti.

"At 700m, I was able to keep my head and stay in the saddle, and at 300m, with a tailwind, I attacked on the outside."

The 17th stage sees the riders tackle a 214km course between Caravaggio and Vincenza, before three testing stages. — AFP

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The Star Online: Business

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Alliance Neutral on Axiata, ups target price to RM7

Posted: 22 May 2013 07:15 PM PDT

Deleum top loser, down 11.3% after disappointing results

Posted: 22 May 2013 07:08 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Deleum Bhd fell the most on Thursday morning, sliding 11.3% or 41 sen to RM3.21 after its financial results were below market expectations.

At 9.54am, it was down 41 sen to RM3.21. There were 672,100 shares done.

The FBM KLCI shed 0.52 of a point to 1,783.36. Turnover was 359.10 million shares valued at RM285.77mil. There were 196 gainers, 267 losers and 240 counters unchanged.

On Wednesday, Deleum reported its net profit fell 31% to RM6.8mil in the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 from RM10mil a year ago on lower revenue from its retrofit projects and the deferment of certain oil and gas projects.

Its revenue, however, increased by 4.5% to RM86.50mil from RM82.7&mil a year ago. Earnings per share were lower at 4.56 compared to 10.02 a year ago

It said revenue from its power and machinery division was RM65.58mil, oilfield services (RM17.58mil) and from maintenance, repair and overhaul (RM3.33mil).

Maybank KE Research maintains Hold on AirAsia

Posted: 22 May 2013 06:49 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank KE Research is maintaining its Hold recommendation on AirAsia as it awaits value creation from associates' listings and dividends.

"The downside for this stock is limited in our view, given its strong balance sheet and value crystallisation from the upcoming listing of its associates - AirAsia Indonesia and AirAsia X," it said.

Maybank Research said there was also the prospect of a special dividend after these successful listings.

On the first quarter results, the research said they were mixed. The core airline businesses in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia performed largely to expectations but all the joint ventures and associates disappointed. Overall,

"The Q1, 2013's core net income of RM153.4mil (up 2.9% on-year) makes up 18% of our full year forecast, and 17% of consensus.

"We maintain our earnings forecasts and RM3 a share target price based on 9.2 times 2013 adjusted EV/EBITDAR - in line with global peers. The stock is however downgraded to a Hold (from Buy) as it is above our fair value," it said.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

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Police arrest 18 protestors at candlelight vigil for Adam Adli outside Jinjang police station (updated)

Posted: 22 May 2013 08:47 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: At least 18 people were arrested after failing to disperse following a candlelight vigil outside the Jinjang police station in support for Adam Adli Abd Halim, 24.

At least 1,000 had gathered outside the police station since 8pm.

Roads leading to the police station were barricaded since evening as police stood watch to keep the protesters away from the entrance of the police station.

It is learnt when Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo was giving his speech to the crowd at 9.45pm, he was told by a senior police officer that the crowd was given 10minutes to disperse.

However when the crowd failed to leave in the stipulated time, the police moved in towards the crowd and began arrests.

It is learnt among the 18 arrested were four women.

This was the fifth night that crowds of protesters held candlelight vigils outside the police station in support of the release of the activist.

Scuffle breaks out at candlelight vigil for Adam Adli in Penang

Posted: 22 May 2013 08:48 AM PDT

GEORGE TOWN: Two journalists were among those caught up in a confrontation when a group of unidentified men disrupted a candlelight vigil in Esplanade to show solidarity for student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim.

The vigil which started at about 8pm was attended by more than 100 non-governmental organisation (NGO) members, students, social activists and several state Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

Some 45 minutes into the vigil, a group of unidentified men arrived and one of them disrupted the vigil by using a loud hailer to claim that the gathering is illegal.

The group of men were also heard chanting "Satu Malaysia (1Malaysia)" repeatedly and saying that Adam Adli, who was arrested on Saturday (may 18)for offences under the Sedition Act, was rightfully detained.

About 15 minutes later, the participants of the vigil dispersed.

It was believed that one of the vigil organisers who were leaving, had uttered the word "samseng" (gangster) towards the group of unidentified men.

One of the men from the group then allegedly tried to run over the vigil organiser Sean Ho with a motorcycle.

Oriental Daily's reporter Ooi Chun Nam and Sin Chew Daily reporter Cheah Chin Liang tried to help Ho and were caught in the scuffle.

Ooi's glasses were broken and he suffered a cut on his arm in the scuffle.

There was about 15 minutes of intense shoving between the organisers and the group of unidentified men before everyone dispersed when police intervened.

Ooi and Cheah said they will be lodging a police report.

The event, which was held at 8.30pm in front of a fast food restaurant opposite Universiti Sains Malaysia's Sungai Dua entrance, saw about 30 students and social activists taking part.

Negri Exco members given a month to declare assets, give up business interests

Posted: 22 May 2013 06:17 AM PDT

SEREMBAN: All newly-appointed Negri Sembilan State Executive Councillors (Excos) were today given one month to declare their assets.

Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said they, including himself, had to give up any interests or positions in businesses.

"The asset declaration must apply to all. This is to ensure people will not speculate in future over their assets," he told reporters after chairing his first state exco meeting, here on Wednesday.

He said the excos were also given two months to prepare their strategic planning on their respective portfolios.

He said this was aimed at ensuring every exco could carry out his or her work promptly to bring prosperity to the people and the state.

Asked whether he would evaluate the performance of the excos after two years, Mohamad said this time the approach was more stringent as those who did not perform would be sacked.

He said the excos must also watch their personal behaviour and not do anything that could tarnish the image of the state government.

At the press conference, Mohamad said 14 portfolios were created to continue the previous policies of the state government in serving the people.

In the meantime, he said the first session of the state assembly to appoint a speaker and the oath-taking ceremony for all the state assemblymen would be on June 17.

Meanwhile, he said the State Assembly would convene on Nov 22 for the tabling of the 2014 Budget.

The opening of the State Assembly for the present term by the Yang Dipertuan Besar Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir was scheduled for Sept 23, he added.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Charlie Yeung makes directorial debut

Posted: 22 May 2013 01:07 AM PDT

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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Inconsiderate residents hurl rubbish and more from apartments

Posted: 22 May 2013 03:58 AM PDT

MORE apartments and condominium projects are being developed in the Klang Valley to cater to the needs of urban folk.

However, based on reports of unsavoury habits of some, the question that arises is whether Malaysians are ready for a high-rise lifestyle and if creating awareness and taking enforcement measures will help.

Apart from being noisy and inconsiderate, some residents are dumping garbage indiscriminately and even throwing them down from the upper floors.

Valerie Chan, 32, who lives in Damansara Perdana, was a victim of such irresponsible behaviour.

"I was entering the lobby from the carpark when suddenly I felt something hit my head. I was shocked to see that it was a bag of rubbish.

"I was not hurt, just a little dizzy but such action is totally unacceptable," said Chan.

She reported the incident to the apartment's Joint Management Body (JMB) but nothing came out of it.

Kamelia Osman, 29, had a bad experience when she first moved into her apartment in Cheras in 2011.

"One evening, I found the roof of my car smeared with bread spread with jam. I was so annoyed and reported it to the security guard who suspected that it was the work of some naughty children," she said.

Another apartment resident in Subang Bestari, who wanted to be known only as Mohammad, said his car was badly damaged after two fire extinguishers thrown from the upper units landed on the vehicle.

"The parking lots are not covered and I have seen rubbish thrown from upper floors, littering the area. Imagine if the cylinders had hit someone instead of my car.

"I made a police report but the case has not been solved yet.

"However, I was compensated by my car insurance company," he said.

Former Condominium, Apartment and Highrise Committee adviser Peter Chong said such cases were rampant at high-rise buildings, especially at low-cost flats.

"Some victims are unable to claim for losses from JMB," he said.

Meanwhile, former Selangor Housing, Building Structure Administration and Squatters committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad said the acts were committed by irresponsible individuals.

"Some do not have a sense of belonging or the need to care for the environment they live in," he said.

Iskandar said there were ways to deal with the problem.

"The problems can be resolved in the long-term, through awareness programmes and enforcement.

"In Selangor, campaigns such as Kempen Pangsapuriku Bersih, Ceria dan Harmoni and anti-vandalism programmes at low-cost flats have helped create awareness and minimise the problem.

"Also, the JMB and residents' associations also need to play their part by enforcing safety measures.

"The Skim Rondaan Kejiranan (neighbourhood patrolling scheme) is an example as residents, who take part in the programme to keep their neighbourhood safe, get insurance coverage from a special fund set up by the state government," he said.

Preparations under way for Wesak Day

Posted: 22 May 2013 03:57 AM PDT

WITH Wesak Day just around the corner, temple workers and volunteers are kept busy decorating the temples and preparing floats for the annual procession.

Some started preparations as early as February to observe this religious festival.

However, it is more than just decorations. It is significant to the devotees as it commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvana) and the passing of (parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha.

Chempaka Buddhist Lodge (CBL) started preparations on two floats after Chinese New Year in February.

One has a reclining Buddha while another has eight statues of Lord Buddha with a parasol each.

Its deputy president and general manager Tan Kok Ing said the concept came about when they realised the existing reclining Buddha at the lodge needed to be replaced.

"We have hired artisans from Myanmar to carve a 32ft reclining Buddha on a 40ft vehicle. The floats were completed on May 10 and all that is left to be done is adding lighting and floral decoration.

"It is made for outdoor usage and can resist heat. The reclining Buddha will replace the existing statue after the festival," said Tan.

The reclining Buddha, with intricate Burmese designs, is surrounded by 108 disciples.

CBL president Liew Chang Huat said besides celebrating the festival, the activities planned would help to create awareness on the history of Buddhism and its teachings.

"We expect more than 10,000 people to join in the processions.

"Primary schoolchildren will also take part in the procession on monowheels," said Liew, urging the public to join in the fun event.

On Wesak Day, a vegetarian lunch will be served at the premises from 11am to 2pm.

When interivewed last week, the float designed by the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields was 70% complete.

Venerable K. Siridhamma, the person who oversees the construction of the float said the initial stages involved coming up with the design of the float.

"Much thought is given to designs and decorations as these convey a meaningful message to the people.

"This year, we are putting up a 14ft metal-framed colourful swan, with mechanical wings resting on a lake made using blue sequined satin cloth.

"The brass Buddha statue will be placed on the float with the dhammacakra lit up behind it and the float will also be decorated with lights, flowers and hand-carved ornaments.

"The concept is based on the belief that the swan is the only bird that can filter milk from a bowl of water and milk.

"It also conveys the meaning that a person equipped with Dhamma knowledge will be able to differentiate the good from the bad," said Siridhamma.

He said the use of floral decorations symbolised that life is not permanent.

"People offer flowers to honour Buddha to highlight this fact," he said.

At the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple, monks and volunteers have joined hands to build three simple floats.

Temple chief high priest Venerable B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera said the important thing was to participate in the festival.

"Last year, we used a lorry to carry the float but this year, we have made it in such a way that devotees can carry the floats on their shoulders during the procession.

"Two floats will be carried while one will be pulled by the devotees.

"Wood, bamboo and flowers as well as colourful lights were used for the float," said Saranankara, adding that a marble image of Lord Buddha and two pagodas would be fitted on the floats.

Saranankara the process of making the floats helped in self-development.

"Each step taken by devotees with a calm mind and good thoughts bring about joy and comfort in your heart and mind," he said.

There will be puja (offerings and chants), a blood donation drive, meditation as well as talks on Buddhism during the festival.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

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Creating awareness on non-communicable diseases

Posted: 22 May 2013 12:40 AM PDT

Spreading awareness of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is the focus of this year's Nutrition Month Malaysia.

NUTRITION Month Malaysia (NMM) has returned for the 11th consecutive year, with the theme this year being "Eat Right, Be Active: Stay Free From Diet Related Diseases".

Recognising a significant increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer amongst Malaysians, Dr Tee E Siong, chairman of the NMM National Steering Committee, highlighted that the focus this year is to promote greater awareness on the importance of healthy eating and active living in order to reduce the prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases.

Dr Tee revealed worrying statistics from the National Health & Morbidity Survey 2011:

*The incidence of obesity has increased about three-fold, from 4.4% in 1996 to 15.1% in 2011, and this puts the number of obese Malaysians at about 2.5 million people.

*Diabetes numbers in Malaysia has also increased, from 11.6% in 2006 to 15.2% in 2011, and this accounts for about 2.6 million adults.

*The incidence of hypertension remains high at 35.1%, which represents about 5.8 million Malaysians, and an estimated 32.7%, or 6.2 million Malaysians, have been diagnosed with hypercholesterolaemia.

"It is disturbing when we think of the future, because these figures are projected to continue rising," added Dr Tee.

Dr Tee attributes this rise in NCDs to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. "Various nutrition-related activities will be carried out as part of NMM's initiative to reinforce the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle to young adults and families," he explained.

The NMM 2013 commenced with the launch of the Nutri-Fun Land Carnival at the Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur, an interactive, educational event where families learnt about non-communicable diseases (NCDs), ways to prevent NCDs, and discovered more about the Food Pyramid and ways to choose healthier foods and jumpstart their fitness regimes.

The two-day event also featured free nutrition screenings such as Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose and body fat measurements, as well as free dietary advice by trained professionals and other activities and games.

During the event, two new publications were distributed to the public. The first was NMM's booklet, Prevent NCDs – Staying Free From Diet Related Diseases, which focused on identifying NCDs and its risk factors. It has 10 key messages on preventing NCDs.

The second publication was a cookbook for children (My Cookbook with Bread), which was a collaborative effort with Gardenia Bakeries (KL) Sdn Bhd that aimed to encourage young kids to eat healthily by starting to prepare their own meals from young.

Several other outreach activities have also been lined up in conjunction with NMM 2013. They include a mini Nutri-Fun Land Community Carnival organised in collaboration with local authorities such as Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya to further reach out to the community at suburban areas.

The mini-carnival is intended to be an educational, fun-filled and interactive event for the entire family. It will also include free nutrition screening, nutrition and dietary advice by nutritionists and dietitians as well as other activities by NMM and its sponsors.

There will also be primary school roadshows in the Klang Valley where educational kits will be distributed to students who participate in the roadshows.

NMM 2013 has also planned seminar-cum-forums that will highlight NCD awareness and its prevention, targeting working adults at their workplace. This activity will include nutrition talks by experts with Q & A sessions and free health screening and consultation by nutritionists and dietitians.

The NMM programme has been an annual initiative since 2002, and is the collaborative effort of three professional bodies, namely the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM), Malaysian Dietitians' Association (MDA), and Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity (MASO). This programme also receives support from the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), particularly the Nutrition Division.

Sponsors of the event include Danone Dumex (M) Sdn Bhd, A Clouet & Co (KL) Sdn Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Gardenia Bakeries KL Sdn Bhd, Legosan (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Milk Sdn Bhd, Nestlè Products Sdn Bhd, Serba Wangi Sdn Bhd and Yakult Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

For more information, or to obtain educational materials produced by the Nutrition Month Malaysia 2013, members of the public can contact the secretariat at tel (03) 5637 3526 or visit www.nutritionmonthmalaysia.org.my.

Walk for digestive health

Posted: 22 May 2013 12:40 AM PDT

IN conjunction with Malaysia's fifth World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) 2013 celebrations, the Digestive Health Advisory Board (DHAB) will for the first time organise a "Healthy Digestion Walk".

The walk will be held on May 26, 2013 at Taman Bandaran Kelana Jaya, Selangor.

The event is part of DHAB's efforts to get the public off the couch and on their feet to walk and exercise for better digestive health.

The walk also aims to encourage people to enjoy and incorporate physical activity into their lifestyles for improved digestive health.

According to Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan, chairman of the DHAB, exercise and physical activity is good for our health. "Our digestive system is an amazing thing. It converts food into energy, absorbs essential nutrients and vitamins, and even does 'guard' duty by fighting off bacteria to keep you healthy and strong. Subsequently, it is directly linked to the health of your entire body. Should it ever fail, you would experience a decline in your health, which could cause many other seemingly unrelated diseases," he emphasises.

Besides the walk, the coming WDHD celebrations will include a roadshow that will be held at Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya, Selangor, from May 24 to May 29, 2013. The six-day roadshow serves as a fun and educational platform to learn more about your digestive health.

The event is sponsored by the VITAGEN Healthy Digestion Programme.

For more information on how you can sign up for the walkathon, visit https://www.facebook.com/VITAGENMalaysia or contact the secretariat at 03-5632 3301/5637 3526/016 4686 324.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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Jailed Pussy Riot member announces hunger strike

Posted: 22 May 2013 03:47 AM PDT

MOSCOW: A jailed member of the Pussy Riot radical rock group on Wednesday announced she was going on hunger strike in protest over the authorities' failure to allow her to attend a parole hearing in person.

Maria Alyokhina told a court in the city of Berezniki by video link from her prison camp that she was going on hunger strike and ordering her lawyers to pull out of the parole hearing until she was brought to the court in person, Russian news agencies reported.

Justin Bieber's monkey now belongs to Germany

Posted: 21 May 2013 10:55 PM PDT

BERLIN (Reuters) - A monkey which belonged to popstar Justin Bieber has become German national property after the singer failed to provide authorities with the documents needed to reclaim the pet seized by customs officials.

Bieber had until Friday to hand in the necessary paperwork which included health and species protection certificates after "Mally" his capuchin monkey was confiscated at Munich airport in March while the singer was on tour.

But Judith Brettmeister, spokeswoman for the shelter which has cared for Mally since then, said the 19-year-old Canadian singer had not been in touch or handed over any documents and would no longer be able to reclaim the animal.

"The monkey belongs to Germany now," she said, adding that Germany's Federal Office for Nature Conservation would now take the monkey away and place it in a group of monkeys, though she did not know where that would be.

"We hope that it will be as soon as possible because the monkey needs to be integrated soon - it is becoming really strange because it only knows people so it has not learned any proper social behaviour," Brettmeister said, adding that the monkey was doing well otherwise.

George Michael still in hospital after accident

Posted: 21 May 2013 09:14 PM PDT

LONDON (Reuters) - British singer George Michael remains in hospital under observation for head injuries, five days after a car accident, his publicist said on Tuesday.

"I can confirm that George (pic) remains in hospital but purely as a standard precaution for observation because he suffered some bumps and cuts to his head. But he's making good progress, he's fine and he's really looking forward to getting home," the spokeswoman said.

British media have reported that the 49-year-old former Wham! front man fell out of a car he was travelling in on the M1 motorway just outside London during rush hour - the latest of a string of recent accidents and health scares.

The tabloid Sun newspaper interviewed a woman who said she had skidded to a halt after the singer fell out of the vehicle in front of her, and that she had used her car to shield him from other vehicles.

"There was a nasty cut on his forehead and the back of his head. There was blood all down his face and on his teeth," the Sun reported driver Katherine Fox as saying.

Last year, the Careless Whisper singer cancelled a tour of Australia due to "major anxiety" brought on by a 2011 battle with severe pneumonia in Vienna, where he was treated in intensive care for a month.

Michael has sold an estimated 100 million records over his career, but in the past few years has hit the headlines for his personal life more often than for his music.

In 1998 he was arrested in California for "engaging in a lewd act" in a public toilet. He has also had a number of run-ins with British police for possession of narcotics, and served time in jail for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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Foon Yew High School celebrates 100 years in carnival-like atmosphere

Posted: 22 May 2013 01:37 AM PDT

JOHOR BARU: This year marks the 100th year anniversary celebration for Foon Yew High School since establishing the school in Stulang here in 1913.

The school ground was decked out in colourful streamers and posters while booths set up by students and outsiders gave the occasion a carnival-like atmosphere.

It was a proud moment for the teachers and students to celebrate the milestone and for many, revisiting the school was a walk down memory lane.

For 23-year-old medical university student Chiong Wan Chin, the celebration was her first time returning to the school after graduation in 2008.

"The school environment and buildings did not change much all these years and seeing my juniors selling food and organising the activities at the celebration reminds me of the good old days when I used to do the same with my classmates," she said.

She added that one of the favourite things about the celebration was there were school uniforms and badges for those who have graduates to dress up for photo opportunities.

Another alumnus Kevin Yang, 26, said he took the opportunity to return to the school's anniversary celebration annually even after graduating eight years ago.

"I always make it a point to go back to see my teachers and reunite with former classmates who we seldom have the chance to meet as we are busy with our own lives.

"I feel proud that the school is now 100 years old and I hope that Foon Yew can continue providing a good environment to pass down knowledge and Chinese culture to the students," he said.

Besides the usual game stations, food and beverage stalls and handicraft exhibitions, the highlights of the celebration was a Tai Chi performance by one thousand Foon Yew students and a 24 festive drums performance by 10 groups of 24 students.

The school has another branch campus in Kulaijaya with over 10,000 students and has five Chinese primary school branches in and around Johor Baru in Jalan Kebun Teh, Jalan Abdul Samad, Taman Mount Austin, Jalan Tasek Utara and Jalan Cenderasari.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, recently approved the setting-up of another branch campus for the high school in Seri Alam to cater to the growing need for Chinese education in the state.

Ismail: Parties should come together with the common goal of better contribution

Posted: 22 May 2013 01:34 AM PDT

MARAN: While employees are asking for better benefits from their employers and the Government, they too should ask themselves what have they contributed to the nation.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Ismail Abd Muttalib said the three parties - Government, employers and employees - should come as one by having a strong and mutual understanding for the betterment of their respective roles.

Ismail said it was a common factor that the plight of maintaining the country's productivities and economic development are the responsiblity by all.

He said there were cases where the employees were demanding for perks and other benefits from their employers which could not be entertained as their productivities were not up to expectation.

"On the other hand, the employers too have to be more concerned on the welfare of their employees so that they can give full commitment and be dedicated workers.

"The most important factor should be that the unions and their members should be thankful that they have been enjoying the benefits being the citizens of a country which governed by a good Government.

"Any dissatisfaction among the employees could be solved internally and I am sure a good percentage of them did not support the Government in the recent general election as they were influenced to go against the Government. This can be translated as a signal of dissatisfaction to their daily needs," Ismail said after officiating the Maran district sports league championship here.

He said any conflict within the three parties should be settled amicably and urgently to avoid any negative influences from the Opposition.

On his appointment, Ismail who won the Maran parliamentary seat said, he needed time to further familiarise with the ministry and his duties.

Ismail said the support for Opposition by the employees particularly from the Government had to be studied.

"Yes this is a democratic country where they have choices, however, there were perks and benefits from the Government that they are enjoying because of our concern for their welfare which should be a good point for them to support us and not otherwise.

"Has the Government been too cruel to them?

"Don't be hoodwinked by the false information gathered and popularised by the Opposition, they could have been easily influenced by them.

"They too should realise that they have not been sidelined and no reasons for them to reject the Government unless they are the group who are not grateful to what they have been enjoying," he said.

Raising awareness on good hygiene practises

Posted: 22 May 2013 01:34 AM PDT

KUANTAN: Antabax, an antibacterial personal care range, is collaborating with the Health and Education Ministry to embark on an interactive educational drive to raise awareness and encourage general hygiene practises among children through the Antabax National Hygiene Month.

As part of their corporate social responsibility, Antabax has targeted 26 primary schools from across Malaysia for their inaugural campaign.

The aim is to reduce the spread of communicable diseases among primary students and will run nationwide throughout the month of May and June.

The third region to join the campaign is Pahang and students of SK Cenderawasih has the pleasure of learning how to upkeep proper hygiene.

Antabax Group product manager Angeline Sim said good habits had to be instilled in children from a young age.

"We want students to familiarise themselves with proper hygiene," said Sim, who excited the students by teaching them the theme song for the Antabax National Patty Cake Competition.

The competition is open to all children aged between seven and 12, and involves them playing a traditional game of patty cake in the most creative way possible while singing the theme song.

The winning school will be presented a main prize of RM10,000, products contribution and certificates of participation to all participating schools and teams.

"The National Hygiene Month is actually in October but we plan to start early to get the students enthusiastic about hygiene," added Sim.

To encourage students to begin the habit, Antabax has also supplied some products to the school.

The competition begins on May 1 and ends on July 31.

For more information, visit its website at www.facebook.com/NewAntabax

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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