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The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

World's most beautiful sound found

Posted: 24 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: A recording of natura­l sounds including frogs, birds and insects from Kubah National Park in Kuching, Sarawak, was judged to be "the most beautiful sound in the world" by US-based lifestyle website BeautifulNow (

The winner was announced recently on the website, as well as the music-sharing website, after a month-long search for the world's most beautiful sounds.

The announcement was picked up by other lifestyle and nature websites before Malaysian netizens began sharing the news on social media earlier this week.

Australian photographer and sound recordist Marc Anderson submitted the recording, titled "Dusk By The Frog Pond", under the moniker Wild Ambience. Listeners voted it to the top spot from among a dozen finalists and over 100 entries.

Julian Treasure, who is chairman of The Sound Agency, a branding company whose clients include Harrod's, Honda and Nokia, created the competition.

In an audio interview posted on the website, Treasure said Anderson's recording was "the most amazing, rich recording of just life – teeming life" and stated that was the reason voters chose it.

The full version of the recording and two interviews with Anderson can be heard online at

> An exclusive interview with Anderson by The Star Online will appear in next week's Lifestyle channel,

Senior citizen and four dogs die in blaze

Posted: 24 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

GEORGE TOWN: It was a gloomy week indeed for pet lovers.

A day after three cats perished in a fire, another blaze claimed the lives of a woman and her four dogs.

In the 1pm incident yesterday, the septuagenarian and her pets perished in the fire at a rented wooden house in Paya Terubong here.

Firemen found the charred remains of Thum Pek Guan, 75, near the door with her dogs.

It is learnt that Thum, who was hunchbacked, had tried to escape from the building but to no avail.

The annexe building, a steel foundry, was also partially destroyed. The cause of the fire had yet to be ascertained.

Thum's goddaughter Phang Seh Moy, 55, said she reared the dogs together with the deceased.

"I fed the dogs with her after work although they were strays.

"The dogs had been with us for many years. I will miss them," she said when met at the scene.

Thum's godson Ong Lai Seng, 54, said she had been living alone in the house for eight years.

"I spoke to her an hour before the tragic incident. Usually, I would buy her lunch.

"I even told her to stay with me or stay at an old folks home but she refused," he said.

Paya Terubong Fire Station chief Poh Leong Soon said they received a distress call at about 1.10pm. He said the fire was brought under control by 1.38pm.

"The fire was not big but when we rushed in, the charred remains and the carcasses of four dogs were already there.

"We believe Thum had tried to flee but was obstructed by the zinc and other obstruction. Luckily at that time, workers at the foundry were out for lunch," he said.

On Thursday, three cats were killed after a unit on the 14th floor of a flat in Bukit Jambul here caught fire.

Use of word 'Allah' clearly spelt in 10-point solution, says PM

Posted: 24 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims must be in accordance with the Federal and State Islamic laws, said Prime Mi­­nister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the matter was clearly spelt in the 10-point solution which had been agreed on by the Federal Government in April 2011.

Najib, who is also Umno president, said the supreme council ack­nowledged the 10-point solution, but any decision or issues raised that involved Islam would have to be based on Federal and state Islamic laws.

"For states with (Islamic) enactment, then these laws must take precedence.

"For states with no such enactment such as Sabah and Sarawak, the existing practice applies," he told reporters after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.

Najib said one of the points in the 10-point solution gave recognition that any issue raised must be based on the Federal and state Islamic laws.

According to Point Nine, the Government reiterated its commitment to work with different religious groups to address inter-religious issues and work towards the fulfilment of all religious aspirations in accordance with the Constitution, taking into account the other relevant laws of the country.

On Thursday, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluuddin said the Cabinet decided that the seizure of Bibles by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) remained a state issue that should be resolved by the Selangor Govern­ment and that the 10-point solution could not supercede the state enactment.

On Jan 2, Jais seized more than 300 copies of Malay and Iban language Bibles from the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia during a raid.


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