Khamis, 27 Jun 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

U.S. watchdog raps Pentagon for buying aircraft for Afghan unit

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 09:01 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A government watchdog criticized the Pentagon on Friday for forging ahead with controversial helicopter purchases from a Russian arms dealer despite warnings the Afghan special forces unit due to receive the aircraft could not fly or maintain them.

The watchdog - the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction - urged the Pentagon to suspend the $553 million Russian arms deal as well as a $218 million contract for 18 planes from a U.S. firm until plans were in place to fully recruit and train the Afghan special forces unit.

The Pentagon was already under fire for agreeing this month to buy 30 additional Mi-17 helicopters from the Russian arms dealer, Rosoboronexport. That company is a major supplier of weapons to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is battling rebels trying to overthrow his government.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded this month that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, and the White House announced on June 13 that President Barack Obama had decided to provide direct military assistance to the Syrian opposition. The Pentagon announced the helicopter purchase five days later.

John Sopko, the special inspector general, noted in a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the Army entered into the new purchase agreement even though the Pentagon had a draft report from SIGAR recommending that aircraft purchases for the Afghan unit be suspended.

"We maintain that moving forward with the acquisition of these aircraft is imprudent," Sopko said in the letter.

The helicopter purchases are a difficult issue for the Pentagon. Defense officials say the Mi-17 is the best choice for Afghanistan because the aircraft handles the terrain and climate well and Afghan pilots, air crews and maintenance workers have dealt with the craft since the 1980s.

While U.S.-made helicopters would be a more sophisticated purchase, they are sensitive to Afghanistan's extreme conditions and require more specialised maintenance and longer training to master, they said.

Shifting the Afghan military to a significantly different aircraft would require completely retraining the fliers and maintenance workers, delaying the effort to build the country's helicopter capacity by about three years, said Lieutenant Colonel Jim Gregory.

The special inspector general, in its investigation of the aircraft sales, found that the Afghan Special Mission Wing, which will support counterterrorism and counternarcotics operations, had only 180 personnel earlier this year, less than a quarter of the 860 people envisioned for the force by July 2015.

Control of the force initially was to be split between the Afghan Interior and Defense ministries, and tensions between the departments was hampering recruitment, the report said. A memorandum of understanding shifting control to the Defense Ministry has been drafted but remains unsigned, it said.

The inspector general recommended aircraft purchases for the unit be suspended until the memorandum is signed transferring command and control of the unit to the Defense Ministry.

His office also recommended a series of other steps, including tying acquisition and delivery of new aircraft to completion of personnel and other milestones and developing plans for transferring maintenance and logistics to the Afghans.

The Pentagon and NATO training mission in Afghanistan rejected the request to suspend the aircraft contracts, saying it would delay efforts to build the unit into a capable force. They agreed to SIGAR's other recommendations.

The Pentagon began buying helicopters for Afghan forces from Rosoboronexport in May 2011, when it agreed to purchase 21. Last year it exercised an option to buy an additional 12, bringing the total to 33.

Including the new contract this month, the Pentagon has spent more than $1 billion on helicopters and related maintenance and service with the Russian firm.

The arms deals with Rosoboronexport have outraged some U.S. lawmakers. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, who sponsored a ban on such purchases, said it was "simply outrageous" for the United States to be buying weapons from Assad's top arms supplier.

Congress barred purchases from Rosoboronexport in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, but officials said the Pentagon used 2012 funding to pay for the 30 helicopters purchased this month.

(Editing by Stacey Joyce)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Obama heads to South Africa with Mandela on his mind

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 07:08 PM PDT

DAKAR (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama heads to South Africa on Friday hoping to see ailing icon Nelson Mandela, after wrapping up a visit to Senegal that focused on improving food security and promoting democratic institutions.

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with African drummers on Goree Island near Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013. Obama visited the island on Thursday where African slaves in past centuries were shipped west. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with African drummers on Goree Island near Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013. Obama visited the island on Thursday where African slaves in past centuries were shipped west. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Obama is in the middle of a three-country tour of Africa that the White House hopes will compensate for what some view as years of neglect by the administration of America's first black president.

Before departing Dakar, Obama was scheduled to meet with farmers and local entrepreneurs to discuss new technologies that are helping farmers and their families in West Africa, one of the world's poorest and most drought-prone regions.

But it was Mandela, the 94-year-old former South African president who is clinging to life in a Pretoria hospital, who will dominate the president's day even before he arrives in Johannesburg.

Asked on Thursday whether Obama would be able to pay Mandela a visit, the White House said that was up to the family.

"We are going to completely defer to the wishes of the Mandela family and work with the South African government as relates to our visit," deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters in Senegal.

"Whatever the Mandela family deems appropriate, that's what we're focused on doing in terms of our interaction with them."

Obama sees Mandela, also known as Madiba, as a hero. Whether they are able to meet or not, officials said his trip would serve largely as a tribute to the anti-apartheid leader.

"I've had the privilege of meeting Madiba and speaking to him. And he's a personal hero, but I don't think I'm unique in that regard," Obama said on Thursday. "If and when he passes from this place, one thing I think we'll all know is that his legacy is one that will linger on throughout the ages."

The president arrives in South Africa Friday evening and has no public events scheduled. He could go to the hospital then.

Obama is scheduled to visit Robben Island, where Mandela spent years in prison, later during his trip.

On Friday morning, Obama will take part in a "Feed the Future" event on food security. That issue, along with anti-corruption measures and trade opportunities for U.S. companies, are topics the White House wants to highlight on Obama's tour.

Obama, who has been in office since 2009, has only visited Africa once in his presidential tenure: a short trip to Ghana at the beginning of his first term.

While acknowledging that Obama has not spent as much time in Africa as people hoped, the administration is eager to highlight what it has done, in part to end unflattering comparisons to accomplishments of predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Food security and public aid are two of the issues the Obama team believes are success stories.

"Africa has seen a steady and consistent increase in our overall resource investment each year that we've been in office," said Raj Shah, head of USAID. "And sustaining that in this political climate has required real trade-offs to be made in other areas, but we've done that."

(Editing by Daniel Flynn and Stacey Joyce)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Leader of leftist party in Mexico's Oaxaca state found dead

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 06:25 PM PDT

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The dead body of a top leader of Mexico's Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) for southern Oaxaca state was found on Thursday and police are investigating his death as a homicide, the state attorney general's office said.

Nicolas Estrada, president of the PRD's state council in Oaxaca, one of the leftist party's strongholds, likely died several days before his body was found, officials said.

The attorney general's office said that Estrada, 32, was reported missing since June 15, and his body was found in the town of Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, with three gunshot wounds to the head.

Oaxaca state is currently governed by the PRD, and local elections next month pit the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, of President Enrique Pena Nieto against a coalition made up of the PRD and the conservative National Action Party, or PAN.

Shortly after taking office in December, Pena Nieto forged the so-called "Pact for Mexico," signed by the government and the country's three major political parties to push through reforms.

Jesus Zambrano, the PRD's national president, offered his condolences to Estrada's family in a post on his Twitter account.

"We demand justice!" he added.

Pena Nieto has vowed to quell the lawlessness and killing that have stained Mexico's image as a tourist destination and rattled investors.

An estimated 70,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico over the past seven years.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters


The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Rip-roaring fun at Capital FM’s self-empowerment workshop

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 12:47 AM PDT

It was a life lesson, but Capital FM's self-empowerment workshop was also rip-roaring fun.

WHEN she walks, she commands attention. Wearing a pretty top, black pencil skirt and high heels, her head is held high. She carries herself well and doesn't shy away from eye contact. Instead, she sends out a smile that brightens up her face and is enhanced by the rosy glow on her cheeks.

First impressions count. Creating a lasting effect is very important in today's competitive environment, where everyone is trying to stand out, hoping to create opportunities and achieve their goals which will ultimately lead to a successful career and happy life.

Capital FM's listeners were invited to their first workshop last Saturday, themed Life Class: How To Brand And Market Yourself. Only 40 listeners were invited to attend this exclusive workshop. Held at Paradox Art Café, in Petaling Jaya, the ladies were welcomed by Capital FM announcers Joanne Kam, Xandria Ooi, Deborah Raj, Non, Sheela and Priscillia Seelan.

Workshop attendees learned how to create a winning lasting impression. During the four-hour workshop, Zarina Zainal, the resident life coach on Capital FM, offered tips on how to let a person's image speak their brand.

Jynn Looi, from Benefit cosmetics, demonstrated on a listener how to create a stunning and simple day look. Zarina explained it was more than just clothing or a look. Personality has to shine through the clothes and the makeup. It's about the way women carry themselves and how they engage people, prioritising the message that needs to be sent out.

At the end of the session, the ladies were served a delicious lunch, topped with sweet treats and live music playing in the background. Each participant walked away feeling empowered and with a bag full of goodies. Melanie Lai, who attended the workshop, had this to say: "I learnt how to take it to the next level, so I can be a strong woman inside and out." Eevon Lai, another inspired listener, said, "I love the way the workshop was conducted. I soaked up every bit of fun and information. "

Fret not if you missed out on this workshop. This is only the first of many to come.

Stay tuned to Capital FM, (88.9 in the Klang Valley), for information on upcoming events. Capital FM is also available at, on HyppTV and through the Capital FM app available on IOS and Android platforms.


The Star Online: Sports

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Sports

I will be good enough for British Open, says Woods

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 04:49 PM PDT

BETHESDA (Maryland): World No. 1 Tiger Woods, unable to defend his US PGA National title this week because of a left elbow sprain, says he might not be 100% for the British Open but will be "good enough".

Speaking on the eve of the US$6.5mil tournament run by his foundation and staged at the par-71 Congressional Country Club, the 14-time Major champion said he has not started to strengthen his elbow ahead of July's showdown at Muirfield.

"It's nice to have a four-week break before the Open," Woods said.

"I listened to my docs. I'm not touching a club. We're treating it and eventually I'll start the strengthening process of it, then start hitting balls to get up to speed for the British."

Asked if he would be 100% fit for the year's next Major from July 18-21 in Scotland, Woods replied, "How about GED – good enough."

"I would like to be 100% but I don't know. It depends on how the body heals. We'll see how it goes."

Woods said he is using ultrasound, soft tissue massage, anti-inflammatory drugs and ice to treat the elbow.

"Eventually I'll start the strengthening process," he said. "Hopefully that will be sooner than later."

Woods suffered the injury in winning the Players Championship last month, his fourth triumph of the year, and aggravated it two weeks ago at the US Open, often blasting out of dense rough on his way to a share of 32nd at Merion.

"I pushed it pretty good at the Open to play it and to play through it," Woods said.

"Made it worse by hitting the ball out of the rough and eventually got to a point where I wasn't able to play here."

Woods said he would have been wiser not to have played at the Memorial, a PGA event hosted by 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus two weeks before the US Open, but he did and struggled there as well as at Merion. — AFP

Williams and Date-Krumm set up meeting for the first time

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 05:15 PM PDT

DEFENDING champion Serena Williams and evergreen Kimiko Date-Krumm, two players with a combined age of 73, set up a battle of Wimbledon senior citizens yesterday.

Top seed Williams extended her winning streak to 33 matches, just two behind the record set by sister Venus in 2000, with a 6-3, 6-2 win over French 19-year-old Caroline Garcia, who she also beat at the French Open.

Williams, 31, chasing a sixth Wimbledon title and 17th major, wrapped up victory, the 599th of her career, in 67 minutes with 30 winners and nine aces.

Date-Krumm, 42, reached the Wimbledon third round, 17 years after she last did so, with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Romania's Alexandra Cadantu, 19 years the Japanese's junior, to become the oldest woman to make the last 32 at the All England Club.

The previous oldest player was Britain's Virginia Wade, who was 39 years and 362 days old when she made the same stage in 1985.

Despite their many years on tour, Williams and Date-Krumm have never played each other.

"Kimiko is so incredibly fit and inspiring. I have never played her but I watched her when I was super-young," said Williams.

"Venus has played her, so I will definitely be talking to her about it."

Date-Krumm made the semi-finals in 1996 where she lost to Steffi Graf before taking what turned out to be a 12-year break from tennis.

After the shockwaves of Wednesday, which saw Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova knocked out and world number two Victoria Azarenka one of a record seven injury withdrawals and retirements, normal service was resumed yesterday.

There were still hints, however, of aches and pains.

Veteran French serve-volleyer Michael Llodra retired through illness after dropping the first set of his second round clash against Italy's Andreas Seppi.

He was the eighth pullout of the second round, equalling the previous Wimbledon mark set in 2008.

China's sixth seed Li Na also went into the third round with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-0 win over Simona Halep but not before the Romanian required treatment on a back injury.

Li next plays Czech 32nd seed Klara Zakopalova who beat German teenager Annika Beck, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

Big-hitting German Sabine Lisicki, a semi-finalist in 2011, defeated Eastbourne title-holder Elena Vesnina of Russia, 6-3, 6-1. — AFP


Men's singles

Second round: Lukasz Kubot (Pol) w.o. Steve Darcis (Bel); Benot Paire (Fra) bt Stphane Robert (Fra) 6-4, 7-5, 6-4; Adrian Mannarino (Fra) bt John Isner (US) 1-1, rtd; Dustin Brown (Ger) bt Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2; Nicolas Almagro (Spa) bt Guillaume Rufin (Fra) 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4; Jerzy Janowicz (Pol) bt Radek Stepanek (Cze) 6-2, 5-3 - rtd; Jurgen Melzer (Aut) bt Julian Reister (Ger) 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2; Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr) bt Roger Federer (Sui) 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5); Ernests Gulbis (Lat) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 0-0 - rtd.

Fernando Verdasco (Spa) bt Julien Benneteau (Fra) 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; Juan Monaco (Arg) bt Rajeev Ram (US) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2; Kenny De Schepper (Fra) w.o. Marin Cilic (Cro); Viktor Troicki (Srb) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (Rus) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4; Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) bt Vasek Pospisil (Can) 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-4; Tommy Robredo (Spa) bt Nicolas Mahut (Fra) 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 7-6 (7-5); Andy Murray (Bri) bt Lu Yen-hsun (Tpe) 6-3, 6-3, 7-5; Bernard Tomic (Aus) bt James Blake (US) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5; Andreas Seppi (Ita) bt Michael Llodra (Fra) 7-5, rtd.

Women's singles

Second round: Mnica Puig (Pur) bt Silvia Soler (Spa) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4; Eva Birnerov (Cze) bt Lesya Tsurenko (Ukr) 6-3, 6-4; Sloane Stephens (US) bt Andrea Petkovic (Ger) 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 8-6; Petra Cetkovsk (Cze) bt Caroline Wozniacki (Den) 6-2, 6-2; Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt Christina McHale (US) 7-5, 6-4; Camila Giorgi (Ita) bt Sorana Cirstea (Rom) 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (8-6); Karin Knapp (Ita) bt Lucie Safarova (Cze) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Michelle Larcher de Brito (Por) bt Maria Sharapova (Rus) 6-3, 6-4.

Petra Kvitova (Cze) w.o. Yaroslava Shvedova (Kaz); Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) bt Garbie Muguruza (Spa) 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4; Carla Surez (Spa) bt Mirjana Lucic (Cro) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3; Eugnie Bouchard (Can) bt Ana Ivanovic (Srb) 6-3, 6-3; Vesna Manasieva (Srb) bt Jelena Jankovic (Srb) 7-5, 6-2; Kirsten Flipkens (Bel) bt Bojana Jovanovski (Srb) 6-4, 6-4; Alize Cornet (Fra) bt Hsieh Su-wei (Tpe) 6-3, 6-2; Flavia Pennetta (Ita) w.o. Victoria Azarenka (Blr).

Serena Williams (US) bt Caroline Garcia (Fra) 6-3, 6-2; Kimiko Date Krumm (Jpn) bt Alexandra Cadantu (Rom) 6-4, 7-5; Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt elena Vesnina (Rus) 6-3, 6-1; Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Olga Puchkova (Rus) 6-2, 6-2; Petra Martic (Cro) bt Karolina Pliskova (Cze) 7-6 (9-7), 6-1; Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) bt Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (Spa) 6-0, 6-12; Klara Zakopalova (Cze) bt Annika Beck (Ger) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; Li Na (Chn) bt Simona Halep (Rom) 6-2, 1-6, 6-0.

100th edition hopes to clear tarnished image of cycling

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 05:14 PM PDT

PARIS: Cycling's greatest race, the Tour de France, begins tomorrow, hoping to cast off the recent cloud of suspicion and scandal of doping with a celebration of its historic 100th edition.

A total of 198 riders from 22 teams will line up for the 212km first stage from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

Three weeks, 3,403.5km and 20 stages later, only the very best – and most fortunate – will finish.

Last year's runner-up behind Britain's Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, is favourite to win the race after successes in Oman, the Criterium International, Tour of Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine.

But the 28-year-old Team Sky rider is likely to face stiff competition from 2007 and 2009 Tour winner Alberto Contador of Spain, despite his lack of victories this season.

Challenging both men include Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez, who was runner-up in the Giro d'Italia in May, and Australian outsider Cadel Evans, the 2011 winner, who could become the Tour's oldest victor at 36.

This year's race is the first to be held after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, which sent shockwaves through cycling and the world of sport.

The US rider, who was unmasked as a serial drug cheat in a devastating US Anti-Doping Agency report last year, was subsequently stripped of his record seven Tour wins between 1999 and 2005.

Race organisers have refused to nominate a winner in his place, as cycling was plunged into a period of deep introspection about the extent of drug use in the peloton in the 1990s and 2000s.

The spectre still looms large over the Tour, after the 1997 winner and three-time runner-up Jan Ullrich of Germany admitted doping last weekend - and said it was widespread.

There have also been accusations that French star Laurent Jalabert used the banned blood booster erythropoetin (EPO) during the scandal-hit 1998 Tour, forcing him to step down as a radio and television pundit.

Lingering questions remain, too, over the International Cycling Union (UCI) and its role in the Armstrong affair, amid claims of complicity and cover-up in his activities.

The embattled UCI president Pat McQuaid is facing a challenge for his re-election, amid repeated calls for him to stand down.

Tour organisers and today's riders, however, maintain that doping is largely a problem of the past, despite two high-profile positive tests for EPO use on the recent Tour of Italy.

"Doping is the enemy, not the Tour, or cycling," said Tour director Christian Prudhomme. "Cycling in 2013 is not the same as in the Armstrong years."

As such, the Tour intends to mark its 100th running, with celebrations and commemorations of the race that first began in 1903 with just 60 riders and only six, mammoth stages.

The peloton will pass major tourist landmarks, including scenic Corsica for the first time, to UNESCO World Heritage Site Mont Saint-Michel in northern Normandy, the Pyrenees and the Alps, where there is a double, energy-sapping climb of the infamous Alpe d'Huez.

The race ends on July 21 in a first ever twilight finish on the sweeping Champs Elysees boulevard, with landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower lit up high above the surviving pack. —AFP


The Star Online: Business

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Business

Hong Leong Capital slumps to 3-wk low ahead of Aug 12 suspension

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 06:42 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Hong Leong Capital Bhd (HLCap) fell to a three-week low of RM5.92 early Friday ahead of its suspension on Aug 12 as it does not meet the public spread.

At 9.32am, it was down 52 sen to RM5.92, the lowest since June 7. There were 38,900 shares done at prices ranging from RM5.92 to RM6.12.

The FBM KLCI was up 10.99 points to 1,762.56. There were 163.42 million shares done valued at RM171.87mil. There were 259 gainers, 62 losers and 143 counters unchanged.

StarBiz reported the exercise of stock options by the head of Hong Leong's investment bank, Lee Jim Leng, had led to the free float of HLCap's shares dipping below the 10% threshold.

As a result of the HLCap public shareholding spread hitting 9.63% as at Wednesday.

HLCap has said that its shares would be suspended on Aug 12, which amounts to 30 market days post the event. Lee acquired one million Hong Leong shares as a result of exercising her stock options on June 19.

CIMB Research maintains Neutral on Malaysia banks

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 06:25 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Equities Research remainS Neutral on Malaysian banks on concerns over margin compression and an upturn in credit costs.

"However, price-to-earnings (P/E) valuations are undemanding at 11.5 times for CY14 while CY14 dividend yields are fairly attractive at 4%. Maybank is still our top pick," it said on Friday.

CIMB Research also said that feedback from banks showed Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had yet to curb financing under the developer interest-bearing scheme (DIBS).

"Our channel checks with banks suggest that BNM has not given any directive to banks to stop DIBS but has requested information from them for study. Banks shared that DIBS financing accounts for up to 3% of their existing property loans and 5-12% of new property loans," it said.

CIMB Research said any discontinuation of DIBS would be negative for the banks though the impact should not be significant. Residential mortgages have been contributing 3.5 percentage points to 3.7 percentage points to industry loan growth of 10%-13% since Jan 12.

"Assuming that 10% of the new loans disbursed are for DIBS, a curb of this scheme would only bring down loan growth by 0.3 percentage point to 0.4 percentage point.

"This will trim banks' earnings by a similar magnitude. Moreover, we are expecting a slowdown in the growth of residential mortgages (from 12.7% on-year in March 2013) to about 11%-12% on-year due to BNM's measures to tighten consumer lending," it said.

CIMB Research maintains Outperform on Gamuda, TP RM5.77

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 06:14 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Equities Research maintains its Outperform recommendation on Gamuda with a higher target price of RM5.77 from RM5.60.

The research house said on Friday it anticipates strong catalysts in the second half of 2013, driven by rapid progress of the Mass Rapid Transit Two (MRT 2).

"More land-banking moves are in the pipeline. Gamuda remains our top pick in the big-cap space," it said.

CIMB Research said Gamuda's annualised nine-months FY 2013 core profit made up 99% of its full-year forecast and 98% of consensus.

"The results are above expectations due to higher interest income. Construction and property remain the core drivers. MRT and Iskandar exposure will push profits to new highs.

"We raise our FY13 EPS forecast as we had largely underestimated interest income. Our target price rises as we update for balance sheet items but is still pegged to a 10% RNAV discount," it said.


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Channing Tatum is one busy man

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 08:50 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES ( - Channing Tatum has been enjoying a stellar rise to movie stardom over the last few years, and even if White House Down isn't the explosive hit he's hoping for, his career is showing no signs of flaming out any time toon.

While White House, Roland Emmerich's US$150 million exercise in the art of CGI destruction, is only on track to rake in around US$30 million at the domestic box office this weekend, Tatum has at least three other potential moneymakers in some level of production.

The biggest of the three, at least in size and scope, is Jupiter Ascending, the next sci-fi spectacular from Matrix directors Lana and Andy Wachowski.

Tatum stars opposite Mila Kunis in Warner Bros.' summer 2014 release, which follows a destitute woman (Kunis) targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe because her very existence threatens to end the Queen's reign over the cosmos. Tatum will expand his action star power as a genetically engineered ex-military hunter who arrives on Earth to track Kunis down.

Although Tatum's showbiz success has been steadily increasing since he made young women swoon as a troubled breakdancing janitor in 2006's Step Up, the 33 year old proved his comedic chops in last year's breakout comedy hit, 21 Jump Street, which he also executive produced.

Following a hilarious cameo in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's This Is The End, Tatum hopes comedy fans will once again flock to see him go undercover alongside Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street - another project that should assure Tatum has a strong summer showing next year.

And just as Tatum proved his worth as a funny person, Foxcatcher - a wrestling drama based on a tragic true story - should elevate his thespian status in the eyes of the most serious filmmakers.

Tatum stars in Moneyball director Bennet Miller's next film as Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz, whose brother, Olympic Champion Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), is killed by paranoid schizophrenic John duPont (Steve Carell). Columbia Pictures is releasing the Annapurna Pictures production on October 15.

Tatum is also busy building his producing credits, which began with the 2010 documentary Earth Made Of Glass, followed by the 2011 ensemble high school reunion flick, 10 Years. Tatum's company, 33andOut Productions, is developing Peter Pan origin adventure, Neverland, which Gavin O'Connor (Warrior) will direct for Sony Pictures.

Most recently, Tatum has set his ambitions toward making it on the small screen, too. He is attached to executive produce a television pilot written by actor Nick Zano. Still untitled, the project is in very early stages of development at Warner Bros. Television. The half-hour, multi-camera comedy is based on Zano's own experience being raised in a multi-generational house of seven women in New Jersey.

Still want more Tatum? Cross your fingers 20th Century Fox can close a deal with him to appear alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the theatrical adaptation of classic musical, Guys And Dolls.

So with a bevy of projects on the heels of release, entering production, or graduating from development, the Magic Mike star's future appears to be brighter than a strobe light flashing in a Florida strip club.

Cult series 'Knight Rider' to hit silver screen

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 08:37 PM PDT

The small-screen adventures of Michael Knight and K.I.T.T., his artificially intelligent car, are inching towards the big screen now that a scripter has been attached, reveals the Los Angeles Times.

The Weinstein Company, which bought up the film rights back in 2006, has just kicked off the project by tapping Brad Copeland to pen a rough draft.

Writer/producer Copeland has already got his hand in scripting for the series Arrested Development and My Name Is Earl as well as for the comedy outlaw biker picture Wild Hogs. Given this background, the movie version of Knight Rider looks likely to be on the comic side.

Cult series

Knight Rider was a very popular TV series in the 1980s. It followed the day-to-day adventures of Michael Knight, a police detective who was shot in the face and believed dead, and then became the primary field agent in a billionaire's "public justice" Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG).

This modern-day knight roamed the highways and byways of America, crusading for justice in -- and with the indispensable help of -- his autonomous partner, an artificially intelligent, talking and teasing car named K.I.T.T. (short for Knight Industries Two Thousand).

The series, which was discontinued in 1986, sparked a TV film in the early 1990s, as well as an NBC TV remake series in 2008, likewise called Knight Rider, which only ran for one season before being cancelled for low ratings.


Accidental success

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 02:22 AM PDT

Lance Reddick talks about working his way up to White House Down.

Though he always felt something was pushing him toward acting, Lance Reddick ignored it. His dad was an attorney, and Reddick was on his way to becoming a classical music composer. Then something went awry.

"I always knew I had a thing when it came to acting but never took it seriously. I just thought people who wanted to be actors were silly," he says in the sunny patio restaurant of a hotel in Pasadena, California.

It may have been silly, but Reddick has managed to parlay that tom-foolery into a full blown career with memorable performances in TV shows like Oz, Fringe, Lost and The Wire and his new movie, White House Down.

For a guy who was too shy to even consider performing, he somehow beat the odds. He studied music composition at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, the piano his instrument. "Because my parents wanted to give me what they didn't have, I grew up around a bunch of affluent white kids," says Reddick.

"So everybody's parents were lawyers and doctors, bankers and architects. I didn't really get it. Now I do." He developed his first taste for music at an Episcopal elementary school when he started singing with the choir. "A lot of black people grow up singing gospel music. I grew up singing Gregorian chants and 16th century motets," he grins.

Still, he left Eastman before he graduated. "I realised I was in denial and I really wanted to be a rock star," he says.

"So, I got married straight out of school, moved to Boston because my wife at the time was from there. Two years later my daughter was born. And I found myself working three jobs, seven days a week."

He still wasn't sure what he wanted to do. But an excruciating back injury changed all that. "I was lifting a big bundle of newspapers, but it wasn't the lifting itself, it was the exhaustion. I'd come from a double shift of waiting tables to a double shift of delivering newspapers and I delivered the Wall Street Journal in downtown Boston ... I just cranked it up for about 24 hours, and I was just exhausted and something went," he says.

"At the time I was used to working on adrenaline and I worked out every day – even with all I had going on. So when I was in pain or exhausted I just ignored it and kept going."

Two weeks later he awoke unable to get out of bed. Fourteen days of bed rest forced him to re-evaluate his life.

"It sounds crazy but I thought, 'Well, I know the recording studio I'm working with is taking me for a ride. It's time for me to admit that to myself. So let me start from scratch. I can sing and I can act. So let me try to act ...' I went on a couple of musical theatre auditions and realised that wasn't me, so I started going on straight auditions and getting cast and getting cast and getting cast."

Though at one time he was co-starring in three shows at once, it wasn't always so easy. Married with a daughter, 24, and a son, 19, he and his first wife split in 1997. (He has since remarried).

"She made three times the money I did," he recalls. "God rest her soul, she passed away a couple years ago, but she was a brilliant artist, really talented. We didn't make it, but she was a great lady," he sighs.

"Six months after she left, I got The Siege and I was ducking the landlord. And I had the kids every other week, so I was borrowing money to buy groceries. I got The Siege, then I got I Dreamed Of Africa, then went to the Guthrie and got to play Marc Antony (in Julius Caesar.) I came back home to New York and didn't work for six months. For somebody who's always doing a side job or has a trust fund or savings, it's one thing. But I didn't ... The only reason I didn't quit was I didn't have any alternatives. What was I going to do, wait tables? The only way to get out of the situation I was in was to make it." – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

> White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Lance Reddick, opens in cinemas nationwide today. Read Star2's interview with Tatum this Sunday.


The Star Online: Nation

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Nation

Sarawak blackout: Power fully restored in Kuching at 11pm

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 08:28 AM PDT

KUCHING: Power supply was fully restored to the state capital here at about 11pm after a blackout caused by tripped circuits at the Kemena-Bintulu transmission line on Thursday.

A Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) spokesman said electricity in Bintulu and Miri were partially restored following the 5.45pm incident which plunged the whole state into darkness.

In Miri, areas in Miri City centre where power supply was restored at about 9.30pm suffered another bkackout at 11pm.

Residents who thought that the worst was over following the first blackout at 5.40pm found themselves plunged into total darkness again.

SEB corporate communication manager Ahadiah Zamhari told Bernama that engineers were still working on restoring supply throughout the state.

However, she said, Lawas was not affected and enjoyed uninterupted power supply as it was not connected to the main electricity grid.

Areas in Kuching that had power restored in stages were Poh Kwong Park, Stampin, Matang Jaya, Desa Wira in Jalan Batu Kawa and Satok commercial area as well as in residential areas of Miri.

Meanwhile, a reliable source said the Petronas Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) complex in Bintulu was unlikely to be affected by the blackout as it was devised to generate power supply internally through a steam turbine with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

He said the complex did not depend on external power sources, including those supplied by SEB through the main grid, hence, would not be affected by the blackout.

Related Stories:
Sarawak blackout: Residents take out the spare batteries, candles
Sarawak blackout: Over two million powerless, Bakun Dam not cause, says operator
Sarawak blackout: Tripped circuits at Kemena-Bintulu lines the cause

Former Labuan MP Suhaili Abd Rahman discharged from bankruptcy

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 07:28 AM PDT

LABUAN: The Labuan High Court has set aside the bankruptcy notice of former Labuan Umno division chief Suhaili Abd Rahman, thus discharging him from bankruptcy.

The decision was made by judge Duncan Sikodol.

On March 10, 2010, Suhaili, 50, was fined RM10,000, in default one month's jail, by the Sessions Court after he pleaded guilty to acting as a guarantor for a RM110,000 loan and a RM50,000 overdraft sought by Syarikat Saraequity Sdn Bhd to buy an apartment on the second floor of Api-Api Centre, Kota Kinabalu, without informing the Kota Kinabalu Branch Malayan Banking Berhad that he was a bankrupt.

The charge stated that Suhaili had committed the offence at the bank's premises on April 3, 1996.

He was charged under Section 109 (1)(m)(iii) of the Bankruptcy Act 1967, which provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both.

On March 16 the same year, Suhaili filed a notice of appeal and a motion for revision against his conviction and sentence imposed by the Sessions Court.

On Sept 27, 2010, the High Court set aside Suhaili's conviction and sentence and ordered the fine paid by the latter to be returned.

The High Court ruled that the bankruptcy of Suhaili was annulled because he should not have been adjudged a bankrupt in the first place. - Bernama.

Firefly to introduce Johor-Pekanbaru service at travel mart

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 07:03 AM PDT

JOHOR BARU: Firefly will introduce weekly scheduled service between Johor and Pekanbaru in Indonesia through a special promotion from Aug 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014 at the three-day 13th Malaysia International Travel Mart 2013 at Plaza Grand Sentosa, here, starting Friday.

Firefly chief executive officer Ignatius Ong said the airline was targeting both business and leisure travellers out of Johor Baru.

"We intend to provide Johoreans a smarter travel option, especially with Hari Raya just around the corner.

"Complementing the direct access is the convenient travel time into both cities at reasonable rates and excellent customer service," he said in a statement.

Firefly will use its ATR 72-500 turbo prop aircraft, which has a seating capacity of 72 on this route.

This is Firefly's first international turboprop operation out of Johor with the aim of bringing Malaysians and Indonesians closer, whether for the purpose of business or leisure.

This service will be available four times a week, departing from Johor at 10.20am and arriving at Pekanbaru at 10.40am.

The return flight leaves Pekanbaru at 11.00am and arrives in Johor at 1.20pm.

The public can meet Firefly travel agents who will be present at the travel mart for more information. - Bernama.


The Star Online: Metro: Central

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Junkies terrorising residents of Kota Damansara flats

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 06:37 AM PDT

A STRONG smell of glue permeating from Block B of the PPR Kota Damansara flats was enough to raise suspicion of illegal activities taking place in the area.

Two teenagers were found sniffing glue by a bush near the flats, oblivious to their surroundings.

They were inhaling glue out of a can, similar to liquid adhesives used by cobblers to mend the soles of shoes.

A resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said drug users had also occupied some of the empty units on the upper levels of the building, particularly in Block A and B.

He added that addicts had turned these empty units into drug dens.

"They get high during the day through intravenous drug use and nobody dares approach them," he said.

A check by StarMetro revealed that three of 10 vacant units were thriving drug dens.

Drug-related paraphernalia were discarded on the floors of the empty units.

Discarded needles and syringes, pieces of bloodied tissue, candle wax and burnt marks on the walls were tell-tale signs of drug-related activities.

The conditions at the units were deplorable with uncollected rubbish.

At one particular area outside the flats, motorcycles were stripped off their parts, leaving behind the frames.

It was hardly a conducive environment to live in.

PPR Kota Damansara chairman Johari Nander said the glue sniffers were mostly children residing in the flats.

He added that some residents had advised them to stop but to no avail.

Johari said the hardcore junkies would mostly visit the drug dens during the day.

"Although we work closely with the enforcement agencies, these drug users will return.

"The junkies are usually here between 10am and 6pm when most of the residents are at work," he added.

Johari explained that most of the residents were living in fear and afraid to report the addicts, some of whom reside at the flats.

"The residents are scared the junkies will retaliate in some way.

"A few residents had their cars and homes vandalised after the drug users suspected them of speaking to the authorities," he said.

Another resident, who declined to be named, said drug pushers were making good money here.

"We have seen them making deals in our compound but we dare not confront them as they may become violent.

"We hope that the police will take action before our children become prey to the drug addicts and their pushers," she said.

Business owner hung out to dry over water theft

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 06:37 AM PDT

A landscape and nursery business owner in Jalan Persiaran Tropicana in Petaling Jaya was caught tapping water illegally from Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) water mains during an operation yesterday.

Syabas projects and non-revenue water division executive director Yusof Badawi said the illegal connection had been made using a 14mm flexible piping, laid over the old meter to channel water into the premises.

The readings of a chlorine test done on the water samples showed that it was treated water from Syabas and losses were estimated at RM448,937.

"We have issued a notice against the business owner, as provided under the Water Services Industry Act 2006," said Yusof.

In addition, Syabas will file claims for lost revenue and the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) had notified the business owner of its intention to take legal action.

Earlier, another illegal water connection in Section 28, Shah Alam, was also uncovered, with similar notices issued by Syabas and SPAN.

Losses were estimated at RM243,000.

Yusof said Syabas had uncovered the thefts as certain industries, such as plant nurseries or fish-rearing, required large amounts of water.

"Based on suspicion, personnel from a special unit went to the ground to check and compare water usage of similar consumers in the area.

"Sometimes, when consumers complain about low water pressure, our team conducts checks to ascertain if there are leaks or illegal connections.

"There are 1.8 million consumers in Selangor and we cannot possibly detect every water theft. However, we will do our best to stem our losses," said Yusof.

From January to June 19, Syabas received 1,567 complaints concerning water theft, with 248 confirmed cases.

Syabas is claiming damages estimated at RM1,852,473 in total.

Compared with last year, Syabas had sought restitution for damages estimated at RM6,726,528 from 730 confirmed cases, out of 3,583 complaints.


The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

MJ's son says singer was unhappy with concert promoter

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 08:23 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson's eldest son testified on Wednesday in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by his family against AEG Live that the late pop star was unhappy with the concert promoter in the run-up to his This Is It concert series in 2009.

Prince Jackson, 16, said he saw his father often get upset on the phone with AEG Live Chief Executive Officer Randy Phillips, but was unable to stand up for himself in disagreements.

"He would get off the phone, he would cry sometimes," Prince told jurors in a Los Angeles courtroom about his father. "He would say, 'They're going to kill me. They're going to kill me.' ... He was like my grandma. He was too kind to fight anybody."

Small parts of a video recording of Prince and younger sister Paris' deposition recorded months earlier had been played in court last week, but Prince was the first Jackson family member to testify in person at the trial.

Prince, who took the stand four years and one day after his father's death, was 12 when Jackson died at age 50 in Los Angeles from an overdose of surgical anesthetic propofol ahead of a series of comeback concerts in London in 2009.

The Thriller singer's mother, Katherine, is suing privately held AEG Live, which was promoting Jackson's This Is It concerts, for negligence in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray as his personal physician.

Murray was caring for the singer as he prepared for the shows and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for administering the propofol that killed Jackson.

Prince, wearing a dark suit and tie, showed little emotion while testifying until he described his father's death, which was the first time any of Jackson's children have spoken publicly about it.

The teenager said he and his two younger siblings - sister Paris and brother Prince Michael II, also known as Blanket - were at their rented Los Angeles home when they heard a scream from the home's second level.

"I ran upstairs and I saw Dr. Conrad doing CPR on my dad on the bed," he said. "My dad was hanging halfway off the bed, and his eyes were rolled back in his head."

He added: "My sister was screaming the whole time, saying she wants her daddy. I was waiting at the bottom of the stairs, crying, waiting for the ambulance."


Prince, his voice cracking with emotion, said Murray told them in a hospital waiting room that Jackson had a heart attack.

"Sorry kids, your dad's dead," Prince remembered Murray telling him.

AEG Live has said it did not hire or supervise Murray and argues that Jackson had prescription drug and addiction problems for years before entering into any agreement with the company.

AEG Live also has said they could not have foreseen that Murray posed a danger to Jackson.

Katherine Jackson, 83, along with the singer's three children are listed as plaintiffs in the case. The trial began in late April and is expected to last for another month.

Earlier witnesses for the plaintiff have testified that Jackson had grown so weak he had difficulty executing dance moves and recalling song lyrics, and that Murray's monthly salary from AEG Live would be a conflict of interest in his care of the singer.

Prince also testified that Jackson's death has taken an emotional toll on the children.

"I have a hard time sleeping," the teen said. "I became emotionally distant from a lot of people."

Paris, 15, who has been hospitalized after an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month, has taken the loss of her father the hardest, Prince said.

"I think out of all of our siblings, she was probably hit the hardest because she was my dad's princess," he said. "It hurt a lot and she definitely is dealing with it in her own way."

Following Prince's testimony, the Jackson family's attorney, Brian Panish, said at a news conference outside the courthouse that Prince had answered questions consistently and credibly.

"He is a nice, bright young man who has a great future and I think that's because of the father who raised him," Panish said.

The attorney added that Jackson's youngest son, Blanket, will not be summoned in this case, and a decision is still being made on whether Paris will be called up to testify.

Stage front

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 03:51 AM PDT

Linkin Park, Yuna and OneRepublic for concerts in Malaysia.

IF you've had enough of hipster-infested music festivals, K-pop music extravaganzas and the lack of full-length concerts heading our way, then you're in for a treat. Well, make that three. Recently, American rock band Linkin Park announced it will be returning to Malaysia for a concert.

The band is bringing its Living Things World Tour to the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 19.

Formed in 1996, the Californian band rose to fame with the release of its debut album Hybrid Theory (2000). The best-selling album spawned hit singles like Crawling, Papercut, In The End, and One Step Closer. The band's latest album Living Things, released last year, debuted at the top spot on the Billboard 200 charts in the United States.

Fans can look forward to seeing vocalist Chester Bennington, drummer/percussionist Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, deejay Joe Hahn and co-vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Mike Shinoda for a night of rocking mayhem in Bukit Jalil.

This is the band's second appearance in Malaysia. In 2003, the band played a concert at Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur for over 25,000 fans.

Tickets for Linkin Park's Living Things World Tour in Malaysia are available through

After Linkin Park, fans can also look forward to LosAngeles-based Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna returning home for three orchestra-backed shows (Sept 6-8) at Istana Budaya in KL.

Yuna, who kickstarted her major label career (Verve Records) in the US earlier this year, already has her Sixth Street digital EP and new single I        Wanna Go gaining attention in the global pop scene. Any homecoming gigs by this indie darling are bound to be sold-out affairs. More info:

OneRepublic's first proper show in Malaysia is another treat. The American pop-rock band will play Sunway Lagoon's Surf Beach, Petaling Jaya, Selangor on Oct 31. Formed in 2002, the band consists of vocalist Ryan Tedder, guitarist Zach Filkins, bassist Drew Brown, drummer Eddie Fisher and keyboardist Brent Kutzle.

The band's debut album Dreaming Out Loud in 2007 featured hit singles Apologize and Stop And Stare. OneRepublic also appeared at the MTV Asia Awards in Genting in 2008.

The upcoming show is set to showcase material from its latest album Native, which has a more dance-orientated groove.

Tickets to OneRepublic's Native Tour stop in Malaysia are available at

In other concert news, R&B star Alicia Keys is due to play a concert in Kuala Lumpur in November. More details soon.

Force of nature

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 03:51 AM PDT

Thrash metal legends Metallica hardly need a new album to fill up venues. It's been nearly five years since its last album Death Magnetic was released, but that hasn't made the band any lesser in terms of box-office might. Wherever Metallica roams, the shows sell out.

Outside upcoming gigs in South Korea, Japan and China in August, Metallica has confirmed its only concert date in this region at Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore on August 24.

Metallica's show is also the first concert which will take place at the Changi Exhibition Centre, with public shuttle service (for a fee) organised by show promoters LAMC Productions.

The band last played in this part of the world in 1993 with a sold-out show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Formed in San Francisco, United States in 1981, Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold 110 million albums worldwide. The band has released nine studio albums, including classics like Master Of Puppets (1986), ... And Justice for All (1988) and Metallica (1991).

Metallica, which includes frontman James Hetfield, 49, drummer Lars Ulrich, 49, guitarist Kirk Hammett, 50, and bassist Rob Trujillo, 48, has indicated a new album is due later this year, with maverick producer Rick Rubin tipped to return to the producer's seat again. Rubin worked on Death Magnetic in 2008.

In October, the band releases Metallica – Through The Never, a hybrid of 3D concert movie and fictional feature film, starring actor Dane DeHaan.

For heavy metal fans in the region, the Aug 24 date in Singapore is the one that matters – a chance to catch these legends in the flesh.

Tickets for Metallica's concert in Singapore are priced at S$188 (RM474) and S$148 (RM373). They will go on sale from June 28 via


The Star Online: Metro: South & East

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Joint effort for research programme

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 03:35 PM PDT

JOHOR BARU: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) will conduct a joint research with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a working paper on sustainable cities in Asia.

UTM acting vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim said that the four cities that have been chosen for the research programme were Nusajaya, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang.

He added that a team of MIT and UTM researchers would go to each of these cities to conduct research for the next five years.

Dr Mohd Azraai also said that both universities would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC) that was held recently at MIT in America.

He pointed out that the MoU would be the third time that both universities will be collaborating in a joint research.

"The main objective of this project is to have a good urbanisation and population system that is unique, comfortable, safe, and sustainable cities in Malaysia and other Asian cities.

"This project would also help to solve over population problems at urban cities especially in South Asia," he told a press conference held at UTM here.

Dr Mohd Azraai added that through the project, it was expected that there would be an increase in the usage of science and technology that would bring vast improvements in urban areas.

He also said that the research would allow a greater cooperation and wider network between researchers and educators on creating sustainable urban cities in the region.

"Once completed, our findings will be guidelines to other countries and universities to implement a sustainable city.

"Malaysia especially in Iskandar Malaysia area is transforming Malaysia into a developed country," he said.

Proposed police beat to end crime in Lintas Plaza

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 07:52 PM PDT

KOTA KINABALU: Folks working and residing at the Lintas Plaza and Lintas Square vicinity, about a 10-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu city, need not worry too much on crime occurrences in the area once a police beat base is built.

Sabah Deputy Police Commissioner Senior Assistant Commissioner Datuk Tan Kok Liang said this following a meet-the-people session in the area on Tuesday.

He found that there were many break-ins in office and property blocks.

"Although the crime index have reduced gradually over the years, the police will not stop efforts in fighting crime but will continue to prevent them from happening," he said.

"So for this area, a police beat base will be built once a suitable location is decided," he said.

Tan said there would be more police personnel patrolling the area and cooperation with the existing Lintas Plaza management's security personnel will also be established.

"Discussions are underway to bring about more police personnel here," he said.

The luxury of wood

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 07:54 PM PDT

HOME owners who are eyeing to furnish their house into a modern abode, decorative wood panels might be the solution to give their homes a trendy edge.

Decking out with various designs and colours, Kitapanel Wood Product Sdn Bhd is offering a wide selection of thematic wood panels in Perfect Livin' 13 home and lifestyle exhibition.

The exhibition will be held at the Sultan Ahmad Shah International Convention Centre (SASICC), Kuantan (adjoining The Zenith Hotel) from June 28 to 30.

Kitapanel director Wong Chiew Tze said the decorative wood panels are not only decorative items that adorn the house but also to create more space and to partition the house.

"Home owners would want to come home and chill out in their own cozy and relaxing surrounding.

"These additional decorative wood panels not only make up and compliment the house's intrinsic designs but also improve the house's ambience be it a stand-alone wood panel or one that is installed on the wall," she said.

The company manufactures, designs and retails decorative wood panels and marketed under the brand name – Fine.

Some of the highlights that will be featured in the exhibition are the wave door panels and television decorative panels.

Wong said most home owners prefer to put a trendy wood panel as the background of the television.

"Our television decoration panels also come with cabinets and shelves as well as strategically installed lighting around the panels.

"There are three difference types of wave designs and comes in three colours which is the Walnut, Champagne Gold or White Gloss. it can be a stand alone panels or one that is attached to the walls.

"Customers can also opt for the vertical panels as it make the ceiling higher and looked more spacious in a compact living room," she said.

As for the door panels, it is made of Middium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and it is filled with honey-comb structures in the middle within the finger-join frames to give a stronger overall structure.

"It is tough and also prevents warping," Wong added.

The television decorative set is priced from RM2,000 to RM3,000 depending on the size of the cabinets and open shelves while the wall panels ranged from RM1,000 to RM3,000 depending on the designs.

Visitors to the booth are advised to bring along picture of their homes as there will be experienced staff to advise on the panels that suits the home.

There are 40 colours to choose from all products with three different finishing which is the wood grain, monotone and high gloss finishing. Customers can also customise the wood panels with different images and patterns.

The first 1,000 early birds to the exhibition will walk away with an exclusive limited-edition Perfect Livin' aluminium drinking bottle each while the first 2,000 visitors will get a sling bag each.

Exhibition will open from 11am till 9pm. Admission is free.


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved