2014 W E L C O M I N G Visit Malaysia 2014 officially begins Malaysia will celebrate its fourth Visit Malaysia Year with the theme “Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia” to reflect the diversity in unity of all Malaysians. The Proboscis Monkey has been chosen as the mascot while the promotional campaign has started in 2013 with a series of year-long special events and activities leading to VMY 2014. This time around, VMY 2014 will be the biggest and grandest ever tourism celebration with hundreds of events and festivals all lined up to welcome the world. Overall, it is hoped that VMY 2014 will contribute to the Government’s target to receive 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion in receipts by 2020, as outlined in the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan (MTTP) 2020. Scheduled opening of KLIA2 KLIA2 is being constructed to replace the current LowCost Carrier Terminal, which was constructed in 2006. The new terminal is expected to be completed in first quarter of 2014 and according to owners, Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the total cost to build the KLIA2 is estimated at RM4.0 billion. KLIA2 is located just two kilometres from the main KLIA Terminal. Upon completion, it will be the largest LCC Terminal in the region with a total area of 242,000 sq metres. T H E Y E A R The Borneo Post did our annual review a bit differently this year, choosing to go with a New Year supplement to usher in the year 2014, instead of our normal yearender published on Dec 31. Here’s what you can expect in the year ahead. JANUARY The 20th FIFA World Cup will be played in 12 Brazilian cities from June 12 – July 13, 2014. It will also be the second-time Brazil will be hosting the competition since 1950. The World Cup will be played in 12 host arenas, six of which were delivered for the Confederations Cup in June. The other six are to be completed by late December under a firm deadline set by FIFA, football’s world governing body. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said Monday he had no doubt that Sao Paulo’s Itaquera stadium would be ready in time to host the opener of the 2014 World Cup. Football’s governing body FIFA on Tuesday announced a record first allocation of tickets after overseeing a random distribution of almost 900,000 tickets to fans from 188 nations. FIFA announced it to be “by far the highest number of tickets to be allocated during a first sales window”. FIFA said it had allocated a total of 889,305 tickets with 71.5 percent going to Brazilians. Overall, 6.2 million requests for tickets have been registered – almost double the total available. Aside from the host nation, the United States received the largest number of tickets with 66,646, followed by Britain (22,257), Germany (18,019) and Australia (15,401). Spain is the defending champion, having defeated the Netherlands 1–0 in the 2010 World Cup final to win its first World title. The previous four World Cups staged in South America were all won by South American teams. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said Monday he had no doubt that Sao Paulo’s Itaquera stadium would be ready in time to host the opener of the 2014 World Cup. -AFP Pope Francis announced he would declare Pope John XXIII and John Paul II as saints in a single ceremony on April 27 this year. Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff who led the Catholic Church for 27 years and witnessed the fall of communism and Pope John XXIII, who called the reforming Second Vatican council, will be declared saints. The announcement of the date for the canonisations had been expected since July when Francis approved a second miracle attributed to John Paul, opening the way to the fastest canonisation in modern times. He also approved sainthood for John, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and who oversaw sweeping reforms to modernise the Church, even though he has only been credited with one miracle since his death.Reuters FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY Brazil Football World Cup Canonisation of popes John Paul II, John XXIII AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER Syria Geneva International peace conference on the Syrian conflict An international peace conference for Syria will begin on January 22, the first direct talks between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and rebels seeking to overrthrow him. Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, said the goal was to agree on a mutually acceptable transitional administration as well as the other elements of an outline peace plandrafter by the Western powers and Russia at Geneva in June 2012. — Reuters DECEMBER PBSMR to be held next year for first time The Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah Menengah Rendah (PBSMR) examinations replacing the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examinations will be held for the first time. Starting this year, the PBSMR or Lower Secondary School Based Assessment, will assess a student’s proficiency in four subjects – Bahasa Melayu, English, Science and Mathematics. Students can take the papers in either BM or English (except for Bahasa Melayu paper). Meanwhile, subjects such as History, Geography, Islamic Education and Life Skills will be assessed under the PBS system as course work, practicals and projects. The examination questions will be prepared by the Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia (LPM) or Malaysian Examinations Board. We each start the new year hoping to achieve something greater and bigger than the year before. The Borneo Post would like to wish all our readers the most prosperous new year ahead.