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The Star Online: Nation

Miyazono recounts Japanese myth in George Town mural

Posted: 07 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

GEORGE TOWN: There is a new wall painting in town and this time, it tells a folk tale from a far-flung island in Okinawa, Japan.

Located at an alley on Stewart Lane here, the mural by Japanese backpacker Takayuki Miyazono depicts the story of Kigimuna, which are mischievous, fairy-like spirits that inhabit large banyan trees.

"Kigimuna – also known as tree fairies – have red hair and are about the size and shape of a little boy," Miyazono said.

"The story of Kigimuna is a very important part of Okinawan culture.

"These stories have been told to children as a fairytale by their parents and grandparents."

"Besides being good fishermen, the Kigimuna are sometimes seen wandering along beaches and river banks. They usually sit under trees and they like people," he said.

The 33-year-old Okinawan truck driver, whose hobby is painting, said he was inspired by the various murals he had seen in Penang since arriving in September.

Miyazono, who started on his painting on Dec 4, said he would work from morning until evening using acrylic paint.

The painting – comprising four frames — also has a pair of Shisa, mythical animals resembling a cross between a lion and a dog.

"Shisa is a traditional decoration, which are placed in pairs near the door or on roof tops. It is believed that these lion-dog guardians protect homes by warding off evil spirits," Miyazono said.

"The left animal has its mouth shut to keep in the good while the right has its open to fend off evil."

In his free time, Miyazono loves to hike and jog at the Penang Botanical Gardens and Monkey Beach in Teluk Bahang.

Having travelled to countries including China, Sri Lanka and parts of South East Asia, Miyazono, who made his first trip to Penang four years ago, said he loved the island for its "friendly people".

"This is my longest stay during my travels so far. I really love it here. Penang is very similar to Okinawa.

"I have also visited Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.

"Food in Penang is great," said Miyazono, adding that his favourites were nasi kandar, hokkien mee and char koay teow.

Miyazono said he hoped to be able to stay in Penang permanently in the future.

"Currently, I back-pack for six months a year and work the rest."

RMAF officer claims trial to charges

Posted: 07 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: A Royal Malaysian Air Force officer who made statements to the media over the indelible ink used in the last general election has claimed trial at a court martial here to seven charges under the Armed Forces Act 1972.

Mej Zaidi Ahmad, 47, who was attached to the Butterworth air base, stood before a six-man panel headed by Kol Saadon Hasnan at the Sungai Besi Air Force Base here yesterday.

He faces two charges over making a media statement on his dissatisfaction with the indelible ink when it should be investigated by the Armed Forces, and for making a statement without the approval of the Defence Ministry.

The two offences were allegedly committed at the Kepala Batas police station on May 1 last year.

The third charge is for broadcasting official information via an "attachment out" signal to the media without the approval of the Armed Forces Council.

The fourth and fifth charges claimed that he made media statements on the same matter via the Armed Forces channel and without Defence Ministry's consent, respectively.

Mej Zaidi is said to have committed the last three offences at Taman Bertam Indah, Kepala Batas, on May 3 last year, thus breaching the Armed Forces Council Order, Discipline and Security – Communication of Information and Publication of Articles by Members of the Armed Forces paras 3, 5 and 13.

Mej Zaidi, who is accused under Sections 50(2) and 51 of the Armed Forces Act 1972, also claimed trial to sending two SMSes said to be politically motivated while on duty at the Butterworth air base on May 1 last year.

The prosecution was led by Mej Ahmad Sanusi Ali, while Dr Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar acted for Mej Zaidi.

Hearing was fixed for April 8, 9 and 10.

Teoh family granted stay pending appeal outcome

Posted: 07 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has allowed an application by the family of Teoh Beng Hock to stay the proceedings in their civil suit against the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Government over his death.

Justice Rosnaini Saub stayed the proceedings after 13 witnesses testified for the family in the trial.

The family's lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo said the judge had granted a stay pending the outcome of their appeal at the Court of Appeal against the Shah Alam High Court's refusal to review the coroner's decision from one of open verdict to homicide.

Gobind said the appeal at the Court of Appeal was scheduled to be heard on March 28, adding that the panel of judges would be going for a site visit in Shah Alam on March 18.

Teoh, 30, the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after giving a statement at the Selangor MACC's office on the 14th floor of the building.

In January 2011, coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas gave an open verdict on the death, ruling that it was neither due to suicide nor homicide. Senior Federal Counsel Azizan Md Arshad, who appeared for the defendants, said it had no objections. Justice Rosnaini set April 29 for case management.


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