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Face-to-face with Tan Sri Elyas Omar

Guoco takes on Genting

Shooting triggers outcry in Thailand

Slow probe irks FAM No 2

Former KL mayor shares his views on what needs to be done with the nation’s capital

Landing Gala Coral casinos will make company top UK gaming firm with 59 outlets to Genting’s 45

Govt orders probe into the fatal shooting of four Muslim civilians by paramilitary

FAM deputy president Tengku Abdullah unhappy with progress of match-fixing investigation


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PP 423/01/2013(031356) FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @malaymail




FORTRESS RM13.3b One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, site of twin terrorist attacks, is world’s most expensive due to tight security measures — AFPpic


KGNS ‘race membership fee’ row

HEAVILY CRITICISED: A screenshot of the notice which was posted on Facebook, triggering an outcry

Golf club’s race-based fee structure sparks outrage. Club president: “We will not apologise.” By TERENCE FERNANDEZ, ASRUL HADI ABDULLAH SANI and AZRIL ANNUAR


‘I cannot have my staff’s credibility questioned’ By AZRIL ANNUAR

WHY now, Ambrin? This was the question asked when Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang (pic) spoke up, denying he had labelled the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project a “mess”. Asked why it took him so long to come up with a clarification — four months after the issue broke — he explained that it was only when the credibility of his officers and department was questioned that he felt compelled to explain that the words “mess”, “chaos”

and “misappropriation” were never part of the Auditor-General’s Report 2010 on the NFC project and the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp). “I made the clarification because people were questioning the credibility of my staff. I cannot have that,” Ambrin told The Malay Mail. He looked peeved with what he deemed irresponsible manipulation by certain parties. “It was so obvious from my report that those words were never used in the first place. “The trouble is, all of you never bothered reading the whole report and just tried to spin the

story to your liking,” said Ambrin, who is aware that now he has to ward off speculation that he was being pressured to recant his words. The Auditor-General’s Report 2010 had stated that there were weaknesses in the implementation of the NFC project which was managed by NFCorp. However, after the issue was brought up in Parliament by the opposition, there was confusion between the project and the project’s implementer. It was thought that NFC and NFCorp were the same entity and members of the opposition said the report had used the words “mess”, “misappropriation” and “in chaos” to de-

scribe the project’s weaknesses, much to the consternation of the public. Last week, Ambrin had said the words were used by other parties and that the department should not be held responsible. He had said the audit was to determine whether the centre had been carefully planned, prudently carried out and met its objectives. The NFC fiasco came to light in October when the AuditorGeneral’s Report 2010 was presented to Parliament after the 2012 Budget was tabled.






NATIONAL EDITORIAL Tel: 03-74951288 | Fax: 03-74951229 | E-mail: THE MALAY MAIL IS PUBLISHED BY: Malay Mail Sdn Bhd, Lot 2A, Jalan 13/2, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia





Malaysians have no trust in the media

RM1.7m ‘thank you’ from MPSJ

Dr Hasan: Dengue fatalities on the rise

PAS must prove hooker club claim

The inaugural 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer says LESS than half of Malaysians have trust in the local media industry

Council to reward stakeholders in conjunction with its 15th anniversary celebrations this month

Health Ministry director general says there are six reported deaths in January compared with only three in the same period last year

Azman Shapawi Abdul Rani must prove claims that a ‘prostitutes and transvestites association’ exists in Kuala Lumpur


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Case history


2 charged over playground death Company director and worker accused of negligence causing boy’s electrocution By ANDREW SAGAYAM

THE contractor responsible for the maintenance work of a playground in Taman Batu Tiga, Shah Alam, where an 11-year-old boy was eletrocuted last year, was finally charged in court yesterday. A 45-year-old company director and a 38-year-old worker faced the music at the Shah Alam magistrate’s court for an electrocution incident on March 19 that killed Muhammad Naquiddin Mohd Marzuki (pic). The worker was charged under Section 304A of the Penal Code with “causing the death of any person by negligent act” while the director was charged under Section 109 of the same Act for abetting.

It is learnt that the company is based in Taman Intan, near where the tragedy took place. Subang Jaya police chief Asst Comm Yahaya Ramli confirmed with The Malay Mail that the duo had been charged. He said police are willing to assist the relevant authorities if needed. “The criminal aspect of the case that involves us is over, but if we are required to assist, we will,” said Yahaya. He, however, declined to reveal the contractor’s identity. Meanwhile, the victim’s father, Mohd Marzuki Muda, was ecstatic when The Malay Mail informed him of the latest development yesterday. However, the 45-year-old stressed that the Subang Jaya Municipal Council officer who initially hired the contractor should also be

brought to justice. “This is certainly good news. While I’m glad the case is now in court, I want the council officer who approved the contract to be charged as well,” said Mohd Marzuki. He hoped the case would be an example for other local councils and authorities. He also thanked The Malay Mail for continuously highlighting the issue. “If not for The Malay Mail, my son’s death would not have been taken to this level. I am so grateful for what the paper has done for me and my family,” he said. Last August, after months of relentlessly trying to seek answers and closure to his son’s death from the Energy Commission of Malaysia, MPSJ and Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Mohd Marzuki together with The Malay Mail

had visited the commission’s headquarters in Putrajaya. We managed to meet its chief executive officer Ahmad Fauzi Hasan, who then informed us that the contractor responsible had finally been identified. The identity of the contractor initially became an issue as the council claimed they had no record of who the contractor was. On Sept 19, 2011, exactly six months after the tragedy struck Mohd Marzuki’s family, the commission finally wrapped up its investigations into the case. In October, AttorneyGeneral’s Chambers head of prosecution division Datuk Tun Majid Tun Hamzah said the Chambers had instructed the police to reclassify and investigate the case under Section 304A of the Penal Code and Section 37 of the

Electricity Supply Act 1990 for tampering or adjusting of any installation on equipment causing danger to human life. The case was initially classified as sudden death. The following month, police submitted their investigation papers to the Chambers.

ON March 19, 2011, Muhammad Naquiddin Mohd Marzuki, 11, was playing football with his friends at a playground near his house in Taman Batu Tiga, Shah Alam, when he accidentally fell against a lamppost which was faulty and was electrocuted. His friends alerted his father, factory worker Mohd Marzuki Muda, who then tried to free his son whose right leg was stuck to the lamppost due to the massive current, by using a piece of plywood. Muhammad Naquiddin was pronounced dead upon arrival at a private medical centre in Section 20, Shah Alam. The tragedy created public uproar, following discoveries of shoddy maintenance work on the lamppost. Things took a worse turn when the Subang Jaya Municipal Council claimed they did not have records on the contractor responsible.


Taib’s son wins round one in multi-million ringgit divorce THE Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court has allowed Federal Territory Islamic Council (MAIWP) member Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar to represent Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib in a post-divorce settlement case. Justice Datuk Mohamad Abdullah yesterday found Zainul Rijal was not representing the council in the case. Mohamad also said the court would not be influenced following Zainur Rijal’s appointment and would act independently in dispensing justice. Mahmud Abu Bekir’s former wife, Shahnaz A. Majid, had

applied to bar Zainul Rijal from taking part in the proceedings. She argued that as a council member, he could play a role in determining the appointment of judges. Her lawyers cited Zainul Rijal’s role in representing the council where he stood for the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, council chief enforcement officer Shamsuddin Haron and Federal Territory Islamic Department director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali in contesting Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s qazaf (bearing false witness) application.

Roslizam Rahim and Abdul Halim Bahri represented Zainul Rijal in the proceedings. Zainul Rijal and Saadiah Din are representing Mahmud Abu Bekir, while Rafie Mohd Shafie and Akbardin Abdul Kader are representing Shahnaz in the post-divorce settlement of joint matrimonial assets. Zainul Rijal, was appointed as MAIWP council member, last July, and attended his first council meeting on Aug 11. Mahmud Abu Bekir, son of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, was not present yesterday. The court was to have continued

hearing Shahnaz’s testimony. Zainul Rijal informed the court, however, that his client was in London to be with his wife who is facing surgery. Rafie and Akbardin want the court to ensure Mahmud Abu Bekir’s presence so that he can verify the testimony and produce the necessary documents. Saadiah said Shahnaz’s lawyers should provide documents to prove Mahmud Abu Bekir could pay the RM100 million mutaah (gift) that was the subject of a claim before the court. Rafie said in mutaah appli-

cations that it was not necessary for documentation to be provided. “I also feel that a RM100 million gift is like kacang putih (peanuts) compared to his assets worldwide.” Mohamad fixed March 12 and 13 to continue the hearing. Apart from the mutaah claim, Shahnaz is seeking RM300 million in joint matrimonial assets. Shahnaz had filed the application, early last year, seeking a divorce, joint matrimonial assets of RM300 million and a gift of RM100 million as compensation. The couple were married

on Jan 9, 1992, and have a son, Raden Murya, 17. In her application for divorce and claim for assets and compensation, Shahnaz claimed Mahmud Abu Bekir, who is also group deputy chairperson of Cahaya Mata Sarawak, owned property in many places, thousands of hectares in Sarawak and land in Bukit Tunku here. Their joint assets include shares in 15 different companies, including Cahaya Mata Sarawak and Sarawak Cable Bhd. The couple also possess assets in the form of savings, EPF and Amanah Saham Bumiputera units. — Malaysiakini





NATIONAL Nobody in the Higher Education Ministry knows anything about academic freedom Associate Prof Dr Azmi Sharom UM Academic Staff Association PRESIDENT

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Ghauth’s views a ‘wake-up call’ Unik CEO believes changes can be implemented despite internal resistance

THE nation’s higher education sector needs to improve the quality of the services provided to students and graduates in light of Universiti Malaya (UM) vice-chancellor (VC) Tan Sri Prof Dr Ghauth Jasmon’s statement in The Malay Mail two days ago. Prime Minister’s Office Special Innovation Unit (Unik) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Kamal Jit Singh told The Malay Mail Ghauth’s referral to “a culture of excellence” is greatly needed for the country to achieve Vision 2020. “Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has also been issuing wake-up calls to change, improve and excel in what we’re doing, be it in universities, education or any other sector. We only have eight years left till 2020 and all of us have to wake up and smell the coffee. “The programmes the PM has been working on since he came into office are all

focused on excellence, which is broken down to two important qualities — innovation and competitiveness. “When combined, the sum becomes more than the individual parts for an exponential effect which is needed for 2020,” he said. Kamal Jit believed the don only chose to speak at the beginning of his second term as VC as he needed to “lay the foundations of his house” prior to taking any action. He also believed time would allow Ghauth to successfully implement the changes despite internal resistance. “Unfortunately, this is what leaders face. A leader’s job is to show people that change is necessary. Innovation means change that brings value but most humans will resist change as it is part of being human. “There will be those who resist his viewpoint. These people can choose to work elsewhere. But if they start mingling with the best brains when he (Ghauth) starts to bring them in, they will inevi-

tably be influenced. “If he starts filling up important positions with people who want to progress, this attitude will rub off on the rest. Humans adapt to their surroundings,” said Kamal Jit. He noted eminent ivy league universities such as Cambridge and Oxford have also taken the same steps UM is taking today. Touching on whether UM’s new direction would die out once Ghauth was no longer VC, Kamal Jit said once such a legacy begins, it becomes difficult for it to “simply die out”. “The autonomy is the first gear in the machine and as this gear turns, it will start turning other gears. This is pretty much a movement deliberately started by the government to build excellence in the education system. “It’s going to move upward and forward. The country is maturing. We are starting to give autonomy, getting VCs to take ownership and pride in their institutions.” Kamal Jit said Ghauth had

If he starts filling up important positions with people who wants to progress, this attitude will rub off on the rest. Humans adapt to their surroundings Datuk Dr Kamal Jit Singh Prime Minister’s Office Special Innovation Unit (Unik) chief executive officer

taken the right steps to attract the best brains in the world and to bring home the nation’s best brains from abroad. “Best brains are always attracted to the best names, best facilities and best labs. That is why our universities need to bring in icons. Malaysian academics will come when icons are here. That’s what he meant with the three Nobel Prize winners. The icons of excellence need to be here,” said Kamal Jit.


Lim slams former govt for ‘past sins’ By Llew-Ann Phang

THE state government should not pay for the sins and failures of the previous government. This was Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s response to a recent statement by state Barisan Nasional working committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, who had called on him to apologise to

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Penangites for using the Tang Hak Ju case to gain political mileage. “It does not make sense. How can you blame the present administration for your (past) mistakes and refuse to apologise for it? “The state has already lost RM14.7 million in the case. If we lose at the Federal courts, is the state BN or Teng going to pay the quantum back?” Lim said at a press conference at the government adminis-

tration complex in Komtar, yesterday. Tang’s case involved a 10.6 acre (4.28ha) quarry site leased to an individual in 2001 but the deal was later cancelled. He sought RM1.8 million in compensation in 2004 which the then BN-led state government refused, which led to legal proceedings in which the High Court awarded Tang RM40 million, including interests.

The Court of Appeal overturned the decision and ordered RM500,000 instead be paid in incidental costs to Tang. The action followed with an application to stay the ruling. On Jan 21, after the Appellate Court ruled Penang was not liable to pay RM40 million to Tang, Teng accused Lim of “smearing the BN’s reputation in the state” by calling it a scam and scandal before the 2008 General Election.

UM will still face interference, says association president THE sweeping changes set to change the course and direction of Universiti Malaya (UM) will still face political interference and great resistance despite promises of autonomy, says the institution’s Academic Staff Association (PKAUM) president Associate Prof Dr Azmi Sharom. Speaking to The Malay Mail, Azmi said he was not sure whether UM vice-chancellor (VC) Tan Sri Prof Dr Ghauth Jasmon’s noble intentions would succeed as he might face flak from all corners. “Even if his intentions are good, there will be political interference. I’m not sure if he has enough freedom. Everybody will have a say. “Imagine scrapping the Tamil Department in the Malay Academic Studies Department. I guarantee you the way things are, there will be political interference,” said Azmi. He pointed out the revamp would have to be considered carefully as a university is not just to train workers. “It is also to train thinkers and be a storage house of knowledge. Sure, certain disciplines may not have immediate commercial value but it doesn’t mean they are not of value. “For example, the Arts and Social Sciences has no immediate commercial value but it does have humanitarian value. We don’t have a philosophy department in any university in this country and you wonder why our country is in such state because we have no philosophers,” said the Law Faculty professor. Azmi also fired a broadside against Ghauth’s controversial statement that “UM was never good” saying he needs to look back to the 60s and 70s when eminent scholars and historians such as Profes-

AZMI: Despite his best intentions, Ghauth will still face political challenges

sor Wong Gong Wu taught at the university. “What happened was in the early 70s, when Mahathir introduced the University and College University Act (AUKU), a lot of good academics left because they were fed up. You had the AUKU and NEP and suddenly meritocracy got chucked out of the window and government interference went up,” said Azmi. Touching on the university’s newly-achieved freedom and autonomy, Azmi said it had nothing to do with “real academic freedom”. “What they are talking about is student intake and other matters but they haven’t touched on sensitive issue of academic freedom. When they say autonomy, does it mean we can set the courses we want to set and the government has no say in it? “Nobody in the Higher Education Ministry knows anything about academic freedom. They don’t understand what it implies. We can be cynical and just say sandiwara (theatrics) but in reality, they don’t understand its implication, so they’re just saying it but they don’t understand it.”


Lawyer prepared to cooperate if his safety is assured Lawyer Kamal Hisham Jaafar, who is wanted in relation to a RM660,000 criminal breach of trust case, is prepared to return to Malaysia and cooperate with the police

on the condition his safety is assured. At a press conference organised by his partner Rozana Shamsuddin and counsel Datuk Jahaberdeen Mohamed

Yunoos at Jalan Tun Razak yesterday, Kamal Hisham denied he had run away and was not reachable. In a phone call from Dubai during the conference, he

went on to say he was prepared to return and cooperate with police to clear his name. “The police have not contacted me. The case is an abuse against me,” he said.

Rozana said Kamal Hisham has been in Dubai since April last year to manage his legal consultant firm and would be away for two weeks from this Saturday to perform the haj.

She said Kamal Hisham can be contacted at 019-7000006 or his Dubai office number +971557972468 and it was not necessary to go through Interpol. — Bernama


wednesday 1 february 2012



NATIONAL Those making noise are outsiders, not members Tan Sri Megat najmuddin megat khas kgns president


Fee structure to ensure healthy ethnic mix Members accepted the rates and matter blown out of proportion, says president By TERENCE FERNANDEZ, ASRUL HADI ABDULLAH SANI and AZRIL ANNUAR

A STORM of controversy has erupted among social media users after the distribution of a photograph showing a membership price list for one of Malaysia’s most golf clubs which charged according to race. The photograph showed Kelab Golf Negara Subang (KGNS), one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious golf clubs, charging racebased membership rates with

RM35,000-RM65,000 for Malays, RM45,000-RM80,000 for Chinese, RM60,000RM80,000 for Indians and RM40,000-RM50,000 for “Others”. The photograph, originating from a memo on the club’s bulletin board, went viral on sites such as Facebook and Twitter yesterday and drew scathing comments from users. However, the club has maintained that they do not fix the rates, and that it was done by a finance company. Its president Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas (pic) said KGNS will not make any

apologies for its race-based quota for membership. The policy, he said, is practiced by all clubs and as KGNS is a private club, the criteria for membership and rates which are imposed according to ethnicity was agreed upon by all members of the executive council. The council, he said, comprises members of various races. He said while KGNS had long practised racial quotas to ensure a healthy mix of ethnicity in its membership, it had never mandated the prices at which memberships could be sold.

He noted that ironically, the imposition of race-based membership fees is the only way KGNS can assure that the club’s members comprised people of different ethnic backgrounds. “We want the club’s membership to be representative of Malaysia’s cultural mix. Imposing this kind of fee structure will help us achieve that,” he said. He said he was upset that the matter has been blown out of proportion. He added that the fee structure which was stuck to the bulletin board in the club was meant to be an internal memo al-

though all the club members are aware of it. “The people who are making noise are outsiders, not club members. And as a private club, KGNS will not make any apologies for its membership requirements as it was a unanimous decision among members. “Race-based quota for club memberships which impose different fees for different races has been in practice for a long time from the inception of many clubs. This is because in the old days, certain races were representative of different economic levels.” To a question as to why a

standard fee for all was not imposed, seeing that the economic disparity among is no longer as vast, Megat Najmuddin said this was not entirely true and imposing a standard fee for all will only see members of a certain race dominating the club.



MCA man: Not my intention to offend anyone

Najib: White envelopes had nothing to do with govt

“I WAS made a ‘victim’ for bringing some 50 people to attend Perkasa’s Chinese New Year open house in Kampung Baru on Sunday.” This was the position taken by embattled MCA Seputeh division committee member Collin Tiew. Even though he knew it was organised by the Malay rights NGO Perkasa, he thought it was just a regular Chinese New Year visit and did not expect the function to turn controversial, Tiew claimed yesterday. “It was not my intention (to offend anyone). If my action has hurt people’s feelings, I would like to apologise to the Chinese community,” he said. Perkasa, at its open house on Sunday, stirred controversy after its chief Ibrahim Ali handed out ang pow in white envelopes, a colour reserved for funerals in Chinese culture. Tiew, who is also MCA Sri Desa branch chief, raised the ire of netizens for his presence at that event. Defending his action, Tiew said he attended the event in his capacity as chairperson of a welfare association and not as an MCA member. Asked why he had gone

‘FAUX PAX’: Ibrahim Ali (standing, in white shirt) giving out the ang pow money in white envelopes to those attending Perkasa’s open house. Looking on is Tiew (yellow shirt)

up on stage during the event and praised Perkasa, Liew claimed he was merely translating Ibrahim’s speech for the Chinese audience. “I had attended another open house and arrived half-way through Ibrahim’s speech and the MC (master of ceremony) suddenly asked me to translate Ibrahim’s speech. “I do not endorse what he said, I merely translated it,” he said. When it was pointed out to Tiew that he had spo-

ken first in Malay before repeating in Cantonese, Tiew said he did so because he found it necessary since Perkasa was the event organiser. ‘I’ve never met Ibrahim before’ Tiew added that he had never met Ibrahim until yesterday and had only known the Perkasa chief from the newspapers. If Ibrahim’s event on Sunday had a personal agenda, then he owed an apology to the Chinese community, said Tiew.

Because of the white ang pow incident, even his family has become a target of criticism, he said, adding that he, too, was personally upset by the white ang pow packets and was outraged by Ibrahim’s ignorance of Chinese culture. Asked if he regretted attending yesterday event, Tiew replied: “If Ibrahim Ali did this for his personal agenda, then I regret it... I am being condemned, I’m a victim of this incident.” — Malaysiakini

THE use of white envelopes to distribute “ang pow” money at Perkasa’s Chinese New Year gathering last Sunday had nothing to do with the government, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said leader of the NGO, Datuk Ibrahim Ali, is an independent member of parliament. Perkasa is a Malay rightwing group. “As such, the white packet distributed at the Chinese New Year function should not be construed as acceptance by the government,” Najib said in a posting on his Chinese-language “Ah Jib Gor” Facebook page. “I think that as long as we can have a better understanding of Chinese culture and promote sensitivity to cultural taboos, such controversial events can be avoided. “We all know that ‘ang pow’ means a red envelope, dominated by red rather than other colours,” he said, adding that the incident can be used as a social experience. Yesterday, Perkasa was asked to apologise for insulting the Chinese

community by using white envelopes as ang pow packets at its first Chinese New Year “open house”. White envelopes are reserved for funerals in Chinese custom. Gerakan vice-president Datuk Mah Siew Keong had said that giving cash in white envelopes during Chinese New Year, a festival meant to bring prosperity and joy, showed that Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali was “greatly insensitive and insincere”. MCA Youth secretarygeneral Chai Kim Sen had said that Perkasa’s action was disrespectful to Chinese culture and custom. He said Ibrahim should act in the people’s interests and understand the multi-cultural society and the taboos and prohibitions of each ethnic group and religion. Perkasa deputy president Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar had explained that due to the large turnout at the open house at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampung Baru, the red ang pow packets ran out and white envelopes were used instead. — Bernama








NATIONAL People who read the same newspaper for 25 years do not do the same anymore if they feel the newspaper does not concur with their own views KP Waran former New Straits Times executive editor



Fewer than half of Malaysians trust local media Edelman Trust Barometer shows the industry is second least trusted in country FEWER than half of Malaysians have trust in the local media industry. That was among the findings revealed in the inaugural 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, published yesterday at the Mandarin Hotel. While trust in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and businesses at large are still in the green, trust in both government and media agencies are in the red, the study showed. Media is in a precarious position if the statistics are anything to go by — it is the second least trusted industry in Malaysia, ranking only ahead of the brewing and

spirits industry, with a trust rating of 46 per cent. This is the first time Malaysia was featured in Edelman’s trust barometer, a trust study that the Public Relations firm had been doing for the past 12 years involving 25 countries globally. Ironically, trust in media around the world seemed to be only slightly higher, with countries like China and India faring surprisingly high up the rankings. “The study in a way shows the honesty of Malaysians. They call a spade a spade, and they do not hesitate to voice their opinions probably because they don’t have

to look over their shoulders and see who is watching,” said the former New Straits Times executive editor KP Waran. Waran also added that the media has “failed” to regain trust in the eyes of the public though the opportunities were presented. “People who read the same newspaper for 25 years do not do the same anymore if they feel the newspaper does not concur with their own views,” he said. Apart from that, a government official is also the second least trusted spokesperson who Malaysians listen to, with technical experts and

academicians faring high up the list. Meanwhile, Tindakan Strategi Sdn Bhd Senior Adjunct Datuk Dr Mohd Ghazali Noor said the country is facing “testing” times as the public has become very opinionated over the past four years. “We are basically naked to changes right now. But I believe it comes back to the people what kind of changes they desire. Objection for the sake of objection won’t bring us any good,” he said. Edelman’s Asia Pacific CEO David Brain, who presented the findings, however admitted that though the firm was

definite about the numbers, it was not sure on what the number meant. “What it exactly means, we do not know. Since it is the first time we are doing the study in Malaysia, we are looking for more feedbacks in this respect,” he said. Edelman from here on will include Malaysia as a part of its annual trust barometer, Brain added. The trust barometer is conducted through a series of detailed online surveys. This year’s study for Malaysia was done using 1,000 general public respondents and 200 informed public respondents.


Roasted pig head found in mosque By AIZAT SHARIF

A ROASTED pig head was found placed at the entrance staircase to a mosque. This was the discovery made by a mosque committee member when he went to the Nur Iman Mosque in Batu 18, Jalan Ipoh at 5.15am yesterday. The 70-year-old man was

about to open the door to the mosque for Subuh prayer when he made the discovery. Gombak district police chief ACP Abdul Rahim Abdullah confirmed the incident. “The pig head, which looked as if it had been roasted, might have been dumped there several hours before,” he said. “The man thought it was an animal carcass, but rea-

lised it was a pig head upon closer inspection.” Abdul Rahim said the police were alerted shortly after and they made their way to the mosque. “So far, no arrests have been made but we have taken the statement from the witness who found the pig head,” he said. The case is being investigated under Section 295 of the Penal Code for injuring or defiling a place of wor-

REMOVAL: Police carrying away the offending carcass

ship with intent to insult the religion of any class. He also urged the public to be calm and let the police conduct their investigation. Anybody who witnessed or has information about the incident is urged to contact Gombak district police headquarters at 03-6126 2222 or the nearest police station.

Court sets April 4 for trial in NFC case THE Sessions Court has set two days from April 4 for the trial of businessman Datuk Shamsulbahrin Ismail, who is charged with cheating National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) director Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail of RM1.755 million. Judge Rozilah Salleh set the date when the case came up for mention yesterday. Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) prosecution unit chief Datuk Abdul Razak Musa told the court the prosecution would call 15 witnesses. Shamsulbahrin, 46, is charged with cheating Mohamad Salleh by promising a consulting service with the intention to dishonestly induce Mohamad Salleh, who is the NFC executive chairman, to agree to pay for the service. Shamsulbahrin, who is the chief executive officer of Samsulbahrin Resources Sdn Bhd, is charged with committing the offence at a restaurant in Bukit Tunku here at 6pm on Nov 20 last year. He is also charged with cheating Mohamad Salleh by deceiving him into surrendering cheques for RM1.755 million. The offence was allegedly committed at Solaris Mont Kiara here between Nov 25 and Dec 6. Both the charges were made under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years, with whipping and a fine, upon conviction. Shamsulbahrin was represented by Zarina Ismail. — Bernama


For sale — city flats cheaper than cars By HAMZAH NAZARI

CITY HALL (DBKL) hopes to sell 34,146 low cost flats via the special funding scheme for the sale of houses under the National Economic Action Council’s People Housing Programme (PPR-MTEN). “As of now, 4,919 units of low cost flats (PPR) and public houses (PA) have been sold and another 12,675 peo-

ple have accepted the offer letters we sent out recently,” said City Hall deputy director Datuk Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz yesterday. Of the 34,146 flats offered, he said 14,584 of them are owned by DBKL while the rest are owned by PPR-MTEN. He expressed confidence that DBKL would be able to achieve 100 per cent sell rate. “The price of the units are cheaper than a car. If they can buy a car, then they can

own a house.” he said. The special funding scheme, managed by Syarikat Perumahan Wilayah Persekutuan, would help those who are currently renting the flats, in applying for a full loan with no downpayment when purchasing the unit. Mhd Amin Nordin said the interest rate has yet to be confirmed, but has been tentatively set at 6.5 per cent. “In the event of the buyer’s death, their children will also have the option of continuing

the scheme,” he said. At the same time, Mhd Amin Nordin said DBKL would offer a buyback guarantee to those who defaulted on the loan for a period of six months. He said the price range for the flats start from as low as RM21,500 for a single-bedroom unit to RM35,000 for three-bedrooms unit, with monthly payments of between RM100 to RM300 depending on the cost and duration of the loan which can be extended to a maximum of

35 years. “This is relatively affordable from the current rental fees of between RM94 to RM124.” he said. Mhd Amin Nordin said DBKL only sent out offer letters to those who had no outstanding rent payments with the council. “Logically, if they can’t manage to pay rent, how can they repay the loan?” he reiterated. Asked on public hesitation to take up the offer due

to maintenance issues, Mhd Amin Nordin explained that City Hall had set up accounts for the maintenance of the flats which would be handled by 16 joint management bodies. “Owners will still have to pay the maintenance fee but City Hall will subsidise the rest of the unsold units,” he said, adding that City Hall was planning to hold roadshows to educate members of the public regarding the scheme soon.

HSDM/AUTO/2012/014_Malay Mail_370x260mm THE MALAY MAIL






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NATIONAL I am in the midst of starting my memoirs. It’s in the early stages now and I hope to complete it in the next two years. Tan Sri Elyas Omar FORMER KL MAYOR


Elyas: Much work needed for 2020 Former KL Mayor speaks his mind on his memoirs, his ideas and why we don’t need an FT ministry By HARESH DEOL

ONCE the icon of Kuala Lumpur. Tan Sri Elyas Omar had his fair share of fans and critics as he played the role of the city’s third datuk bandar (lord mayor) for more than a decade. It was on this very day, 31 years ago, that he assumed the hot seat until he left office in 1992. Born on Nov 16, 1936, this former Penang Free School student is well-known among city dwellers and has carved a name in the sports scene, sitting as president of the Badminton Assoociation of Malaysia, the KL Football Association and vice presidnet of the FA of Malaysia in the 80s and 90s. Elyas was instrumental in beautifying the city via the KL Orchid Park, KL Bird Park, Bandar Tun Razak Park and Permaisuri Lake Gardens. He planned the integration of KL’s transportation system and the construction of the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil well ahead of the 1998 Commonwealth Games. He was, however, embroiled in a controversy for failing to adhere to Treasury regulations after purchasing 23 Volvo cars for City Hall. Taking full responsibility, he relinquished his position on Sept 17, 1992. Age has caught up, but Elyas remains his witty self despite being wheelchairbound for the past eight months due to a spinal problem. The Malay Mail Senior Journalist HARESH DEOL caught up with the man as he spoke about the difficulty of pleasing ministers, developing Kampung Baru to the construction of an “underground city” ahead of the Federal Territories Day celebration today. The Malay Mail (TMM): Good afternoon, sir. How’s your back? Elyas Omar (EO): I suffered a slipped disc, sometime ago, but was still able to walk. I could feel some pain and discomfort, and

it worsened as there was a problem with a nerve in my spinal cord, and this later affected my legs. I try to use a walking aid (points to a pair of forearm crutches) but my kneecaps are giving me problems as well. It’s part and parcel of aging. (smiles) TMM: Let’s start with your days as the Lord mayor. Do you think things are different today compared to your days as mayor? EO: I was both the secretary-general of the Federal Territory Ministry, as it was known then, and the mayor. I held two positions with one salary until then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, abolished the ministry. I was lucky Tun wanted me to deal directly with him as it made my job easier. Although, legally, the mayor has ultimate powers over city council matters, it is difficult when there is a minister directly above you. Now, they have brought back the FT Ministry (the current Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry). TMM: Is it safe to say our current mayor, Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail, does not enjoy the “freedom” you have had? What do you think of Ahmad Fuad? EO: He is good. But now, we have too many people wanting to have a say. Life is difficult for a mayor. I had to deal with ministers, so I can truly understand his problem. Tun Mahathir saw the problem and he quickly did something about it, abolishing the (FT) ministry. TMM: But the FT Ministry isn’t the only problem. We now have opposition leaders in various constituencies in KL. EO: I don’t think that’s a problem. When I was mayor, Batu and Cheras were under the Opposition, but City Hall came under the federal government, so there were no major issues. If I could do it,

need to make KL into a topnotch city as it is still not onpar with other major cities in the world.

I suppose the other mayors are able to do it, too. TMM: What about calls to initiate local council elections?

TMM: What are your views on Kampung Baru’s proposed development?

EO: I’ll write about that in my book. TMM: A book? Let’s leave that for later. Do you believe KL is ready for 2020? EO: Yes, but subject to several factors. A lot of work has got to be done and we are pressed for time. Firstly, we must know what we are doing. Secondly, there should already be an eightyear plan in place, with an annual review of those plans. It will be a pressurecooker plan, but KL can be transformed into a city just like New York or Tokyo. I had, during my time, pushed for a network of walkways in the city. Also, I was a strong advocate of setting up a network of underground walkways sandwiched by stalls or malls under the city. I wanted to build an underground city in KL. I visited cities in the USA and Japan. During one of my visits to Nagoya (Japan), I couldn’t find any shops as there was so much open space and the shops were underground instead! The Japanese and Westerners go underground to escape the cold weather, especially during winter. We could use the same concept, too, with the underground city fully air conditioned so we can escape the heat above. It didn’t materialise during my time, but I’m glad the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) has launched a pedestrian walkway (from KLCC to Bukit Bintang) recently. I hope to see more of such walkways because walking is healthy. TMM: But wouldn’t there be lots of land acquisition issues when building an underground city? EO: I don’t see it as a problem. We either buy the land from the owners or embark on a long-term lease. After

wheelchair-bound: Elyas Omar suffered a slipped disc some time ago — Pic: RAZAK GHAZALI

all, it is the underground that is going to be developed. I’m sure the legalities can be sorted out between the owners and the government. An underground city would also promote a comprehensive transport plan and the construction of a non-stop rail line connecting major areas. The city will be a safer place to live in. Women don’t want to walk alone in a tunnel at night. I remember a lot of people were mugged in the short tunnel connecting the old railway station and Masjid Negara. If you have a walkway brightly lit and busy, crime will be reduced. TMM: There seems to be a fixation on constructing new buildings in the city despite low occupancy rates. What’s your take? EO: There shouldn’t be anymore buildings in KL. Full stop! I think we have far too many buildings and it is repetitive — same type

of malls, same type of office blocks. We need more open spaces, more football fields and basketball courts. Even big cities like New York and Hong Kong have open spaces. Why not KL? We don’t even have a rugby stadium or cricket oval in KL! We don’t need to increase the quantity of people in KL. We need to increase the quality of life. Instead of tearing down old buildings for new skyscrapers, why don’t we build underground instead, with parks and gardens above to beautify the city. Recreational facilities will naturally keep youths off the streets. Families can spend quality time together. TMM: Do you think the PM’s recent pledge to spend over RM1 billion to turn KL into a topnotch city will help? EO: RM1 billion is not enough, but it is a good start. Najib has started the ball rolling, but we need more than that, for sure. We

EO: Kampung Baru must be developed! Of course, with the consensus of the land owners as the development must benefit the land owners. It must be done by the government and not an individual company. As far as I know, the people in Kampung Baru want development. During my time as mayor, folks in Kampung Baru were asking why there isn’t any development in the area. Even if we don’t develop all 250 acres, we can develop at least 50, and that would be good enough. We must remember there are many immigrants living in the area now as tenants. The matter must be handled wisely and there must be a proper strategy. I know what the strategy is, but I’m not going to tell you! (laughs) TMM: You helped to build cities abroad. Who have you worked with? EO: I was appointed by the government of Senegal to help build new townships. I am currently dealing with a government in the Middle East to help build new townships. It is still in the early stages, so I don’t want to dwell too much into it for now. TMM: Has anyone in the country consulted your expertise? EO: No comment. (smiles) TMM: You mentioned a book earlier. Have you started writing? EO: I am starting my memoirs. It’s in the early stages now and I hope to complete it in the next two years. ● For Elyas’ take on Malaysian sports, read page 39











NATIONAL For now, we will leave any future development for Klang in the hands of the state government Mohd Ikhsan Mukri vice-president, Klang Municipal Council



RM1.7m ‘thank you’ from council

No more new budget hotels for SS15

Rebates, gifts and free use of facilities for a month to mark 15th anniversary

ebrations will kick off at the Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall on Feb 11. For more information, log on to or contact 03-80263131.

THE Subang Municipal Council (MPSJ) will not approve any new applications for budget hotels in SS15. Its president, Datuk Asmawi Kasbi, said there were six budget hotels in the area at the moment. “We have decided not to issue any new licences for budget hotels in this area,” he said. At a meeting, Zone 1 (SS12SS19) councillor Dr Loi Kheng Min asked about the application status of the De Uptown Hotel. Asmawi said the hotel was one of the six budget hotels that had been approved by the council. “However, problems occurred following changes in the budget hotel’s ownership and the hotel has stopped its operations for a while,” he said. “Because of that, the new owner is required to submit a fresh application with a proposal plan for the council’s approval.” “If they fulfill all the requirements and we are satisfied, their licence will be approved.” Asmawi advised all the budget hotel operators to send in their proposals and plans before operating their businesses.

general area of the monument. Observations about their municipal administration similar to the Xiamen trip were made in regards to their civil service, landscaping and levels of cleanliness. “We have no immediate plans to emulate what we have studied from these cities,” said Mohd Iksan. “The objective of the trips was to gain insight into to how things are done there. It took Xiamen 20 years to be where it is now and we did gain some valuable insights on town planning.

“For now, we will leave any future development for Klang in the hands of the state government.”


A RM1.75 million “thank you” awaits the residents of Subang Jaya. This is the sum which has been allocated by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council to reward their stakeholders in conjunction with the council’s 15th anniversary celebrations, to be held this month. TV sets, ipads and handphones are among the gifts that would be given in a lucky draw in July for those who have paid their assessments. Although the number of prizes have not been decided yet, the council said it is a “small token of appreciation” to the those who pay up their dues on time. Council president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi said those who pay their assessments through the kiosks at the council will also receive free mango plants. “The first 2,000 who pay

their assessments via the kiosks will be eligible to redeem the mango plants from the council’s landscape department,” he said. Asmawi said the council would also be offering a five per cent rebate for those opting to pay their assessments online. “The five per cent rebate will cost the council RM1.7 million and we are expecting at least 40 per cent of the taxpayers to use this payment method,” he said. There is also good news for traffic offenders in the municipality as the council will be offering discounts to traffic offenders from now to March 11. “Traffic offenders will only have to pay RM20 for certain traffic offences committed as we want to encourage them to pay their compounds,” he said. To encourage the public to lead healthy lifestyles, the council will also not be charging for the fees of its sporting facilities, including the swimming pool, gymnasium and badminton

EARLY BIRD: David Lim, 60, paying his assessment through a kiosk with the help of a Subang Jaya Municipal Council staff. He will receive a mango plant and is eligible to take part in a lucky draw

and sepak takraw courts, in March. “However, individuals will only be allowed to use these facilities three times a week during the month,”

Asmawi said. The council will also be organising special cooking and sewing classes at the 3C Complex in February. The 15th anniversary cel-


No plans to ‘copy’ from study trips By FAIZAL NOR IZHAM

DESPITE spending time exploring Xiamen and Jaipur on a recent lawatan sambil belajar, the Klang Municipal Council has yet to disclose what it plans to emulate from these cities for its municipality. Fifteen officers, including the council’s president, took part in the state governmentsponsored excursions last December. Their findings during both trips were discussed at the

council’s full-board meeting at its headquarters here yesterday. “The five-day trip to Xiamen, which is the main town in Fujian province, took place from Dec 13 to 17, said council vice-president Mohd Ikhsan Mukri (pic). “The purpose of both trips was to observe and learn more about their infrastructure, town-planning, civil service, transportation, landscaping, lighting and cleanliness levels of rivers and beaches.” The Xiamen trip was led by Mohd Ikhsan and those who took part included the coun-

cil’s engineering department director Anuar Abdul Wahab, councillors and directors from the town planning, irrigation and drainage, parks and recreation, financial and environmental services departments. “The delegation made visits to the Xiamen’s municipal bureau of public facilities and landscaping, the city planning exhibition centre, the foreign affairs office, historical buildings, cultural centres and even their newly-developed Islamic Cultural Centre,” Ikhsan said. “We were also given a briefing on management and operational procedures of Xiamen

Port by their port authority, which is under Xiamen’s municipal government. This is unlike Port Klang, which is run under the state government.” He said their infrastructure, such as their well-organised bus rapid transit (BRT) system and well-lit buildings, resembled those of a developed nation with RMB30 billion invested in the features in the past five years. The Jaipur trip also featured a visit to the Taj Mahal, in which delegates took note of irrigation and infrastructural structures surrounding the

Adhere to renovation guidelines, says council THE Klang Municipal Council is urgingl residents to get a copy of the the council’s renovation guidelines before they renovating their homes. Council vice-president Mohd

Iksan Mukri said although the guidelines have been in existence since 1993, not many were aware of them and and there had been a growing number of homes with illegal

extensions. The issue of poorly-planned housing renovations in Klang was brought up at the Klang Municipal Council’s (MPK) e full-board meeting yesterday.

“These renovations, sometimes unauthorised, are usually done to extend the front or sides of a premises. However, the renovation works often tend to disrupt neigh-

bouring houses,” Mohd Iksan said. He said many such cases had been reported to the council last year, although he was unable to give an

exact number. “We recommend anyone intending to renovate their houses to first contact us and ask for our renovation guidelines, available at RM10.”





F ● wednesday 1 february 2012



NATIONAL I feel ashamed and saddened by UIA’s approach, it is apparent that it is being made a tool of others Abdul Aziz Bari CONSTITUTIONAL law expert



UIA out to embarrass me, says Aziz Bari

Soliano stalwart Ador dies He was a musician’s musician with gentle mannerism and outstanding talent By Errol de Cruz

JAZZ maestro Salvador Guerzo (pic), stalwart of Malaysia’s first family of music, the Solianos, died yesterday morning after succumbing to a heart attack, aged 68. The saxophonist, who was the son-in-law of famed Orkes RTM founder Alfonso Soliano, is survived by eight children — Daniel, Rachel, Donna, Donnie, Don, Dionne, Dado and Diane. His wife, Francisca, succumbed to cancer.

Guerzo arrived in Malaysia in 1971 having performed with Filipino Romy Posada’s band at the Bangkok Hilton Hotel in Thailand for several years in the 1960s. He subsequently played at the Merlin Hotel’s Harlequin Ballroom in a jazz combo, which included his wife Francisca Soliano, Salamiah Hassan, Maximo Soliano and Nasir P. Ramlee. Blessed with gentle mannerism and immense talent, he was a musician’s musician who left his home in Pangasinan, in the Philippines, aged 24, to perform for many years in Bangkok

where he teamed up with jazz’s great saxophonist, Stan Getz, in 1967. Guerzo also did arrangements for Orkes RTM and trained musicians at the Petronas Performing Arts division from 1991 to 2006 before lecturing at Aswara. Known as ‘Ador’, he arranged for Orkes RTM, Petronas and the Solianos with his distinctive Getz-style. After Alfonso and his nephew, Tony Soliano, passed on, Guerzo carried the family’s music pennant, guiding the next generation. His biggest achievement was his role in the Solianos’

14-track debut album, Pusaka: Remembering Alfonso Soliano, released last year. With Soliano siblings Valentino (bass), Irene (vocals), Tristano (piano/guitar), Isabella (vocals), Rizal (drums) and their cousin, Tricia D’Cruz (vocals), the tracks included Tudung Periuk, Tanah Pusaka, Gadis Idamanku, Getaran Jiwa, Dibawah Sinar Bulan Purnama, and Airmata Berderai. “Pusaka was a promise I had made to Alfonso,” Guerzo said earlier. “I’m happy I fulfilled it. Now, his music will live on.”


Health Ministry: Dengue fatalities on the rise By MEENA LAKSHANA

AT LEAST six people fell prey to the dengue virus last month, raising concern of a possible upward trend in the weeks to come. Health Ministry directorgeneral Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said there were six reported deaths from the disease last month compared to only three within the same period last year. “Out of the six fatalities,

three were in Selangor, two in the Federal Territories and one in Negri Sembilan. Two of the victims were children,” he said yesterday after launching the Interschool Anti-Aedes Rangers Competition 2012 in Sri Aman Girls Secondary School. Dr Hasan said despite a lower number of reported dengue cases compared to the last, there was a steady increase of reported cases per week this year. “More than 400 cases were reported weekly last month, compared to 350 cases per

week in the same period last year,” he said. “There were 440 cases in the first week of this year, which escalated to 488 cases in the last week,” he added.

Dr Hasan attributed the rise of weekly reported cases to an increase in Aedes aegypti mosquitoe’s — the primary vector of dengue — breeding grounds. He also said the rainy season was one of the contributing factors to the problem. He also said out of 19,884 cases reported last year, 21 per cent or 4,222 cases involved children. SC Johnson Malay Cluster general manager Ramon Daez (pic) said selected students of participating schools would be accompanied by teachers to visit

households to educate the community on dengue prevention. Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai reportedly said on Jan 16 that the dengue vaccine was expected to be available nationwide in two to three years. On a different note, the Interschool Anti-Aedes Rangers Competition 2012 will see 100 schools in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya, Johor Baru and Penang vie for the grand prize of RM10,000 in combating dengue in their respective communities.

CONSTITUTIONAL law expert Abdul Aziz Bari claims Universiti Islam Antarabangsa’s (UIA) public announcement yesterday that his ‘professor’ title will be dropped is an attempt to embarrass him. “I feel ashamed and saddened by UIA’s approach, it is apparent that it is being made a tool of others,” he said in a statement. He said UIA’s comments showed it was ignorant of the relationship between the ‘professor’ title and knowledge. “The fact is many retired professors, even though they are not given the ‘emeritus’ title, are still addressed as ‘professor’ because people are confident of and respect their knowledge. “Many professors have retired from UIA, not one has been attacked by UIA like I am being attacked now. Is UIA following Umno’s agenda?” he asked, adding that no university has ever made such a public announcement. “UIA can withdraw my title but it cannot take my knowledge, my expertise will remain with me,” he said. “Unlike others, I did not apply for professorship but I was asked by UIA at the end of 2002, to apply for the position,” he said, responding to Utusan Malaysia’s report yesterday on UIA’s announcement that his ‘professor’ title will be dropped. — Malaysiakini


Chinatown but where are inherent Chinese characteristics? CONCERNS are mounting that Petaling Street is beginning to lose its charm due to the lack of local presence in the area has often been dubbed as a bargain hunter’s paradise. Instead of seeing more locals or Chinese traders and stall helpers, visitors are often greeted by Bangladeshi, Myanmar and Indonesian workers. The Malay Mail reported yesterday that eight out of 10 stalls are manned by foreigners. We decided to take to

the streets again to get the opinion of local and foreign tourists visiting the area on the matter. ● Yeap Yar Chen, 28, a lecturer from Sabak Bernam: “I’m just here looking for clothes and prefer visiting the shops here rather than the roadside stalls as foreign workers tend to be pushy and rude

to customers. “They often try to con people and the prices are usually not fixed. For example, they initially claim an item is priced at RM100 and then proceed to offer it for RM50 or RM30 if you refuse. I can often guess the actual price since I am a local. “I feel Chinatown should stay true to its namesake as it is a strategic and popular destination for tourists. The traders here should try to preserve its international image and not try to con customers.”

● Firdaus Rahim, 25, a businessman from Perak: “I’m in Kuala Lumpur on holiday with my wife and son and we’re here looking around for clothes and other household items. “The problem with many foreign workers is that you always need to bargain with them to get a decent price. Today, for example, it was hard to ask for a lower price

for a pair of pants. “Some of them treated us well but others are plain rude and pushy. I think it is best if locals rather than foreign workers man the stalls here.”

ther take it or leave it. “From my experience, I prefer Chinese traders as they offer consistent prices and don’t try to dupe customers like this.”

● Ramadan Muhd, 22, a law student from Dubai, United Arab Emirates: “From my observation, the workers here tend to harass customers and do not offer good service. They charge high prices to foreigners. For example, they offer RM200 for RM50 items like bags or shoes. Then they tell us to ei-

● Elizabeth, 40, and Mary, 32, both from Ireland: “Today is our second day in KL and we’re just here to window shop. The traders here tend to be pushy, even if you’re just looking around. “They have even pressured customers to buy any items when they look at their goods.”


wednesday 1 february 2012



NATIONAL It’s clearly defamatory. As far as we are concerned, such an association does not exist Datuk Heng Seai Kie Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development



Ministry dares PAS to prove hooker club claim Heng says failure to show such an association exists confirms party is lying PAS leader Azman Shapawi Abdul Rani must prove his claim that a “prostitutes and transvestites association” that receives annual funding from the ministry exists in Kuala Lumpur. This was the gauntlet thrown down by Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Heng Seai Kie. “I challenge them to give us the proof. Failure to do so will only serve to prove that PAS leaders are liars,” she said. Heng told The Mole the allegation was baseless and fabricated, made-up simply for Pas’ political benefit and

to degrade the ministry. “It’s clearly defamatory. As far as we are concerned, such an association does not exist. “How can they accuse us of giving funds to the association when our ministry has no record of such an association whether privately set up or government backed?” she said. Heng was commenting on Azman’s allegation made in a speech in Kuala Terengganu on Jan 24. Azman claimed he and Pas Youth chief Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi had a dialogue session with the said association during which, its

members said they would be voting for Pas in the next general election. He also said the association members accused the Barisan Nasional government of causing them to be “rosak” (becoming immoral) as the Government was irresponsible. The transcript of the speech was available in Azman’s blog post. The video of his speech was also posted in many blogs including Ruang Bicara Faisal where the blogger urged police to promptly investigate the Pas Terengganu deputy information chief’s remarks on the existence of such an

association. Heng said it was ironical that the ministry whose role was in women’s development and well-being, was being accused of supporting immoral activities involving women. The senator also condemned Azman for saying that people who intend to vote for Barisan (in the next election) are worse than prostitutes. “I find such remarks humiliating especially towards women. Is he saying women who do not vote for them are worse than prostitutes? How can a leader make such degrading statements?,” said Heng. — The Mole

NSTP ex-bosses and Ahirudin bury defamation suit hatchet THE defamation suit brought by four former executives of the New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (NSTP) five years ago against blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan has been resolved amicably. Counsel from both sides today tendered a statement of settlement to High Court Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamed. Counsel Rishwant Singh represented the four former NSTP executives while Datuk Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos acted for Ahirudin, who was present in court. The case was scheduled for case management yesterday. On Jan 4, 2007, the four, then NSTP deputy chairman Datuk Kalimullah Hassan, chief executive officer Datuk Syed Faisal Albar, group editor-in-chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun and group editor Brendan Pereira, filed a suit against Ahirudin for defamation

and malicious falsehood. The suit pertained to articles and postings published, or permitted to be published, by Ahirudin in his Rocky’s Bru blog which they claimed referred to them and were defamatory. Initially, the NSTP was also named as a plaintiff in the suit but on Sept 27, 2010, the company withdrew as a plaintiff. In the settlement statement, Ahirudin was said to have recognised, acknowledged and empathised with the embarrassment and inconvenience caused to the four plaintiffs resulting from the publication of the statements. He had expressed his sincere apologies and regret for the distress the postings caused to the plaintiffs The statement also stated that in the spirit of an amicable settlement, both parties agreed that there would be no order as to costs. — Bernama






NATIONAL The licences are also differentiated by colours — blue for buses, red for taxis and green for lorries Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar Land Public Transport Commission chairman



Shock, then relief, for housebuyers Demand for payment result of systems error, says board By ANDREW SAGAYAM

AFTER settling his instalments for his PKNS low-cost house in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara in 2002, Yahaya Ngah Sham had thought his burden of paying for his house was over. However, he received a shock last week when the Selangor Housing and Land Board (LPHS) sent him backdated bills and a demand to pay up RM12,000, which needed to be settled within three months. Yahaya, 69, was not alone. More than 10 others who had bought their houses from the then state government in 1991 also received letters of demand to pay up or face legal action. All of them had finished paying their final instalment and possess grants for their houses. “There are four more years for the agreement (grace payment period) to run, so why is this demand letter

coming now?” asked Yahaya, who was armed with a letter dated 2002, indicating that he had settled his payment. Luckily for them, officers from the board were present at a community hall in their housing area yesterday to collect outstanding payments. When Yahaya and the others confronted the officers, they were told — much to their relief — a “systems error” had occurred and they could ignore the notices. “If they already have a

grant, it means they have settled their loans,” said Mohd Affendi Ahmad Dahlan, an assistant administrative officer with the board. He explained that a “technical error” had caused the false billing. “Our systems were down last week and we had to do some back-up. There was some billing of some old cases. It did not affect these residents alone but also others in Selangor,” he said. The residents were unhappy the board did not seek clarification from them

PAY UP FOR ELSE: The letter of demand that Yahaya received 10 years after he finished paying his instalments

although they suspected a systems problem could have caused the problem. “It can break families, letters like these. House payments are a sensitive issue,” Yahaya said. Affendi assured the residents they would be given a notice of clarification and possibly an apology letter in a day or two.

University lab destroyed by fire AN environmental laboratory at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) campus was destroyed by fire on Monday night. No one was hurt in the blaze, which occurred at 9.30pm. The fire was spotted by a student feeding fish in an enclosure opposite the laboratory. Muhammad Hafizuddin Md Amin, 19, said he smelt something burning and saw smoke emerging from the second-floor laboratory where various types of gas and acids were stored for use in experiments. He tried to put out the fire with the help of fellow students but failed. Firemen brought the blaze under control in 15 minutes, said Kuala Terengganu Fire and Rescue station chief Kamerul Bieza Mohd Kassim. “We sent 15 firemen to the university. We are investigating the cause of the fire and the damage,” he said. UMT Vice-Chancellor Datuk Aziz Deraman said the university would repair the laboratory immediately. He said lectures and experiments would not be affected as the laboratory was not a

We are thankful no one was injured because some students had asked to use the lab just before the fire broke

Datuk Aziz Deraman UMT Vice-Chancellor

main one. “We are thankful no one was injured because some students had asked to use the lab just before the fire broke,” he said. Meanwhile, the operator of chalets in Kampung Tanjung Gelam suffered losses estimated at RM50,000 after the chalets were were destroyed by fire on Monday night. A son of the operator, Shahir Zulfairy Mohd Zakeri, 18, who was at the enquiry counter, said he smelt smoke and found a room on fire. He alerted guests at an adjacent room and called the Fire and Rescue Department. — Bernama


SPAD starts issuing new licences By ANDREW SAGAYAM

COMMERCIAL vehicle operators can now collect their new operating licences from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD). The commission’s chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, said it had started issuing the licences following the completion of the re-registration exercise launched last April. “As promised, those companies that have re-registered with us will be the proud owners of the new licence. Now, there is no need to have 200 licences for 200 buses, for example, just one main licence is enough to cover all 200 buses. This

new licences are valid up to seven years,”. “The licences are also differentiated by colours — blue is for buses, red for taxis and green for lorries.” Earlier, Syed Hamid handed over the first three licences to three companies — Sani Express, Sunlight Radio Taxi Group and Konsortium Logistik Bhd — at the commission’s headquarters at Plaza 1 Sentral here yesterday. Sani Express owner Datuk Wan Mohamad Sani Salleh, Sunlight Radio Taxi Group executive director Abd Jalil Maarof and Konsortium Logistik chief operating officer Datuk Che Azizuddin Che Ismail received the licences. Syed Hamid said the owners and operators of vehicles that had not being registered

LICENSED TO OPERATE: Syed Hamid (second from right) and Syed Azhar Ahmad, SPAD’s Chief Operating Officer (centre) with Abd Jalil (left), Sani (second from left) and Che Azizuddin at the new licence handingover ceremony — Pic: SHAHIR OMAR

would have to re-apply for the licence. “Those who did not follow the registration exercise are considered illegal operators. It is better for them to reapply again and operate legally,” he said.

The re-registration period was stipulated under Section 10(1) of the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (Amendment) Act 2010. Syed Hamid said only 74,700 of the 90,000 commercial vehicle operators

had re-registered. He said the new measure would benefit the operators as they could use any vehicle for all the determined routes and it would make it easier for the authorities to monitor the companies.

“Law enforcement will be more efficient and effective, as action will be taken against the licensee and not the vehicle,” he said. “The focus of the new licensing concept is make sure operators select good drivers and maintain their vehicle well. This will ensure there will less accidents or causalities while they are on the road.” Syed Hamid said the names of vehicle owners and operators had been published in the SPAD website for their reference. Commercial vehicles getting the new licences are mainly lorries and vans transporting personal and commissioned goods, schoolbuses, taxis and hired vehicles.


wednesDAY 1 februARY 2012


Complainants have to submit their personal particulars and provide a detailed account of their complaint

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Complainants have to first file their complaints with the respective parties before contacting Hotline

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your right to be heard

TEL: 019-2614948 (after 9pm)

By Darshini Kandasamy and T.K. LETCHUMY TAMBOO



Early cancellation fee stands Gym agrees to refund after double-charging customer but will keep to termination policy MARC LOURDES wants answers. He is intent on finding out why he was double-charged by a fitness centre for several months and is now has to pay a penalty for wanting to terminate his membership for a mistake he did not make. MARC says he signed up with Celebrity Fitness in Mid Valley Megamall in September last year. “When I signed up, I expressly said I wanted to make a lump sum payment for a year as I did not want the hassle of having a monthly payment charged to my credit card,” he says, adding he forked out RM1,980 for the year-long membership. Four months later, MARC says he checked his credit card statement and to his dismay, discovered Celebrity Fitness had been charging him a monthly membership fee of RM165, on top of the amount he had already paid. On Jan 13, MARC tried to contact the gym several times for clarification but was unsuccessful. Frustrated, MARC says he went directly to the gym

and showed an agent his credit card statements from September to December. The agent, he alleges, claimed the gym had “made a mistake” and asked whether she could keep his card statements, to which he refused. “I told her I had lost faith in her establishment after their negligent actions. I demanded a full refund and cancellation of my membership.” However, the agent replied the gym would only refund the monthly payments he had been charged. Not satisfied with the agent’s terms, MARC questions why his credit card details were stored in the gym’s system in the first place, despite him only making a one-off payment, and how the gym was then able to use the details to charge him every month when he never authorised any monthly payments. He claims the agent was unable to offer him an explanation and instead offered to delete his card details from the system. “I told her I wished to hear from her by the end of the

day on what they would do to solve my problem.” MARC says the agent contacted him later that night and informed him the gym’s management had agreed to cancel his membership and refund his money but that he had to pay a early membership termination penalty. “I told her that I would do no such thing considering the termination had arisen from the negligent misrepresentation of the gym in charging me double of what had been agreed upon in the contract.” He said she also refused a request for him to discuss the matter directly with Celebrity Fitness’ management. “I told her to relay my response to her management and revert to me. She never did.” He deems the situation “unacceptable”, feeling he has been duped and is now being “strong-armed by the management of a big company”. “To demand I pay a penalty over a situation which rose due to their actions is ridiculous and reprehensible.

“One also fears for one’s personal data and information when a company can so easily store credit card details and charge it on a monthly basis.” CELEBRITY FITNESS acknowledges the mistake for having charged MARC the additional monthly fees. A spokesman states: “We are glad the member has informed us of this in order for us to make amendments to his details in the system.” The spokesman says all member details are kept safely in their system for record purposes and also serves as an easy reference for auto renewal of membership. “It is a matter of convenience for our members. “However, as MARC had insisted he did not wish for any charges to be made to his credit card, we offered not to save his details in our system,” she says. The spokesman further clarifies the agent had initially asked for the complainant’s credit card statements to provide the client servicing person proof in or-

der to resolve the situation. She adds the gym has agreed to refund the overcharged amount and the balance of the advance membership fee. The spokesman expresses regret that although they tried to rectify the situation, MARC still chose to end his membership. However, she denies Celebrity Fitness breached its contract, thus, she says MARC will still have to pay the termination penalty fee. “He was made aware of the fact that those who choose early cancellation of membership will be imposed a penalty fee. As part of the contract, we are unable to retract that as it is our policy.” When contacted, MARC maintains the company breached terms of its own contract by charging him more than the amount stipulated in the agreement, rendering the contract “null and void”. “Thus, the issue of early cancellation penalty does not arise. I find it in bad taste that they seem to be out to make money from this situation.”


A hole too deep for motorcycles RIDING a motorcycle to and from work saves plenty of time but it can also be dangerous, especially if one is not aware of an uncovered manhole on the roads. This discovery was made by S. THINAKARAN from Taman Sri Bayu, Ampang, who almost had a nasty accident trying to avoid an exposed manhole. “I was riding my motorcycle along Jalan Datuk Abu Bakar from Section 14. When I neared the exit to Phileo Damansara, my motorcycle almost plunged into a manhole there,” he says. THINAKARAN was able to brake and swerve in time. “Luckily, I avoided falling head first on the road,” he says. THINAKARAN says he is a frequent user of the road


and says damaged or missing manhole covers is nothing new. Even so, he says the one he almost rode into was new. “Some kind soul covered the manhole with tree branches and leaves to warn other motorists,” he adds. THINAKARAN hopes the relevant authority will take appropriate action to cover the hole fast before someone gets killed. PETALING JAYA CITY COUNCIL (MBPJ) public relations officer Zainun Zakaria assures council engineers and contractors have been alerted to the matter. She states: “Our contractors will visit the area and proceed with the next course of action.”

ROAD RISK: The uncovered manhole along Jalan Datuk Abu Bakar — Pic: Ashraf Shamsul Azlan

1. Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) does not issue licenses to foreign traders in the country. Local traders’ tendency to sublet their licenses to foreigners has led to this negative perception. City Hall takes action on the matter from time to time but even repeated restrictions fails to keep the foreigners away as they are just being paid to be there. 2. City Hall will fine people who illegally occupy parking bays. Action can be taken against such offenders under Section 46 of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974, which carries an RM300 maximum compound. Seizure of items is carried out under the same Act.


Jan 10 ‘Uninvited guests’ ruin birthday beach trip NEXT time, bring insect repellent. You should never leave home without it. — boletahan Jan 4 Upset over dining set delay CHRISTMAS or not, why didn’t you tell the customer it would take longer to deliver the furniture? If you cannot communicate with your material factory, it’s your fault. — kambengz

Dec 23 Council tows first-time offender’s car THE police and City Hall enforcement officers should visit Taman Desa Business Centre, off Jalan Klang Lama, more often. Here, we have many uneducated, uncivilised drivers who park their cars without thinking about others. They block the car park’s exit and cause accidents and inconveniences to others. These people should be given summonses and have their vehicles towed away. — MM Supporter THIS is the first-time he got caught. Don’t know how many times he escaped or got a lucky ‘wink’. — Anonymous

WHAT kind of suggestion is this? You have a row of cars all illegally parked. Now, the town council has to check which car owner is a firsttime offender, repeat offender and so on and only then tow away cars? Just by parking at the wrong place, you have already inconvenienced other road users and now you have the audacity to inconvenience the town council enforcement officers as well. As a bank officer, your sense of logic is really disturbing. I hope you don’t work in the banks which I use. — Dan30s SERVES you right. No matter how small the offense, is still an offense. Next time, follow the rules and regulations. — Anonymous





10 years on, still stuck under a wheel BEING FRANK By FRANKIE D’CRUZ

THE word outrage is often overused. The case of journalist David Chelliah who made headlines when a monorail wheel weighing about 14kg — the load of a full cooking gas tank — fell on his head and cracked his skull into eight pieces is a true outrage. When the incident occurred 10 years ago it was played out at breakneck pace in the media and prompted soul-searching at the highest levels of officialdom. For a while, there were howls of anger over the freak calamity on Aug 16, 2002 that occurred during a test run before the opening of the KL monorail. For a while, there were impassioned debates over the grotesque failures of KL’s urban monorail system, resulting in the postponement of the launch of the service. Today, sadly, so casual is the attitude of certain parties to David’s plight that he is still stuck under the wheel. Cruel fate seems to be ganging up on David. He has been hugely unfortunate with injuries and has been abandoned without any empathy. He has lost

all compassionate breadth. His predicament may not be of soaring pulpit rhetoric but truth is he’s in his own private hell: weighed down by hope and an unfolding of mentally and physically bludgeoning events before his horrified gaze over the past 10 years. David tells me he’s at the bottom of the social heap in his fight to live life anew. This is where he is: wracked by depression and “shocked and saddened” — as he struggles to explain a breakdown of devastating proportions — he possesses neither the money nor the mental strength to leverage the catastrophic effects of a David versus Goliath duel. On Monday, his matter was heard for the umpteenth time in the Kuala Lumpur High Court but the case file was transferred to the Mediation Unit. No date has been fixed for mediation. He had filed a RM5 million negligence suit in March 2003 and six years later in April, the defendants were found liable by the KL High Court. The case was then referred for assessment. The assessment was not heard until mediation was proposed last year. However, the mediation process before a judge on June, 20, 2011 did not take place and was deferred to

July, 27 that year — which did not take place as well. David, who joined Bernama as a cadet journalist in 1984, was a well-known sports journalist having covered major sporting events including the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Now, he is desk-bound as a sub-editor with national news agency, Bernama. I had the pleasure of working with this soft-spoken gentleman in my capacity as the Federation of International Hockey media officer during various hockey tournaments and learned of his plight when I called to wish him Christmas and New Year greetings. The once bubbly David lamented: “2012 will be the 10th year of my freak accident. My son, Roy was five months old when the mishap happened and my daughter, Arshini Devi, was five and still in kindergarten. “My life was in a mess after the accident and it was sheer trauma waiting for the case to be settled, each day of my life. “I wondered why it took a long time to settle a straightforward case. My two kids were growing up fast and it wasn’t easy for my family to go through this ordeal. “Even until today, my kids keep asking me when the case would be over

and I have no answer for them. They have seen photographs of me in hospital after the incident in the newspapers and these are strongly etched in their minds. His wife, Asha Devi, 44, was a staff nurse in a private hospital in KL with a monthly income of RM2,000 at that time. She wanted to complement the household income by getting a nursing management degree from Curtin University, Perth and later went to work in Sultan Abdul Aziz Military Hospital in Jeddah from 20042007.

However, she had to resign after David’s health and mindset took a turn for the worse and returned to take care of the family. Now she is a full-time housewife. “I just want justice and it’s very unfair to wait this long. I believe justice delayed is justice denied,” he said. “No words can describe the pain, emotional stress and trauma that my family is going through but God’s peace and mercy has made all of us stay supportive and be together.” Some of his friends think David has died. Some

think he was awarded millions. Others think he’s basking in his riches. Fact is, he is fighting a lone battle for justice. Courtrooms which should be the last bastion of justice have become the very places where the so-called speedy justice or injustice is dispensed because members of the bench are compelled to race to meet their judicial key performance index (KPI). This doesn’t appear to be the case for David. Frankly, the system has failed him.

No words can describe the pain, emotional stress and trauma that my family is going through but God’s peace and mercy has made all of us stay supportive and be together DAVID CHELLIAH BERNAMA SUB-EDITOR

No justice for Mubarak, political verdict expected SINCE taking power 11 months ago, Egypt’s ruling military council has perpetrated a host of injustices. It has subjected some 12,000 civilians to summary military trials, in which 8,000 have been convicted. It has imprisoned bloggers and liberal activists while shielding police and troops who have shot and killed protesters. It launched raids against American and U.S.financed non-government groups involved in human rights and democracy promotion. To all that must be added this: The generals have also staged a trial for their former president, Hosni Mubarak, that in every respect has been a travesty. Mubarak, who is 83 and

reported to be gravely ill, has been transported from a military hospital to a cage in a Cairo courtroom several days last month for prosecution on both civil and criminal charges, ranging from premeditated murder to economic corruption. This would be a process of massive complexity if it were scrupulously carried out; thousands of witnesses have been listed by the prosecution and defence. Yet the judge allotted just a handful of days last month and in February to completing the trial, including five sessions for Mubarak’s defence. The prosecution has already wrapped up its case — and has demanded that the former president and

his interior minister be given the death penalty. Mubarak is likely guilty of serious crimes, including complicity in the death of protesters during the popular revolution against his government last year. But the prosecution has presented almost no hard evidence to establish his guilt. Instead, they have delivered flowery speeches denouncing Mubarak’s regime, along with what amounts to conjecture. The president, they say, must have been asked for permission to fire on protesters; or should have done something to stop it; or is ultimately responsible as president for any crimes committed by his regime. Even some Egyptian hu-

man rights activists, to their credit, are dismayed by the shoddiness of this case. “The prosecution’s position could motivate the emotions of the people, but it has no effect in terms of legality,” Gamal Eid, an attorney working for families of slain protesters, told the Wall Street Journal. “Mubarak is a criminal, but from a legal point of view there is very weak evidence.” Observers in Cairo expect the result of this political case will be a political verdict. Mubarak will escape the death penalty but will be handed a long term in prison before being returned to his hospital bed. With this, the military council will hope to satisfy an increasingly restless

CAGED: Prosecution has produced no hard evidence to establish Mubarak’s guilt — AFPpic

public and pave the way for its own immunity from prosecution under the civilian government due to take power later this year. For

all concerned — the generals, Mubarak and Egyptian society — this would be an injustice. — The Washington Post



WEDNESday 1 FEBRUARY 2012 â—?




Rising like a phoenix

Myths about China's power Beijing's global reach expands with strong forex clout, Internet control and a new middle class Special to The Washington Post By Minxin Pei

AS China gains on the world's most advanced economies, the country excites fascination as well as fear, particularly in the United States, where many worry that China will supplant America as the 21st century's superpower. Many ask how China has grown so much so fast, whether the Communist Party can stay in power and what Beijing's expanding global influence means for the rest of us. But to understand China's new role on the world stage, it helps to rethink several misconceptions that dominate Western thinking. 1. China's rise is marginalising American influence in Asia. Just the opposite. Certainly, China's power in Asia is growing; its economy is now the biggest in the region, and China is the largest trading partner for every Asian nation. And its military modernisation has made the People's Liberation Army a more lethal fighting force. But instead of marginalising or supplanting U.S. influence, China's expanding power is pushing most Asian countries closer to Washington and elevating America's status. Uncle

Sam's presence is still welcome because it prevents a regional power from dominating its neighbours and promotes strategic balance. Today, the more power China gains, the more critical the U.S. commitment to the region becomes, and the greater influence Washington exercises. No surprise, then, that when the Obama administration recently announced a strategic pivot toward Asia, China bristled, while most countries in the region felt reassured and applauded quietly. Today, U.S. security ties with key Asian nations such as India, Australia, Japan, Korea and even Vietnam, are better than ever. 2. China's massive foreign exchange reserves give it huge clout. China owns roughly RM6 trillion in U.S. Treasury and mortgage-backed debt and about RM2.4 trillion in European bonds. These massive holdings may cause anxiety in the West and give Beijing a lot of prestige and bragging rights, but they haven't afforded China a lot of diplomatic sway. The much-feared scenario of China dumping U.S. sovereign debt on world markets to bend Washington to its will has not materialised, and probably won't. China's sovereign wealth fund, which invests part of those reserves, has favoured low-

risk assets (such as a recent minority stake in a British water utility) and has sought to avoid geopolitical controversy. And in the European debt crisis, China has been conspicuously absent. China's hard currency hoard adds little punch to its geopolitical power because its stockpile results from a growth strategy that relies on an undervalued currency to keep exports competitive. If China threatens to reduce its investment in U.S. debt, it will either have to find alternative investments (not an easy task these days) or export less to the U.S. (not a good idea for Chinese manufacturers). Moreover, with so much invested in Western debt, China would suffer disastrous capital losses if it spooked financial markets. 3. The Communist Party has the Internet under control. In spite of its huge investments in technology and manpower, the Communist Party is having a hard time taming China's vibrant cyberspace. While China's Internet-filtering technology is more sophisticated and its regulations more onerous than those of other authoritarian regimes, the growth of the nation's online population (now surpassing 500 million) and technological advances (such as Twitterstyle microblogs) have

made censorship largely ineffective. The government constantly plays catch-up; its latest effort is to force microbloggers to register with real names. Such regulations often prove too costly to enforce, even for a one-party regime. At most, the party can selectively censor what it deems "sensitive" after the fact. Whenever there is breaking news, whether a corruption scandal, a serious public safety incident or a big anti-government demonstration, the Internet is quickly filled with coverage and searing criticisms of the government. By the time censors restore some control, the political damage is done. 4. China's regime has bought off the middle class. Hardly. Three decades of double-digit economic growth has elevated about 250 to 300 million Chinese, mainly urban residents, to middle-class status. Since the regime crushed the Tiananmen democracy movement in 1989, the middle class has been busy pursuing wealth, not demanding political freedoms. But this does not mean this group has thrown its support behind the ruling party. There is a world of difference between political apathy and enduring loyalty. At most, the Chinese mid-

dle class tolerates the status quo because it is a vast improvement over the totalitarian rule of the past, and because there is no practical or immediate alternative. But as the Arab Spring shows, a single event or a misstep by authoritarian rulers can transform apathetic middle-class citizens into radical revolutionaries. That can happen even without a precipitating economic crisis. Today, China's middle class is becoming more dissatisfied with inequality, corruption, unaffordable housing, pollution and poor services. In Shanghai a few years ago, thousands of middle-class citizens staged a "collective walk" and stopped a planned extension of the city's maglev train, a project that threatened their home values. A similar demonstration last year in Dalian resulted in the shutdown of a polluting petrochemical plant. The party knows it cannot bank on middle-class support. Such insecurity lies behind its continuing harshness toward political dissent. 5. China's rapid economic growth shows no signs of slowing. The pace of growth is already cooling somewhat, from above 10.3 percent in 2010 to 9.2 percent last year, and the downward

shift will accelerate in future years. Like South Korea and Taiwan, which achieved stellar growth for three decades but have slowed gradually since the 1990s, the Chinese economy will encounter strong headwinds. The population is ageing; citizens 60 and older accounted for 12.5 percent of the population in 2010 and are projected to reach 17 percent in 2020. This will reduce savings and the supply of workers, and raise the costs of pensions and health care. If China wants to keep its high growth rate, it must graduate to making Chinese-designed high-tech and highvalue-added products. It will need more innovation, which demands less government control and more intellectual freedom. Most critically, the investment-driven and state-led economic model responsible for China's rapid growth must give way to a more efficient, consumption-driven, market-oriented model. Such a shift will be impossible without downsizing the state and making the party accountable to the Chinese people. Minxin Pei, director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College, is the author of "China's Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy."


wednesday 1 february 2012



ATLANTA | gratifying THE Iphone 4s

Siri's dirty little secret By Paul Farhi

Like a few million other people, this past holiday season, we bought an iPhone 4S, with its muchhyped Siri feature. The vocal interface allows users to speak all kinds of commands into the phone ("What's the weather in San Francisco?") and get answers from a sultryvoiced robot concierge. We've used Siri to get directions, to make handsfree mobile calls and to fetch answers to trivia questions. Sometimes we just goof on Siri. "Siri, do you love me?" my daughter asked, the other day. Siri's heartbreaking response: "I am not capable of love." Most ways you look at it, Siri is pretty magical. But not in every way. Siri's dirty little secret is that she's a bandwidth guzzler, the digital equivalent



of a 10-miles-per-gallon Hummer H1. To make your wish her command, Siri floods your cell network with a stream of data; her responses require a similarly large flow in return. A study published this month by Arieso, an Atlanta firm that specialises in mobile networks, found that the Siriequipped iPhone 4S uses twice as much data as does the plain old iPhone 4 and nearly three times as much as does the iPhone 3G. The new phone requires far more data than most other advanced smartphones which are pretty data-intensive themselves, The Post has reported. In all, Arieso says that the Siri-equipped iPhone 4S "appears to unleash data consumption behaviours that have no precedent." Under most circumstances, this would seem to be someone else's problem. Cellphone contracts are "tiered" so that those who

use a network more than others pay more for the privilege. You want to ask Siri silly questions? Go to town — but you (or, in this case, I) will get the bill at the end of the month. By the same logic, a customer who wants better service on an airline can pay for it by buying a first-class ticket. On the data skyway, however it's not that simple. Cell and data networks are like any common resource; they have limits, and once they hit their limit, regardless of which group is using its share and then some, there's no more to go around. This means that Siri's data-hogging ways are a problem for more than just those willing to foot the bill. As networks become congested, everyone's service deteriorates. Private desire becomes a public issue. Calls are dropped or never completed; Internet access slows.

First-class airline passengers don't really compromise service for those in coach. Bandwidth hogs do. The obvious response to this kind of traffic jam is to build more roads. Indeed, for years, cellphone companies and other network operators have expanded carrying capacity; they'll undoubtedly continue to do so as long as demand is there. But those kinds of infrastructure improvements aren't limitless, either; no matter how many cell towers we throw up, sooner or later we'll bump up against the rigid limits of the electromagnetic spectrum, the invisible frequencies over which all electronic communications move. Building new capacity isn't cheap. Everyone — not just the first-class passengers — ends up paying for it. So prepare for higher cellphone bills. In the meantime? Prepare

to sit and wait. That call to Grandma might not get through until the congestion clears. Other alternatives might be less palatable, especially to anyone who wants immediate downloading gratification. We could stay off the grid or utilise fewer data-intensive functions or we could put some traffic cops on the beat to regulate our data demands and limit the traffic snarls and bottlenecks. In any case, we'll run out of capacity soon enough. The government's top airwaves cop, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, has long warned about a looming "spectrum crunch". If the United States can't free up more bandwidth for mobile users, more people than just cellphone users would be inconvenienced, he warns. The lack of new capacity, he says, would threaten US jobs in the

telecom industry and stifle technical progress. The trouble is, like beachfront property, there is only so much spectrum to go around. All of the various parts of the airwaves are spoken for, whether auctioned by the government to high bidders over the past 15 years or given away back when radio and TV were the newest consumer technologies. The only way to free up some now is to reshuffle the line-up, moving older users (say, over-the-air TV and radio stations and government agencies) to another part of the band in favour of the up-and-coming hot shots. Of course, that kind of change is disruptive. A massive political battle looms, pitting the haves against the want-mores. What to do? Maybe we should ask the roadhog herself. Hey, Siri: Can we all learn to share? — The Washington Post

uphill task of luring visitors

Reviving tourism in terrorism-linked Pakistan By Nicolas Brulliard

Now better known for its regular suicide bombings and as a haven for the world's most-wanted terrorists, Pakistan hardly qualifies as a favourite tourist destination. But that doesn't mean that Pakistani authorities have given up on luring foreign visitors. Pakistan possesses plenty of potential tourist draws, from prime examples of Mughal and Buddhist architecture to some of the world's highest mountains, but in recent years convincing foreigners to come visit Pakistan's wonders has been an uphill battle. If a raging Taliban insureditorial

gency wasn't enough to deter would-be tourists, the revelation last May that Osama bin Laden had been living for years in one of the country's resort towns achieved to convince even intrepid travellers to stay home. "Tourism is next to nil," Mehr Tarar, a columnist for Pakistan's Daily Times, wrote this week. "To tempt people from any country to visit Pakistan would be more difficult today than to outline a workable peace plan between Palestine and Israel." Still, local tourism officials are trying but their efforts sometimes border on the delusional or the pathetic. This past summer, Karachi's chamber of commerce organised an event to attract foreigners titled My Karachi:

an Oasis of Harmony during that city's deadliest violence spree on record. Last winter, the owners of Pakistan's only skiing resort declared it reopened years after the Taliban had destroyed the resort's only hotel and chairlift. The problem? The hotel and chairlift are still in ruins, and skiers were forced to carry their skis uphill before hitting the slopes. At other times, the timing was not quite right. Pakistan's government declared 2007 the "Visit Pakistan Year", but that year also happened to be the birth year of the Pakistani Taliban, a group that has claimed responsibility for nearly every bombing that has taken place in the country since then. After a decentralisation process that was carried out

ECLIPSED: Regular suicide bombings have cast a deep shadow over the country's heritage art and architecture

last year, Pakistan's tourism ministry was dissolved and the responsibility for tourism promotion was devolved to the provincial governments. Whether any of these efforts

will pan out remains to be seen. Local tourism promoters bemoan the country's bad rap and point out that most foreign tourists go back home unharmed, but Pakistan's rep-

utation for violence and instability still looms large in the minds of outsiders. The fate of two Swiss tourists abducted in July remains unknown. — The Washington Post



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censoring tWITTER



tion of the pivotal role that Twitter played in the uprising in Cairo. But Twitter, like other major Internet companies, is struggling to reconcile its philosophical opposition to censorship with the economic desire to fan out around the globe. It is depriving cyber dissidents in repressive countries of a crucial tool for information and

organisation. It’s medium for lightningquick self-expression has powered political protests throughout the world from the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia and Syria. Nowhere was it a more important tactical tool than in the uprising that overthrew Egyptian Presi-

dent Hosni Mubarak. Twitter had a massive effect on the course of the revolution before during and after. However, its ambitions to grow from 100 million active users to more than 1 billion may ultimately bring Twitter into conflict with its ideals. CARL STEVENS KUALA LUMPUR




Grievances of the Temiar tribe must be addressed

Blocking tweets will stifle free speech TWITTER has been accused of siding with censors and I take great umbrage that the social media service that promotes itself as a beacon of free speech has taken this path. The insensitivity of Twitter has triggered outrage among the very people who burnished its image when revolutionaries used it to organise protests during last year's Arab Spring uprising. So I read with consternation that Twitter now says it has the power to block tweets in a specific country if the government legally requires it to do so. Don’t they realise such a policy will stifle free speech? It is safe to say Twitter is selling us out and it wasn’t too long ago that its chief executive Dick Costolo referred to it as “the free speech wing of the free speech party”. Jack Dorsey, who created Twitter, even named one of the conference rooms at his San Francisco company "Tahrir Square" in recogni-



THE Malaysian Bar condemns the arbitrary arrest, in Gua Musang on Jan 28, of 13 Orang Asli of the Temiar tribe who gathered peacefully to protest and block the alleged incessant illegal encroachment onto, and logging of, their ancestral lands. Although the Temiar had been assured that the state authorities would resolve their grievances by mid-January, the alleged intrusion and logging activities had continued unabated. The police reportedly burned down the blockade, detained/arrested the Temiar, and prevented family members of those arrested from accompanying them to the detention centre. The detained Temiar were said to have been denied food and legal representation and questioned for hours before being released. This example of irresponsible policing reflects poorly on police. Further, if how we treat the marginalised and less fortunate in our society is a reflection of the health of our nation, then this incident serves to confirm that we are crippled by infirmity. The Malaysian Bar calls on the Kelantan government to

respond to the plight of the Temiar community with the urgency and importance it deserves, and to fulfill its fiduciary duty to preserve the Temiar’s ancestral lands livelihood and heritage. As a government elected by the people, it is under an obligation to protect the Temiar, and all Orang Asli. The Court of Appeal in the Sagong Tasi case made it absolutely clear that non-gazetted Orang Asli land that is native customary land must nonetheless be protected in the same way as gazetted Orang Asli reserve land. The Malaysian Bar urges the Kelantan government to follow this landmark decision and accept that the land of the Temiar people in Gua Musang are native customary lands and therefore deserves protection. Development on native customary lands must conform to the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” as laid down in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, for which the Malaysian government voted in favour. CHRISTOPHER LEONG VICE-PRESIDENT, MALAYSIAN BAR


Parents must protect children from smartphone content

When white ang pow envelope is not right PERKASA chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali was wrong in giving out ang pow in white envelopes during a Chinese New Year open house in Kampung Baru on Sunday. While I believe his intention of having a Chinese New Year

open house is kind, the act of giving ang pow in white envelope is insulting to Chinese. White envelopes are reserved for funerals in Chinese customs and by giving ang pow in white envelopes during a joyous festival shows

WRONG COLOUR: Ibrahim giving money in white envelopes during the Perkasa open house — BERNAMApic

Ibrahim Ali is insensitive and insincere. He should apologise to the Chinese community for his insensible act. DATUK MAH SIEW KEONG VICE-PRESIDENT, GERAKAN

PARENTS should monitor their children's use of smartphones as new research suggests vast numbers of youngsters have seen material they shouldn’t. It has been revealed that a low percentage of children have security settings installed on their smartphones. Parental restrictions are much higher on home computers/laptops. The worry is that despite it being increasingly possible to access the same inappropriate content on mobile phones as their home computers, it seems the same care isn’t applied to mobile phones. With the increase in smartphones, online content and apps, children are increasingly wanting the newest smartphones and now it’s commonplace to see them in classrooms. Perhaps, parents just aren’t

aware of the necessary controls to protect children’s mobiles. So we have a situation where many children are seeing, reading and viewing matter they know is only meant for adults. Restrictions should be in place to ensure the young are not exposed to a range of inappropriate content. The authorities should focus on child Internet safety as while the online world is incredibly exciting to explore, alongside the opportunities are potential risks for young people. It is important we enable parents to support, educate and protect their children. This can be done by ensuring their mobile phone use is responsible, safe and as secure as possible.

RISKY: Restrictions are necessary to ensure young are not viewing material meant for adults — GETTYpic

It is also important parents develop an honest communication with their children so they can support them to be responsible digital citizens and help them with any worries or concerns that should arise. ALICE S.K. CHIN PETALING JAYA











China gets slammed by WTO

Sunshine IPO set for this month

Honda earnings dive by 65%

Indian banks facing cash crunch

Beijing violated global trading rules by restricting exports of raw materials, which inflated prices and gave domestic firms unfair advantage

Canadian oil explorer, backed by Chinese state-owned enterprises and to debut on Feb 21, set to be biggest new listing in Asia this year

Earnings hit by disruptions from Japanese quake and tsunami, Thai floods plus higher yen, new Civic also struggling in the US market

State-run institutions, which account for 70% of lending, hit by stock market slump as they seek to raise capital to strengthen balance sheets

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Guoco takes on Genting Success in bid for Gala Coral casinos will make it top UK gaming firm By Francis C. Nantha

CONFIRMING it’s now conducting talks to take over 24 casinos owned by debt-laden rival Gala Coral, Guoco Group Ltd’s Rank Group is poised to leapfrog the Genting Group as the largest gaming operator in the UK. It is reportedly offering £250 million (RM1.2 billion) for the Gala Coral Outlets and the weekend bid marks a remarkable rise in fortune for Guoco, the Hong Kong-based subsidiary of the Hong Leong Group, which had bought a 11.6% stake in Rank from Genting only in May last year and raising Guoco’s shareholding in Rank to 40.8%. After a mandatory general offer, Guoco now has a 74%

stake in FTSE-listed Rank. Should the bid for Gala Coral succeed, Guoco would end up running 59 casinos, easily stealing the title of UK’s biggest casino operator as incumbent Genting now operates 45, including its flagship Crockfords casino in London’s Mayfair. Further, Rank has over 100 bingo clubs under the Mecca brand and also owns the Bluesq sports betting and gaming businesses. There is one potential hiccup to the bid by Guoco, backed by Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan. Rank had acknowledged this issue in a statetement issued late on Monday: “The terms of any such acquisition have not been finalised and there is no certainty a transaction will occur.” The deal will have to be

approved by UK’s Competition Commission and it isn’t clear how the regulatory body would rule as the two Malaysian firms would end up controlling at least 100 of Britain’s 140 casinos. Rank’s Grosvenor unit had earlier announced plans to have 45 casinos by the end of 2015, from 35 now, through the faster roll-out of its G-Casino format, which attracts a

PUNTING: Rank has over 100 bingo clubs under the Mecca brand

younger, less formal crowd. A sale of the casinos would allow Gala Coral to concentrate on its Gala bingo and Coral bookmaking divisions, as well as strengthen its finances amid a net debt figure of £1.3 billion at the end of 2011.

Europe, the ongoing fiscal consolidation and the significant policy uncertainties,” the central bank said in a statement. It said that inflation was expected to moderate in 2012 as slowing global activity eases price pressures on key commodities, but that risks to inflation could emerge from supply disruptions. Inflation in December eased to an annual pace of 3% from 3.3% in November and is expected to fall further, which would give the central bank leeway to cut interest rates at its next meeting in March, if it decides to. Gundy Cahyadi, an economist at Singapore’s OCBC bank, said: “With growing concerns on the growth front, we expect BNM to lower its policy rate in the next session to 2.75% before leaving it there for the rest of the year.” — Reuters


TUESday JAN 31, 2012

Perodua calls for easier consumer credit Managing director Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh yesterday said registration of news cars in January dipped by 15-20% while new orders fell 5% owing to the tighter conditions. Previously, processing for car loans was based on a

buyer’s gross income, but since January, the central bank has directed banks to base loan approvals on net income, in efforts to curb household debt. “Perodua is the rakyat’s car catering for the masses, especially the lower income

group, small businesses or parents wanting to take their children to school.” Although he supported BNM’s move to curb household debt, Aminar said the central bank should look at other mechanisms to address such debts. — Bernama



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New heads at MAS short-haul unit KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has appointed Mohammed Rashdan Yusof as chief executive officer and Ignatius Ong Ming Choy as chief operating officer at its new short haul airline operations, targeted to be launched by the second quarter of this year

MALAYSIA’s key interest rate was left unchanged at 3% by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) yesterday, saying that inflation risks were lingering despite a worsening global economic outlook. All 14 economists polled by Reuters had expected BNM to keep the rate unchanged as inflation remains elevated. The central bank has kept monetary policy on hold since May, when it hiked the benchmark rate for the fourth time after starting a tightening cycle in 2010. Many of its emerging market counterparts have been easing policy since last summer as their focus turned from fighting inflation to shoring up economic growth. “In ... recent months global economic and financial conditions have deteriorated following the escalation of the sovereign debt crisis in



SECOND national car manufacturer Perodua has asked Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to ease up on tight loan conditions for hire purchase of cars imposed effective this year, saying they are affecting car sales.

BNM maintains 3% interest rate

and operate the entire narrowbody fleet and short haul routes of MAS as well as the Firefly ATR turboprop business. The airline’s operations will be divided into three core functional areas, namely commercial, operations and support services.

Sharp rise in Coastal share trade volume KUALA LUMPUR: Volume in Malaysian shipbuilder Coastal Contracts jumped nearly nine times to 6.9 million shares over its five-day average, with its shares rising 11% to their highest in five months. Technically, the stock topped its 200-day moving av-

erage yesterday and its 20-day simple moving average crossed the 50-day average upwards in early January, signalling a bullish move. Daily volume jumped nearly 11 times from its 30-day average and its shares closed at RM2.30. — Reuters




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Business We are less subjected to market conditions because of the type of business we are in. Thus, we see this as a good time to go public Datuk Gan Kim Leong Joint managing director, Sentoria Bhd

General Line 03-7495 1288 | BUSINESS desk 03-7495 1015 / 1017 Classifieds 03-7495 1273 / 1282 | Circulation Tel: 03-7495 1068 Fax: 03-7495 1226

ADVERTISING SALES Tel: 03-74951273 (Classifieds)


Tel: 03-74951262 (Display)


Fax: 03-74951228




85 sen for BGRC IPO


Proceeds to largely fund new night safari attraction near existing resort By Andrea Mathew

BUKIT Gambang Resort City (BGRC) is expanding its attractions to include a Night Safari and its parent company, Sentoria Group Bhd is going public to raise RM48 million for the project. Sentoria Bhd joint managing director Datuk Gan Kim Leong yesterday said: “We believe the Safari Park will help boost business as it pulls in visitors to other attractions at BGRC. “It will also enhance our visibility, making it easier for us to discover investors and potential landowners for joint-venture projects in the future. Sentoria is undertaking an initial public offering (IPO) with a public issue of 60 million new shares and an offer-for-sale of 40 million shares. Of the first 60 million, one-third is allocated for the public and 10 million for staff and business associates at 85 sen per share. The remaining 30 million shares for private placement and the 40 million offer-for-sale shares allocated for Bumiputera investors are priced at 87 sen each. The offer is till Feb 10.

























































































Source: Malayan Banking Bhd/Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR Gan added: “Though the global economy is now on a low trend, we are less subjected to market conditions because of the type of business we are in. Thus, we see this as a good time to go public.” Sentoria’s IPO would raise RM51.6 million in proceeds — RM27.7 million is for working capital, RM11.2 million for repayment of bank borrowings, RM9 million for purchase of property, plant and equipment and the balance RM3.7 million for listing expenses. The Night Safari, which is to open by end of the year, is its second after

the Bukit Gambang Water Park. Spanning 88.2 acres in Gambang’s secondary jungle, Bukit Gambang Safari Park aims to feature animals in their natural surroundings. Sentoria Bhd head of public and investor relations Nasiruddin Nasrun said: “The main focus of our safari park would be to educate visitors on animals’ unique characteristics and highlight the importance of wildlife conservation, particularly to the younger generation. “We are optimistic it will follow the success of our first theme park, which has

RIGHT TIMING: Sentoria joint managing director Datuk Chan Kong San (left) and Gan launching the firm’s prospectus yesterday — Pic: Arif Kartono

welcomed more than one million visitors since its opening in July 2009.” Two highlights at the safari park are the Night Jungle, featuring animals’ nocturnal habits, and Foreign Village showcasing exotic animals not often seen in Malaysia. It will later feature the Malaysia Rainforest with tropical creatures, Wild Savannah for African animals and the Elephant Lodge.


China Stationery makes public offer, plans Malaysian plant EN ROUTE to a main market listing on Feb 24, China Stationery Ltd expects to raise RM85.5 million for its initial public offering (IPO). Executive chairman Chan Fung @ Kwan Wing Yin said the integrated plastic stationery China-based company plans to establish a factory in Malaysia within a year. In conjunction with its listing exercise, China Stationery is making a public issue of 90 million new shares at 95 sen each, comprising 60 million shares for


the Malaysian public and 30 million shares for private placement to selected investors. China Stationery will also be offering for sale 133 million shares to selected investors via private placement. The proceeds from the IPO will be utilised for the purchase of machinery, for research and development, advertising, branding and promotional activities as well as working capital and listing expenses.

“Moving forward, China Stationery will launch two new patented products, namely anti-tampering plastic envelope and second-generation plastic tape printer this year,” he said during the prospectus launching yesterday. The target customers for the anti-tampering plastic envelopes, Chan said, are global express mail service players as well as post offices in China and other countries. For 2011, China Statio-

nery registered RM105.90 million net profit compared with RM102.2 million a year earlier. Its manufacturing plant is located in Fujian province, China. The company’s housebrand products are marketed in China and globally in over 45 countries to more than 400 customers including distributors, retailers and corporations located in China, Asia, Europe, America and other regions. — Bernama

CIMB declares RM44m distribution CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd has declared RM43.74 million in income distributions for 12 of its unit trust funds in December last year, despite the extreme swing in market sentiment. “It was a challenging start last year as we had to overcome many uncertainties in the global market,” chief executive of CIMB-Principal, Campbell Tupling said in a statement yesterday. Tupling said some of the significant events were still not completely over as the company entered 2012. However, he said the Asian markets had proven to be somewhat resilient. “We are in 2012, looking at leveraging on our regional presence in Asean as well as local expertise, to accelerate further growth within

the company and create new investment opportunities for investors.” As at Dec 31, 2011, CIMBPrincipal Bond Fund handed out a gross distribution of 4.1 sen per unit, or a distribution yield of 3.56%. It also declared a gross distribution of 3.65 sen per unit or a distribution yield of 3.34% for CIMB-Principal Strategic Bond Fund. In the equity funds category, investors of CIMB Islamic Equity Aggressive Fund received a gross distribution of 3.15 sen per unit or a distribution yield of 4.36%. Meanwhile, CIMB Islamic Money Market Fund, declared a gross distribution of 0.18 sen per unit and was ranked in the first quartile. As of Dec 31, its total assets under management stood at RM30.3 billion. — Bernama


EC calls for power bids THE Energy Commission of Malaysia (EC) expects to shortlist several companies for the development of new combined-cycle power plants in the country by next month. Its chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Hassan said the EC issued the request

for quotation yesterday to 47 interested companies, including 10 foreign companies. Among parties bidding are Tenaga Nasional Bhd, YTL Power International Bhd, Petroliam Nasional Bhd and Sime Darby Energy Sdn Bhd. — Bernama




wednesday 1 february 2012


Business (WTO ruling on China) confirms the existence of the two-tiered price structure that has caused so much concern Michael Silver chief executive, American Elements



Sunshine IPO this month Canadian oil explorer set to be biggest new listing in Asia this year CANADIAN oil explorer Sunshine Oilsands Ltd, backed by Chinese state-owned enterprises, could raise up to US$700 million (RM2.1 billion) through a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), in what is set to be the biggest new listing in Asia in the new year. The IPO will consist of all new shares, representing 25% of the company’s expanded capital, one source with direct knowledge of the plans said yesterday. Sunshine Oilsands and its bankers started drumming up demand for the offering on Monday and will launch

the IPO on Feb 6, added a second source. Pricing is slated for Feb 14, with its debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange set for Feb 21. The IPO could raise US$500-700 million, valuing the company at up to US$2.8 billion. Sunshine Oilsands, which owns 1.14 million acres of oil sands leases in the Athabasca region in Canada, raised about US$230 million in March last year from a group of investors including a unit of Bank of China, China Life Insurance (Overseas) and Hong Kong private equity fund Cross-

Strait Common Development Fund, a company statement showed. Orient International Resources Group Ltd, controlled by Hong Kong businessman Hok Ming Tseung, is also a major shareholder of Sunshine Oilsands. The Canadian company has been eyeing a Hong Kong IPO since the middle of last year, according to local press reports. Sunshine Oilsands said in September it filed its A1 listing application with the Hong Kong exchange for the proposed IPO. Sunshine Oilsands will

kickstart what is expected to be another slow year for initial offerings after demand for new listings slumped 42% in 2011 from 2010 to the lowest in three years. Six companies have gone public in Hong Kong since the beginning of the year, with small-sized deals that raised a combined HK$1.4 billion (RM550.4 million). The Sunshine Oilsands IPO would follow a series of energy takeovers by Chinese firms in recent months as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to secure steady oil supply to support growth in coming years. — Reuters

China gets slammed in WTO ruling CHINA lost an appeal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Monday after complaints about its restrictions on raw material exports, but will to be able to maintain its supply stranglehold on rare earths, crucial ingredients in many high-tech products. A WTO panel said Beijing violated global trading rules by restricting exports of raw materials like bauxite, coke, magnesium, manganese and zinc, which inflated prices and gave domestic Chinese firms an unfair competitive advantage. Many countries later accused China of choking off global supplies of rare earth metals, causing prices to rocket. Although rare earth metals

were not part of Monday’s ruling, a number of US lawmakers urged the US to use the decision to launch a new case to force Beijing to lift its rare earth export restrictions. Michael Silver, chief executive of American Elements, an US-based rare earth processor said: “It confirms the existence of the two-tiered price structure that has caused so much concern.” While China might be forced to tweak some of its export policies, analysts said Beijing’s strategy to restrict rare earth supplies and control prices would likely remain unchanged. China’s Ministry of Commerce said it “deeply regrets” the ruling but would comply.— Reuters



CIT keeps Sears on tight leash

Samsung under probe by EU

CIT Group Inc will again stop providing loans to suppliers of Sears Holdings Corp as the business lender awaits more information on the retailer’s financial health, two retail sources said on Monday. CIT is keeping the operator of Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain on a tight leash, the sources said, after the company posted 18 straight quarters of sales declines. If lenders like CIT refuse to finance Sears’ suppliers, it could force the retailer to draw on its line of credit to pay for goods

up front. If too many vendors seek prepayment, banks could be pressured and cut back on lines of credit for Sears, making it harder for the company to buy inventory. “People are recognising they don’t have to be in harm’s way and really go out on the limb when there is so much other business out there they would deem to be of real quality,” said one of the sources, who has learned that CIT is not writing any new business for Sears. One source said that no other factoring company has changed terms. — Reuters

some of its patent rights, which it has declared essential to implement European mobile telephony standards. Samsung pledged in 1998 to license its patents to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms. “The (European) Commission will investigate, in particular, whether in doing so (seeking injunctions on patent infringements in 2011) Samsung has failed to honour its irrevocable commitment given in 1998 to the European Telecommunications Standards.” — Reuters

Logitech warns of weak market

Qantas shrugs off Moody’s rating

Huge fine for false invoicing scam

ZURICH: Logitech, the world’s largest computer mouse maker, cut its full-year outlook for the third time after third quarter sales and profit were hit by euro weakness and as computer systems become less dependent on peripheral components. It was the latest in a string of profit warnings for the maker of webcams, speakers and keyboards, over the last year. “The fact that new devices like tablet PCs or smartphones function like a camera or already have keyboards integrated, is likely to raise questions about the future course of growth,” Wegelin analysts said. -— Reuters

SYDNEY: Australian carrier Qantas yesterday said it remains in a strong funding position with a cash balance of more than A$3 billion (RM billion) after it was downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s lowered the airline’s long-term senior unsecured rating to Baa3 from Baa2 with a stable outlook, partly due to higher fuel prices. The credit ratings agency had placed the airline on review for a possible downgrade in November, immediately after it grounded its entire fleet for nearly two days to end a dispute with labour unions over pay and conditions. — AFP

LONDON: Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) fined financier Ravi Shankar Sinha close to £3 million (RM14.4 million) for a false invoicing scheme while he was in charge of the UK operations of private equity firm JC Flowers. The financial services watchdog demanded that Sinha, one of JC Flowers’ leading dealmakers who had led attempts to buy Northern Rock and Friends Provident, repay the £1.38 million he had pocketed fraudulently. The FSA also levied a punitive fine of £1.5 million and a ban on the former Goldman Sachs banker working within the financial services industry. — Reuters

AILING: A customers walks out of a Sears store in Milford, Connecticut — GETTYimages



Yazaki, Denso plead guilty to price-fixing JAPAN’s Yazaki Corp, which makes electrical components for cars, has agreed to plead guilty and pay a fine of US$470 million (RM1.4 billion) for conspiring to fix the prices of parts sold to automakers in the US, the US Justice Department said on Monday. Yazaki’s fine is the secondhighest imposed on a company for price-fixing. The biggest was US$500 million paid by Switzerland’s F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd in 1999 for conspiring to raise vitamin prices, the department said. Denso Corp also agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing

REGULATORS at the European Union (EU) are investigating whether Samsung Electronics breached antitrust rules in its legal battles against rivals, among them Apple, which use its mobile technology patents. South Korea’s Samsung, the world’s top maker of smartphones, is involved in a patent tussle with Apple in 10 countries including the US, Australia, France and Japan. Apple is also Samsung’s biggest customer. Last year, Samsung sought injunctions in various EU countries against competitors, saying they infringed

and will pay a fine of US$78 million, the department said on the two-year probe. Four Yazaki executives will plead guilty and serve prison time ranging from 15 months to two years, it added. They are accused of conspiring to push up the prices of some automotive electrical components — such as wire harnesses used in wiring and circuit boards — and then monitoring prices to ensure they stayed inflated. The price-fixing dates back at least until 2000 and continued into 2010, the Justice Department said in the com-

plaint filed against Yazaki in Detroit. The Justice Department previously settled with Tokyo-based Furukawa Electric Co, which agreed to plead guilty and pay a US$200 million fine for price-fixing in the same probe. Yazaki is the 13th-largest global auto parts supplier, with sales of about US$12.5 billion in 2010. Denso is the second-largest with about US$32.9 billion in sales for the year, according to rankings compiled by the industry trade publication Automotive News. — Reuters





Business We will definitely need to raise money in the next financial year. We will have to see if the government is putting more money A TOP BANK OFFICIAL STATE BANK OF INDIA



Honda earnings dive 65% Profits hit by Japanese quake, Thai floods and higher yen value against US dollar AUTOMAKER Honda Motor Co posted a 65% slide in quarterly operating profit yesterday and forecast the same drop for the full year, when natural disasters in Japan and Thailand hit it harder than rivals. Japan’s No.3 automaker was the slowest to recover from supply chain disruptions after the earthquake and tsunami in March, while it was alone in having a car factory inundated by the historic floods in Thailand, Southeast Asia’s export hub. In 2011, Honda’s global output dropped by a fifth to 2.91 million cars, slipping below three million for the first time in eight years. All other Japanese automakers, except Nissan Motor Co, built fewer cars also, but the declines were much smaller than at Honda. For the business year to March 31, 2012, Honda said it expects operating profit of ¥200 billion (RM8 billion), down 65% from last year, hit also by an estimated ¥8 fall against the US dollar to ¥78. The new profit forecast is far short of the ¥270 billion it projected in August before withdrawing the guidance citing uncertainty over when car production could restart in Thailand. Honda typically provides cautious projections. Consensus forecasts from 24 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters put annual operating profit at ¥283 billion. Honda is the first Japa-

nese automaker to report third-quarter earnings. Honda, whose bottom line has been propped up by its leading motorcycle business and strong finance arm, expects annual net profit to fall 60% to ¥215 billion. The figure, reported under US accounting standards, includes earnings made in China. With production steadily recovering in the final months of 2011, investors

have turned their attention to an anticipated jump in sales as Honda restocks its depleted inventory. Still, concern has lingered over whether Honda might be losing its edge after its top-selling Civic got panned in the US when it was remodelled last year. Competition in the US is set to heat up this year as resurgent giants Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co

and South Korea’s fast-rising Hyundai Motor Co flex their muscles in the sedan segment that has been dominated by Honda and Toyota Motor Corp. While acknowledging the criticisms of the revamped Civic, Honda’s chief executive, Takanobu Ito, stressed this month that the car had topped the country’s compact sedan segment in the latest quarter, outselling

HOPEFUL: American Honda Motor Company executive vice president John Mendel introducing the 2013 Accord Coupe concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month

Toyota’s Corolla. Honda is targeting a 25% jump in its US sales this calendar year also by shoring up its struggling Acura premium brand. — Reuters


Indian banks facing cash crunch THE State Bank of India, the country’s biggest lender, will need to raise funds beyond the US$1.6 billion (RM4.9 billion) assured by the government on Monday to meet rising demand for loans, a top bank official said. Many of India’s state-run banks, which account for 70% of lending in Asia’s third-biggest economy, need to raise capital to strengthen balance sheets eroded by fast loan growth and worsening asset quality as economic growth slows.

Many banks had hoped to hit public equity markets to raise capital but a plunge in Indian stocks last year made that impossible, putting pressure on the deficit-strapped government to step in. New Delhi has said it is likely to infuse up to 160 billion rupees (RM9.8 billion) into state banks to shore up tier-I capital adequacy ratios to the government’s targeted 8%. The government will inject 79 billion rupees into SBI by buying shares through a preferential allotment, the lender

said on Monday. The investment will likely raise the government’s holding by 2-2.25% from 59% now, chief financial officer Diwakar Gupta said yesterday. However, the bank needs 150 billion rupees, including retained profit, a year in order to meet loan demand, he said. “We will definitely need to raise money in the next financial year. We will have to see if the government is putting more money,” he via telephone. Several government-run

banks, struggling with slowing but still-rapid loan growth and the threat of delinquencies as borrowers in the infrastructure, property and airline industries struggle, face a challenge to raise capital as interest rates remain high and markets are choppy. Bank lending in India is expected to grow about 16% in the year that ends in March, slower than the 21% growth clocked in the previous fiscal year. Bad loans in India may jump to as much as 5.8% of the to-

tal within two years in a “severe risk” scenario, from 2.8% in September, according to a central bank report. The ratio is expected to climb to 3.2% to 3.5% by March 2013 under a baseline scenario. The non-performing loan (NPL) ratio for Indian banks was 2.3% in the last fiscal year. Fitch Ratings, which has a “stable” outlook for Indian banks, expects state-run banks’ profits to fall by 15 to 20% in 2012 due to higher loan loss provisions. — Reuters

Jobless at 14-year low in Singapore Supported by strong employment creation, Singapore’s unemployment rate declined to a 14-year low in 2011, according to the “Employment Situation, 2011” report. It said the median income of Singaporeans has increased, amid the tight labour market. Even for low-income Singaporeans at the 20th percentile, real income has grown over the last five years. These are the key findings from the report released by the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department yesterday. The bulk of the employment gains continued to come from services, which added 95,100 workers in 2011. This was lower than the increase of 112,600 in 2010. It said manufacturing employment grew by 2,900, as gains totalling 4,800 in the first three quarters offset the losses of 1,900 in the fourth quarter. With slower resident population growth and most economically active residents already employed, local employment grew by 36,600 in 2011, after increasing by 56,200 in 2010, it said. In response to strong manpower demand, foreign employment (excluding foreign domestic workers) grew by 79,800 in 2011, after increasing by 54,400 in 2010, it added. As at December 2011, locals accounted for 67.2% of persons employed in Singapore (excluding foreign domestic workers). Foreigners formed the remaining 32.8%, up from 31.4% in December 2010. For the whole of 2011, the unemployment rate averaged 2% overall, 2.9% for residents and 3% for Singapore citizens. These rates were the lowest recorded in 14 years, after declining from 2.2% overall, 3.1% for residents and 3.4% for Singapore citizens, in 2010. Cumulatively over the last five years, the median income from work of full-time employed Singapore citizens rose in real terms by 13% or 2.5% per annum. Even for low-income Singaporeans at the 20th percentile, real income grew over the last five years by 11% or 2.2% per annum. — Bernama




Master of adventure Edgar Rice Burroughs’ brawnchilds John Carter of Mars and Tarzan of the Apes reach their centennial this year

FAMOUS Every Wednesday With DANIEL CHAN

PROLIFIC: Edgar Rice Burroughs authored 93 novels

THIS month is exactly a century since John Carter of Mars made his debut in the February 1912 issue of American pulp magazine All-Story and fans of this inter-planetary hero are eagerly awaiting the release of Disney’s big-budgeted John Carter on March 9 (here, March 8). Fans are rejoicing as entrusted to direct John Carter is Boston-born Andrew Stanton, 36, who twice won Oscars, for helming 2003’s Finding Nemo and 2008’s WALL.E which both won Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature Film. Cast as Carter is Canadian-born Taylor Kitsch who’s best known previously as the card-throwing mutant Gambit in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The amazing adventures of Captain John Carter, US Confederate army officer from Virginia, whose avatar-like spirit is mystically transported from the Arizona desert in 1866 to Mars, the fourth planet of our solar system, was the firstever

WEIRD BEASTS: Dog-like Woola (left) and on the attack is a gigantic sixlimbed white ape

story from the prolific pen of Chicago-born Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) who was then struggling as a pencil sharpener wholesaler with a wife and three children. Carter’s first outing, originally titled Under the Moons of Mars, was novelised in 1917 and retitled A Princess of Mars, the first of 11 books

in the series, the others being The Gods of Mars, Warlord of Mars, Thuvia Maid of Mars, The Chessmen of Mars, The Master Mind of Mars, A Fighting Man of Mars, Swords of Mars, Synthetic Men of Mars, Llana of Gathol and finally John Carter of Mars.

Princess, Gods and Warlord formed a landmark trilogy charting the meteoric rise of Carter from being captive of the barbaric green-skinned, four-armed, warthogtusked, bug-eyed 12 foottall Martians called Tharks, to becoming a warlord because of his bravery and superior strength and agility (due to the lesser gravity on Mars) and his winning the love of redskinned Princess Dejah Thoris of Helium and they had a son, Carthoris, and a daughter, Tara — Dejah, though humanoid in body and size, gives birth by laying eggs! Carter and Dejah figured in much of the Mars series, Carthoris was in Thuvia Maid of Mars (whom he married) and Tara was in The Chessmen of Mars (where she met her husband Gahan of Gathol). Carter became a grandfather when Tara had a daughter, Llana who had her star turn in Llana of Gathol.


The main cast in John Carter includes Lynn Collins (as Dejah but without the red skin, Collins was also in XMen Origins: Wolverine as Silverfox, Wolverine’s mutant lover), Willem Dafoe (Tars

Mankind’s fascination with aliens from Mars was sparked by US astronomer Percival Lowell’s 1895 book Tarkas, the Thark chieftain ally of Carter), Mark Strong (Matai Shang, the holy king of the Therns in The Gods of Mars), Samantha Morton (Sola, a Thark captor sympathetic to Carter), Polly Walker (Sarkoja, a Thark warden wary of Carter), Thomas Haden Church (Tal Hajus, the Thark emperor), Ciaran Hinds (Tardos Mors, the emperor of Helium and grandfather of Dejah), James Purefoy (Kantos Kahn, a Helium army officer) and Dominic West (Sab Than, the king of Zodanga who covets Dejah, and Helium). Mankind’s fascination with “green bug-eyed aliens from Mars” was sparked by US astronomer Percival Lowell whose 1895 book Mars concerning his telescopic sightings of apparently life-sustaining canals on the Red Planet, prompted British a u t h o r H.G. Wells to pioneer this sciencefiction sub-genre with his 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, about Martian invasion of Earth.



Online shopping frenzy

A chic affair

Kampong glam

Get a daily dose of shopping in the comfort of your armchair

RAOUL introduces its Spring/ Summer 2012 collection

One Buck Short launches new full-fledged Malay album

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Burroughs’ vision of Mars — which he called Barsoom — was dystopian, a dying world of dry ocean beds and weird science, populated by five million Martians who are members of various warring tribes of different physiology (from humanoid to monsterish such as the flesh-eating plant men of Dor, and the Tharks can live a thousand years) and different levels of scientific technology (the more advanced tribes travel by anti-gravity aircraft) but who all have no concept of clothing (though they adorn themselves with ornaments, they are all naked!), and there are all sorts of awesome beasts (from gigantic sixlimbed white apes to eightlegged horse-like thoats). Hollywood had long been interested in adapting Burroughs’ Martian series, but all those plans went awry. Ironically, many who now watch John Carter are likely to mistakenly feel that this 2012 film is a rip-off of Flash Gordon, George Lucas’ Star Wars series from 1977 to 2005 and James Cameron’s 2009 heroic fantasy Avatar. Actually, Flash Gordon, created by Alex Raymond in 1934,

was a copycat of John Carter, and Lucas and Cameron had openly acknowledged being influenced by Burroughs, the master of adventure. By the way, the US government named a large crater on Mars as the Burroughs Crater. Welcome, dear readers, to this new weekly column called ‘Famous’ that turns the spotlight on well-known reallife personalities (past and present, in all fields of endeavour) and titans of fiction (from the worlds of mythology, folklore, literature, comics, cinema, television, radio and Internet). Yes, the world is an oyster for this column and you can expect whiffs of nostalgia in the 99 more onepage instalments to come.

Burroughs’ warring Martian tribes all move around naked * Daniel Chan, a fourtime winner of the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) Awards, previously authored these five columns: ‘Comicscene’ (for New Straits Times, 1983-1995), ‘Glossy Magazines’ (The Malay Mail, 1990-1995), ‘Oscar Gold’ (The Malay Mail, 2000-2006), ‘Movie World’ (The Malay Mail, 2005-2006) and ‘Titans of Fiction’ (Off The Edge magazine, 20082009).

Jungle hero almost known as Zantar! TARZAN of the Apes first swung into literary action from the October 1912 issue of All-Story magazine. Edgar Rice Burroughs drew inspiration from British author Rudyard Kipling’s 1890s The Jungle Book about Indian baby Mowgli who, lost in the jungles during a tiger attack on his parents, was raised by Raksha the she-wolf. Burroughs’ version had a newly-orphaned Caucasian baby raised by Kala the she-ape. Called T a r zan (ape language for “white skin”), he becomes, in adulthood, the king of the great apes. Tarzan’s ill-fated natural parents were British nobility marooned on the coastal jungles of western Africa after a ship mutiny, and he would eventually claim his hereditary rights as John Clayton, Lord Greystoke. Burroughs’ noble savage was a huge success in various medias: books (Tarzan of the Apes, a literary gem, was the first of 26 novels), cinema and television (portrayed by 21 actors in 44 movies and three TV series from 1918 to 1999), Sun-

day and daily newspaper comic strips (at its finest under Russ Manning), comicbooks (published by Dell, Gold Key, DC, Marvel and Dark Horse) and merchandising galore (astutely licensed by Burroughs himself). Elmo Lincoln was the first screen Tarzan in 1918’s Tarzan of the Apes, a silent black & white movie which was also the first Hollywood film to gross over US$1 million (in today’s money, over US$100 million, or about RM300 million). The sixth screen Tarzan was the most popular, namely, five-time Olympics gold medal-winning swimmer Johnny Weissmuller who starred as the ape man in 12 films from 1932 to 1948, and of the TV Tarzans, the best was the first, Ron Ely, from 1968 to 1970. Burroughs also created the Carson Napier of Venus series (five novels) and the Pellucidar saga about a hidden pre-historic world at the earth’s core (seven novels). Did you know that Burroughs initially wanted to call his jungle lord Zantar before deciding that Tarzan sounds better?

COMRADES-IN-ARMS (from left): Tars Tarkas the green-skinned Thark chieftain, Captain John Carter from Earth, and Princess Dejah Thoris of Helium

SWINGING LOVERS: Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan were wonderful as Tarzan and his Lady Jane






Comfortable, chic and oh-so-colourful


Online shopping frenzy

More than 70 styles to choose from Scholl’s new designs By SOPHIA HALIM

SHOE fashionistas can look forward to a new and exciting range of chic and comfortable shoes in more than 70 styles from Scholl’s 2012 Spring/Summer Collection. The international footwear brand has been looking after feet for over 100 years. The essence of Scholl’s footwear boils down to a single, nonnegotiable characteristic – comfort. Scholl brand founder, Dr. William Mathias Scholl, believes that “the feet provide the foundation for the rest of the body”. If the feet look and feel great, the body does too! Be it for work or play, Scholl will satisfy each and every customer’s need and preference. Its new collection reasserts Scholl’s commitment to bring the utmost comfort without sacrificing style. The coming months will see the brand rolling out

itsnew range of ladies’ slippers and sandals for in different designs, vibrant colors and pretty names.

coloured boat shoes and an ebony walking shoes. Desiree will be available in March.



For those who seek comfort throughout the day, Daisy slippers and sandals are especially designed with a rubber outsole and pretty flora-print contour foot bed to ensure your feet remain snug and secure. Daisy will be available in March in red, black, gold, bronze, and beige.


Desiree This selection features soles to support the arch, available in black/gold ballerina flats, navy and camel

May brings to you Dalila, a collection of trendy strappy and comfy ladies’ sandals available in earthy beige, white, brown, khaki and

A tribal Jimmy Choo-Anouk Aimee affair FLIRTY: Have fun with the latest collection from Jimmy Choo with sulty glamour and effortless style

BRITISH high fashion house Jimmy Choo has revealed its 70’s cinema-inspired Spring Summer 2012 collection for women. This new collection draws in-

blue, and is suitable for all age groups.

spiration from French film star Anouk Aimee from the 1969 film Justine, with her sultry glamour and seemingly effortless style. These luxurious bags and shoes

are sporty, loose, eclectic with tribal and artisanal touches. Jimmy Choo fashion house is located at Lot G43, Ground Floor, Suria KLCC.

These wedges are a joy to wear and come in light grey, pink, beige, black, and stunning red. Available in May.

strappy sandals with tasteful additions of pretty buckles and back-straps. Deborah is available in mustard, black, beige and brown. Diana Diana is available in sandals, covered and opentoed flats, and slip-ons. This range comes in cherry, earth, taupe, black, dark brown, and beige. Diana will be available in June.


Arriving in June, Deborah presents a fresh new look to An online boutique where you can browse, pick and purchase dresses for various occasions. All the dresses are sourced from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.


Scholl footwear retails from RM80 onwards and is available nationwide at all leading departmental stores and Scholl boutiques.

The One Hundred: What every woman must own EXACTLY what are fashion’s timeless pieces? From Converse sneakers to the little black dress – these are the pieces that have stood the test of time, according to US fashion guru, N i n a Garcia. As fashion director at Elle magazine, Garcia has seen many fads come and go. In her book, she reveals the classics and must-haves for every wardrobe. “The items in the books are the backbone of fashion,” she says in her book, The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own. The One Hundred are those Garcia believes will never go out of style, that

Irene Lim Fashion

have become absolutely indispensable for any woman attaining her own eternal look. “These are the items that have been with me from season to season. They have been with me through thick and thin. When trends begin to fade a w a y , these are the items that I can always turn to with confidence,” says Garcia, who also shares her fashion tips in her book, The Little Black Book of Style. The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own by Nina Garcia is available at Kinokuniya KLCC and retails at RM59.90 my/ BeautyMyth claims to be the first online retailer in Asia to distribute a wide range of lifestyle and fashion products globally. Launched in November 2005 and based in Malaysia, BeautyMyth brings the latest fashion trends to customers in the US, UK, Canada and the Asia-Pacific region.

EDZ (formerly known as eightDesigns Boutique) http://www.eightdesigns Founded in 2008, eightDesigns offers modest fashion clothing such as long cardigans, blouses, tops, shawls, boyfriend shirts, tshirts, selendang and hijab.

ASOS ASOS is a global online fashion and beauty retailer and with over 50,000 branded and own label product lines across womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories, jewellery and beauty with approximately 1,500 new product lines.

SNORGTees Snorg specializes in pop-culture inspired, random, and all around funny t-shirt designs.



wednesday 1 february 2012



Spring in motion








Designers bring colours forward for the coming of Spring BY SOPHIA HALIM

THINK 1960s mod or Andy Warhol’s “Pop Art”. In a nutshell, that’s RAOUL’s Spring/Summer collection 2012 which uses bright bold colours to make a statement in their 1990s minimalisminspired women’s collection. This rising international label that has grabbed the attention of celebrities like supermodel Elle Macpherson and actress Zhang Ziyi, has unveiled “The Fast Look” for women, with “Pay attention pinks” and “Go greens” so bright that you can’t ignore. There are colours to keep you cool (white, vanilla and deep blue) and colours to compete with the scorching heat (dusty rose, pumpkin and neon-hot pink). Monochromes aside, the collection offers combination of colours and coordinating prints. It is simple, clean, and versatile, allowing you to mix-andmatch apparels and accessories to suit any day or evening occasion.

9 8

1. Graphic colour Block dress 2. Keyhole dress with Jean saddlebag and Weaved Block Heel sandal 3. Cascading gown with Esther shoulder bag and gladiator sandal 4. Jabot blouse with doublebreasted jacket, high-waisted tapered pants and gladiator sandals 5. Kate dress, Esther shoulder bag and disc-buckle sandals 6. Talitha maxi dress and gladiator sandals 7. Hommage gown and Weaved Block Heel sandal 8. Racer dress with Weaved Block Heel Sandal, and ZipUp Coat dress with Carolyn clutch and ankle-strap flats 9. Katoucha blouse, Maxi Wrapped skirt, Esther shoulder bag and Weaved Block Heel sandals

Looking fashionable at the work place

Embrace the current runway trend of bright hues, then tone down the colour with texture and pair it with neutrals

Take a cue from how The Good Wife’s Alicia Florrick, played by Julianna Margulies’ dresses for her role as a law-firm associate. — GETTYimages

Intricate sculpted covered platform wedges from Charles & Keith in vintage hues adds a touch of classic sophistication. It matches well with a single coloured dress suit.

If you use public transport, trotting around in skirts would not be the best idea. Put some old-school glamour into your office outfit with a pair of tapered pants. TIP: Find slacks that fit well or enlist the aid of a tailor. — GETTYimages






Bringing glam to the village


One Buck Short releases sophomore album Kampong Glam By SOPHIA HALIM

LOCAL punk rockers One Buck Short, known for their hit singles Fast Times and Kelibat Korupsi, are back with a full-fledged Malay album called Kampong Glam. Two of the seven tracks from this second album, Carilah Duit and Pok Pok Bujang Lapok, the latter a cover version of Tan Sri P. Ramlee’s famous song from the 1959 film Pendekar Bujang Lapok, are already massive hits on local radio since the album’s release last week (retailed at RM21.90). Kampong Glam showcases a new-found maturity for this bi-lingual band which had its share of ups and downs since 2001, including membership changes. One Buck Short (also known as OBS) is a trio comprising stalwarts Mooky @ Mundzir Abdul Latif, 29, the lead vocalist, guitarist Rahul @ Rahul Kukreja, 28, and drummer Imran @ Imran Fadzil Ishak, 27. WHAT DOES KAMPONG GLAM MEAN?

MOOKY: You go back to the kampong (village) in Malaysia and you see the kids there, they’re pretty much glamorous themselves. If you go to Penang, if you go to Johor, you see kids with mohawks and red hair, chains, bling (flashy clothing and jewellry), fixie (fixed gear) bikes and all

that. They’re pretty much “glamorous” themselves. RAHUL: There’s a story behind Kampong Glam. It’s about a guy leaving the kampong to cari duit (earn a living) and something happens to him. When he comes back to the kampong he wonders what’s going on here? The kampong is the same as the city. It’s like the kampong has become “glam” in a way.

Bon Iver Bon Iver (2011) A follow-up to his debut album For Emma, Forever Ago (2008), American indie folk singer Justin Vernon brings an expansive and ambitious full-band affair in his second selftitled album, with brilliant results. The music here is described as an “ambitious musical departure” from the first, featuring a more rustic chamber-pop sound with an experimental edge.


Rahul: The last album we put out has eight English tracks and three Malay songs. Both the English and Malay tracks did really well. When we played in Australia and Phillipines, a lot of them were asking us what are these songs, what do they mean? The same thing happens over here in Malaysia, the fans ask us why we don’t have more Malay songs. We said you know what, let’s just do a Malay album and an English album separately. DID YOU HAVE ANY DIFFICULTIES WRITING, SINGING, AND PERFORMING IN MALAY?

Mooky: It is a challenge, our style is usually straight to the point, sing-a-long material. Writing in Malay is an art, the words are more poetic. At first it was hard but we get use to it. Rahul: Some of the songs were initially in English, and later we realized it

NEW TERRITORY: One Buck Short released a full-fledged Malay album, charting their way into newer areas never been done before

sounds alright in Malay as well. We thought okay lets sing it in Malay then. There were some songs that we tried in Malay but thought maybe not, we’ll save that for the English album. DO YOU PLAN ON RELEASE A SINGLE OR ALBUM IN ANY OTHER LANGUAGE?

Imran: We might contemplate Mandarin next! Mooky: We do want to expose ourselves more China. They’re very supportive of our music. We have played in China quite a number of times and have quite a fan base there.We do want to

try something out there. As for now, we’re going to focus on our Malay and English material. ARE YOU GOING TO EXPERIMENT WITH OTHER GENRES?

Mooky: Bujang Lapok was a bit of experiment, it was a bit of a fun, I had to improvise at the end because it was a bit too short. Rahul: It sounded cool when we were jamming to it. We have a lot of raggae influence, we all listening to different music like hip hop. I like hard core, metal, so when we have a song, all our influences

Scared Gere catches Sundance Fest’s fancy

Richard Gere and Carey Lowell attend the ‘Arbitrage’ Premiere recently

FROM the high-finance suspense of Arbitrage, which Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions reportedly purchased for US$2.5 million (about RM7 million), to a slew of angry, man- the-ramparts documentaries, some of the Sundance Film Festival’s most buzzworthy films tapped into the country’s financial stress and social unrest. Now it’s up to the 1 percent to decide which ones might make a splash in the indie-

film marketplace. Arbitrage, written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki in his feature debut, stars Richard Gere as billionaire hedge funder Robert Miller, desperate to sell his company before US$400 million in cooked books is uncovered. Facing the financial ruin of both his business and his picture-perfect family, Miller goes into full panic mode when a car crash leaves his mistress dead and invites the

scrutiny he fears. Set against a backdrop that includes Wall Street, deluxe Manhattan penthouses and glitzy charity balls, Arbitrage finds its most compelling moments in a Bonfire of the Vanities-type subplot that has Miller drawing a young, black Harlem man — the son of his former chauffer — into the cover- up of the deadly car wreck. At a post-screening Q&A, Gere addressed the film’s

come into it. That’s what we’re trying to develop, when you hear a song and you go oh that’s One Buck Short! We’re slowly getting there in the last album and with this one. MUSIC ASIDE, WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?

Rahul: I work in music, I organize concerts and festivals. I work around with a lot of international artists around South East Asia, this is my job Mooky: I’m in advertising, I do ads. Outside of work, I work-out (laughs). I used to party a lot but now I don’t anymore.

depiction of moral ambiguity, infidelity and two-tiered justice. “Most of the people we’ve seen fall, whether Bill Clinton or certain financial people, every one of them has come back,” he said. “Every wife has stayed with the guy, every daughter has forgiven. It’s just the way the world works.” A release date for Arbitrage has not been announced. — The Washington Post

Kate Bush 50 Words for Snow (2011) British singer-songwriter Kate Bush’s second album of original material in the last 17 years is hauntingly gorgeous. 50 Words for Snow is filled with lengthy story-songs teeming with classic Bush characterisations and tales, fantasies, personifications, ghosts, mysteries, angels and immortals.

Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues (2011) In their highly-anticipated second album Helplessness Blues, this indie folk band from Seattle, Washington, reveals a darker and more uncertain mood, adding shade to their golden-hued sounds we heard in their self-titled debut album. It’s comparatively deeper, more intricate, and more complex, and still a triumphant follow-up to their first album.







DEC 22 - JAN 19

Some parts of your life make you happy but you still feel you can do or achieve more. You're growing tired of the same old routines. If you're waiting for someone else to come along and push you in the right direction, you could be waiting forever. It's down to you to make the move now.


JAN 20 - FEB 18

Are you paying attention to your hopes and dreams as these will lead you to your destiny? If it is romance you are dreaming of, be prepared to put time and effort into a new relationship. Single? Then a friendship might take an interesting twist and could even turn into a fine romance.


FEB 19 - MARCH 20

An unexpected chance to develop skills that could come in useful in the future should not be ignored. Turning your creations into something practical will be easy with the help of a good teacher. Look to a Virgo or a Taurus friend for guidance. A short trip could also turn out to be very productive.


The Thing

(R, 100 minutes, Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Ryan Gosling delivers a slow, white-hot burn of a performance in this nervy, understated ode to one of Hollywood's most cherished archetypes, the sad-eyed man of few words. Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn pay homage to wheelmen of yore while reinvigorating the genre with style, smarts and flashes of wit. When the plot of Drive quickens, the Danish director finds plenty of chances to indulge in his penchant for lurid, stylised violence. But his most fetishised flourishes are tempered here. After skillfully earning the audience's allegiance, Drive, based on the novel by James Sallis, throws its hero's motives into more troubling ambiguity, with Gosling's grievous angel proving to be capable of startling brutality. Low-key, sleek and sophisticated, Drive provides the visceral pleasures of pulp without sacrificing art. Contains strong brutal bloody violence and some nudity.

(R, 103 minutes, Universal Studios) First-time director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr's film acts as a prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 cult classic, which itself drew from the 1951 thriller. All three plant their roots in John W. Campbell's 1938 science-fiction novella. This latest film largely mirrors its predecessors, with a shape-shifting alien terrorising researchers in an isolated Antarctic base. Because van Heijningen attempts to answer questions raised by Carpenter's version, it's difficult to speak of one without referencing the other. Van Heijningen trades methodically established tensions for cheap, easy horror jolts. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer misses multiple opportunities to expand on the mythology of the stranded alien creature. Contains strong creature violence and gore, disturbing images and language. Extras: deleted/extended scenes, two making-of featurettes, commentary by van Heijningen and producer Eric Newman.

In Time

(PG-13, 109 minutes, 20th Century Fox)

Set in a dystopian future, In Time engages with philosophy and politics in a way that few action movies do. In filmmaker Andrew Niccol's invented universe, everyone has been genetically engineered to stop aging at 25. You're given a year to live at that point, and the price of everything is measured by a clock, not a checkbook. As in the real world, there are the haves and the have-nots. The action is set in motion when Will comes into a lot of extra time. But Will gets more than a new lease on life; he also learns the truth about how the unequal system works. It's a political wake-up call for our hero, who becomes radicalised. Its philosophy — that there is nothing more precious than time — is a pretty, if hackneyed, sentiment. All in all, In Time is not just stylish but surprisingly substantial. Contains some violence, obscenity and sensuality. — The Washington Post

In this contemporary action movie by Lee Wai Man, Jody is murdered. Inspector Ching collaborates with Jody's ex-husband, Lam, to investigate.

MAX Astro Ch 412 10:25 pm Triassic Attack

Syfy HD HyppTV Ch 165 10:55pm Sanctuary Ep. 3 — Eulogy: Helen insists that the missing Ashley is still alive but while she tries to find her, John is wondering how to seek revenge against the Cabal.

Universal Channel HD HyppTV Ch 163 9:05pm House

The owner of a roadside museum accidentally brings to life three dinosaur fossils. The giant dinosaurs start to wreak havoc on the small town.

Ep. 8 -— You Don't Want To Know: Dr House treats a magician, but the patient's symptoms lead him to believe he is not really ill. Elsewhere, the team are given a bizarre challenge.

FOX Movies Premium Astro Ch 413 10:00 pm Braveheart

History HD Astro Ch 575 9:55 pm Mud Men : Guns Armed with metal detectors, mudlarks Steve Brooker and Johnny Vaughan have five hours to hunt treasure on the banks of the Thames, one of the world's richest archaeological sites.

William Wallace (Mel Gibson, pic) returns to a Scotland ruled by a ruthless English pagan, and leads a ramshackle army determined to vanquish the greater English forces.


You could miss out on a great bargain while waiting for your partner or a housemate to approve the purchase. Differences over money could put a temporary strain on relationships but if it's your money you're spending and you have found a good buy, go with the whim of the moment.


APRIL 20 - MAY 20

Why try to suppress emotions when it would do you good to release the pressure? Feelings of sadness, happiness or annoyance need an outlet, whether it is to laugh, cry or jump for joy. So give in to your feelings today because there is absolutely no reason why you should hide them.


MAY 21 - JUNE 20

Use your head and don't rely on instinct alone when thinking about investments or purchases. You want to watch your money grow and that means getting into the habit of sensible spending. Auctioning items that have been stored away in cupboards or your attic will help you accumulate wealth.


JUNE 21 - JULY 22

Being a lot more knowledgeable does not mean you are more responsible. Be sure to know the difference. A new qualification will take you on to bigger and better things. More will be expected of you and this means new responsibilities. Capitalise on your knowledge so as not to make poor choices.


JULY 23 - AUG 22

Take any opportunity offered to advance your personal and professional interests. Changes instigated now will bring improvements in the long run. So it's a good time to apply for that job vacancy that has caught your eye. Doing a job you love will make your life so much more fulfilling.

TV PICKS STAR Chinese Movies 2 HyppTV Ch 151 9:25pm Blue Lightning



AUG 23 - SEPT 22

It may seem as if in some areas of your life you have reached that point of no return. But never say never as you could still find a way back. Eventually, you will come to realise that there is a reason for a relationship or a commitment that you were about to end, to be allowed to continue.


SEPT 23 - OCT 22

A new partner could stir up your love life in a weird and wonderful way. You aren't certain how long this relationship will last because it seems too good to be true. If you're attached, then a joint long-term commitment made now will turn out to be one that you will never regret.

SCORPIO Celestial Movies Astro Ch 322 9:05 pm Adventure of the King

SAGITTARIUS A king who longs for adventure beyond the palace walls sets out, only to lose his memory and end up working at an inn where a surprising new opportunity awaits.

OCT 23 - NOV 21

A work challenge will give you the chance to display your inner strength and sensitivity. You can help bring out another person's innate talents by encouraging them to delve into their hidden potential. Your reward is to be able to watch with satisfaction as they do well in different areas of their life.

NOV 22 - DEC 21

Your boss or a senior colleague could take you under their wing. They have more chance of inspiring you than friends and family, even though they mean well. You appreciate their support but they're too emotionally involved to be able to objectively help you make decisions that are best for you.


wednesday 1 february 2012





TAMPA (Florida)



US, Egypt seek to defuse NGO row

Republicans in final pitch for Florida

Syria showdown at UN as West presses Russia

Snakes eating up Florida wildlife

Egyptian military officers in US for talks to discuss deepening issue of US citizens holed up at US embassy in Cairo

Romney keeps his boot on the neck of rival Newt Gingrich, as both men make final pitches to voters

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Western charge to press Russia to back action to stop violence

Rabbits, raccoons, bobcats and foxes have been disappearing at dramatic rates over the past decade in Florida, study says

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Shooting sparks outrage

European Union urges Myanmar to keep up reforms

Thai govt orders investigation into the killing of four civilians by paramilitaries

European Union leaders yesterday urged Myanmar’s leaders to continue reforms and pledged to further ease sanctions if the regime meets the bloc’s expectations. “I welcome the important changes taking place in Burma/Myanmar and encourage its government to maintain its determination to continue on the path of reform,” EU president Herman Van Rompuy (pic), said in a statement after a summit in Brussels. “These changes are opening up important new prospects for developing the relationship between the European Union and Burma/Myanmar. “I look forward to further progress in the coming weeks, in particular the further release of political prisoners, free and fair elections, and halting ethnic conflicts.” After nearly half a century of outright military rule in

Thailand has ordered an investigation into the deadly shooting of four Muslim civilians by paramilitaries in the restive south, a top official said yesterday, after the deaths sparked local outrage. An elderly man and an 18-year-old boy were among those killed when Thai army rangers opened fire on a pick-up truck on Sunday night in Pattani, one of three Muslim-dominated southern provinces plagued by years of violence. Troops said they had heard a gunshot before the shooting, which also injured three other teenage boys and a 76-year-old man. Survivors

said the truck was carrying mourners returning from a funeral, according to local police. “Today we are not convinced that we are absolutely in the right because the four victims are not militant sympathisers,” said Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa, who oversees Thai national security. He said the probe would assess whether the proper procedures had been followed by paramilitaries, adding that if it was found that the men were shot in error, the state would apologise and pay compensation. Yutthasak said the people in

the pickup truck could have been used as human shields by an insurgent who was on the run from authorities. Two guns were found in the truck, according to a police report on the incident, although it did not reveal whether either had been fired. Police said the driver told officers that the weapons did not belong to the passengers. A complex insurgency, waged without clearly stated aims, has riven Thailand’s deep south near the border with Malaysia for years, resulting in a heavy presence of government troops, supported by armed paramilitaries.

Almost 5,000 people — both Buddhists and Muslims — have been killed and 8,300 wounded since the unrest began in 2004, according to local conflict monitor Deep South Watch. Struggling to quell the unrest, authorities have imposed emergency rule, which rights campaigners say effectively gives the army legal immunity. People in the region complain of a long history of discrimination against ethnic Malay Muslims by authorities in the Buddhist-majority nation, including alleged abuses by the armed forces. — AFP


Khmer Rouge court unable to pay staff salaries Cambodia’s UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal has run out of money to pay the wages of hundreds of workers as contributions from donor countries have dried up, a court spokesman said yesterday. None of the more than 300 Cambodians working at the tribunal, from judges to drivers, will be paid this month and may not receive their salaries in February and March either, said Neth Pheaktra. “We have no money,” he said, adding some judges and prosecutors had not been paid since October. The funding shortfall does not affect the more than 130 international employees at the war crimes court, whose wages are paid by the UN. Cambodian salaries are paid through voluntary contributions from donor nations such as Japan, France

and Australia. “It affects morale at the court,” said Pheaktra. “The people depend on their salaries to support their families and it’s not good to go without pay.” The court, set up in 2006 to find justice for the deaths of up to two million people during the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-1979 rule, is perpetually cash-strapped but this is thought to be longest period of non-payment to date. The tribunal has long been dogged by allegations of political meddling and has also been criticised for proceeding too slowly, adding to donor reluctance to stump up more cash, say observers. Court officials will travel to New York in February to meet with donor countries to discuss the court’s budget for 2012-2013, according to Pheaktra. “We hope the donor coun-

the country formerly known as Burma, the regime has surprised observers with a series of reforms which culminated recently in democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi standing for a seat in parliament. The EU agreed in January to begin easing sanctions on Myanmar to encourage reform, lifting travel bans against the nation’s leaders and pledging further action pending continued change. “We will continue to ease the EU’s restrictive measures if our expectations are met,” Van Rompuy said. — AFP


Ramos-Horta to seek second term

FUNDING SHORTFALL: Former Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan (right), in a courtroom in Phnom Penh during his trial in June last year — AFPpic

tries can provide urgent funding for our staff,” he said, adding that the Cambodian side of the court would likely

need around US$10 million (RM30.1 million) in foreign contributions in 2012, similar to last year. — AFP

Timor LESTE President Jose Ramos-Horta (pic), will seek another five-year term in March elections, his office said yesterday. “Nobel Peace Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta announced today that he is standing for reelection in Timor-Leste’s 17th March presidential elections,” the president’s website said, using the country’s official name. About 10 presidential hopefuls have now entered the race, including the opposition’s Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres and the former head of the armed forces, Major General Taur Matar Ruak. Insiders say the election is set to turn into a three-way match

between the 62-year-old incumbent, Lu Olo and Ruak. The polls come as UN peacekeepers, stationed in East Timor since its historic 1999 vote for independence after Indonesia’s brutal 24-year occupation, prepare to withdraw from the once-restive country. — AFP





world Four we have repaired and they are flying again. The other two will follow in the coming days. statement BY SINGAPORE AIRLINES



US, Egypt set to defuse NGO row

MOSCOW: Russia plans to postpone its next manned launch to the International Space Station (ISS) by at least a month, the head of its space agency’s manned programmes told the RIA Novosti news agency yesterday. The current mission on the ISS is likely to land around 45 days later than the scheduled March 16, while the next mission set for March 30 will blast off with a similar delay, the Roscosmos official, Alexei Krasnov, said. “I think their return and the launch of the next crew will be pushed back by a month or a month-and-a-half,” Krasnov said, adding that he would have the exact dates after a teleconference with Nasa set for tomorrow. — AFP

Travel ban on several US citizens forces many to hole up in Cairo embassy Senior Egyptian military officers visited the United States yesterday for talks as both sides try to defuse a deepening row that has seen a number of American citizens hole up at the US embassy in Cairo. Egypt’s military rulers, charged with leading the transition to democratic rule, have slapped a travel ban on several US citizens working for pro-democracy non-government organisations (NGOs). US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (pic), confirmed that “a handful” of Americans barred from leaving had taken shelter at the American mission while awaiting permission to depart. In what is a dramatic sign of a fraying alliance — one that has been the lynchpin of US diplomacy in the Middle East — The Washington Post and The New York Times quoted officials as saying the Americans feared arrest. Nuland said a high-ranking Egyptian military delegation was in the United States this week for talks with officials from the Pentagon, the State Department and Congress. Although it was a previously scheduled trip, the row

over the NGOs will come up during these meetings, she added. A State Department official said the Egyptian officers had arrived yesterday in Tampa, Florida — headquarters for US Central Command, which oversees the Middle East. They were due to leave Tampa for Washington today. Nuland said the embassy had invited the Americans to stay because they had “concerns” she would not specify, although she made clear that “we do not feel that they are in physical danger at the moment.” She added: “That is a different matter than whether they are being persecuted in the Egyptian judicial system.” Daniel Kurtzer, a former US ambassador to Egypt, told CNN television the decision to shelter the NGO members was a smart move. “Nobody is claiming these folks will face mortal danger if they leave the embassy and they’re there by invitation. So, it’s a clever act by the embassy to remove the immediate precipitant,” Kurtzer said. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US has made clear to Egypt’s military rulers “our disappoint-

ment that these several citizens are not being allowed to depart Egypt,” as Washington continued to try to resolve the issue. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta telephoned Egypt’s military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, at the weekend and asked him to lift the travel ban on US citizens working for US-funded NGOs, including the International Republican Institute (IRI). The ban has further strained USEgyptian ties after Cairo prosecutors last month stormed the offices of the IRI, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House as part of a probe into allegations of illegal foreign funding. They were among 17 offices of local and international NGOs raided. The crackdown was part of a wider campaign by Egypt’s rulers to silence dissent after months of criticism of its human rights record, analysts said. — AFP

Palm-reading for the toddlers BEIJING: Several kindergartens in a province in northern China are charging parents 1,200 yuan (RM589) for a palm-reading test they claim can predict their toddlers’ intelligence and potential, state news agency Xinhua said. Many parents have flocked to palm readers for the test, used in kindergartens in northern Shanxi province and designed for children above the age of three months, the report said. According to the company that designed the tests, Shanxi Daomeng Culture Communication Co, the reading of palms helps “determine the children’s innate intelligence and potential”. Some experts, however, have dismissed the idea of palmreading. “This technology remains unaccounted for,” Xinhua quote a pediatrics expert as saying. — Reuters


More cracks on SIA’s A380s Singapore Airlines said yesterday it had found examples of recently identified wing cracks in all six of the Airbus A380s on which it carried out mandatory inspections, as a senior pilot issued reassurance over the superjumbo’s safety. The discovery of more instances of cracked wing components was expected after Airbus said last week it had found the problem and predicted that until it had time to conduct repairs, a consistent pattern would emerge in further tests. The European planemaker and airlines insist the world’s largest airliner is safe to fly, but are keen to move beyond the issue of

small cracks in wing brackets that grabbed media attention and triggered compulsory checks last week. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ordered carriers to inspect almost a third of the global fleet of A380s, starting with six jets operated by Singapore Airlines, to check for one of two types of cracks that emerged in the space of weeks. “We found cracks in all six,” the airline’s regional public relations manager for Europe, Peter Tomasch, said during a press event at Frankfurt Airport. “Four we have repaired and they are flying again. The other two will follow in

Abortion curb pays off in Taiwan CRACKS IN THE WINGS: A filepic showing an Airbus A380 touching down at Brisbane International Airport — AFPpic

the coming days.” EASA ordered the most urgent checks on aircraft that had carried out at least 1,800 takeoffs and landings; the six Singapore Airlines aircraft fell into this category. The agency gave airlines six weeks to perform checks on a second category of jets that had between 1,300 and

Russia postpones space launch

1,800 takeoffs and landings, and did not order checks on less heavily used aircraft. Analysts say publicity over the cracks is unlikely to benefit Airbus rival Boeing in the short term as airlines base their decisions on whether to buy the US$390 million (RM1.2 billion) jet on the economics of its anticipated performance over

many years. However, some say the problems for Airbus could deepen if the response diverts scarce engineering resources or passengers balk at flying on the jet. So far no airlines using A380 have reported any dip in bookings. In an airworthiness directive, EASA last week gave Singapore Airlines, Dubai’s Emirates and Air France six weeks to examine a further 14 aircraft. — Reuters

TAIPEI: Taiwanese health authorities said yesterday tougher checks on illegal gender-selective abortions prevented nearly 1,000 terminations of female foetuses last year. Taiwan’s health authorities moved to tighten curbs on the illegal abortions last year, warning that doctors found guilty could have their licences revoked. “The strict measures have paid off,” said Lee Tsui-feng, a Bureau of the Health Promotion official. Figures showed 108 males babies were born for every 100 female babies in 2011, down from 109 to 100 in 2010. The normal sex ratio at birth globally is 104-106 males to every 100 females. “That’s the same as 993 female foetuses saved last year,” Lee said. Lee said it may take another four or five years to weed out the illegal practice entirely. — AFP





world The claim for copyright infringement relates to Gingrich’s use of the song at his political rallies Rude Music Inc in its suit at an Illinois federal court


Final pitch for Florida votes Romney begins to pull clear after solid debate performances and blistering ads against rival Gingrich Gingrich’s campaign. But the former congressman from Georgia hit back, accusing Romney of trying to buy the election, as he promised a fight all the way to the August convention. “Money power cannot buy people power, people power depends on conservatism and we are going to take back our country,” he said in Tampa, joined by former candidate Herman Cain, a favourite of the party’s Tea Party activists. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, a favourite of the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party, has also weighed in Gingrich’s favour, telling supporters to “Vote for Newt” in Florida. Despite the polls, Gingrich said he expected a close race in Florida, which will be a key battleground in the November election, pitting President Barack Obama, a Democrat, against the eventual Republican nominee.

With seven states voting in the next four weeks, Romney’s vast cash war-chest and deep political organisation could come to the fore as political battles are fought on multiple fronts. Even though he came in third in the 2008, Romney then won five of those seven states. The next vote will take place in Nevada on Saturday. A crucial role is being played by conservative former senator Rick Santorum, who won the first state of Iowa but whose campaign has been flagging since. Santorum appeared to concede defeat in Florida’s primary on Monday, announcing that he would begin campaigning in other states. The 12 closely contested battleground states in the poll were Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. — AFP

The Florida primary election could prove pivotal in the battle between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination Newt Gingrich

Mitt Romney

Rick Santorum

Ron Paul

Jon Huntsman


“I know, it’s sad,” Romney said. “He’s been flailing around a bit trying to go after me for one thing or the other, you just watch it and you shake your head, it’s been kind of painfully revealing.” Romney had began to pull clear in the Sunshine State after a solid debate performance last Thursday, an advantage that was pressed home by a trove of blistering ads that painted Gingrich as unethical and not fit for office. On the eve of the vote, the former Massachusetts governor and millionaire venture capitalist led Gingrich by 13 points according to the Real Clear Politics polling average. The winner-take-all state that offers 50 delegates is the biggest trawl in the campaign to get to 1,144. According to a Suffolk University/7NEWS poll released yesterday, the gap may be as much as 20 points, a crushing blow to


Despite a comfortable lead in the polls, Mitt Romney kept his boot on the neck of rival Newt Gingrich yesterday, as both men made final pitches to Florida voters on the eve of a key Republican presidential primary. Knowing that victory today would cement his status as presumptive nominee and help vanquish a heavy loss in South Carolina, Romney belittled his rival’s attacks as “painfully revealing,” capping a strikingly bitter and personal contest between the two men. “I tell you, with a turnout like this I’m beginning to believe that we might win tomorrow,” Romney told a large crowd in Dunedin, before training his sights on the former speaker of the House of Representatives. “I know the speaker is not real happy, speaker Gingrich, he’s not feeling very excited these days,” Romney said to cries of mock sympathy from the crowd.

Total delegates* January 3 January 10 January 21 January 31


Iowa caucus: 28 delegates (unpledged) 12 14 0



New Hampshire primary: 12 (proportional) 7 0 3



South Carolina primary: 25 (winner take all) 0 0 0


Florida primary: 50 (winner take all)

Spent on campaign to date**

Super PAC supporting Gingrich received additional $10m from donors after his win in Romney super PAC has South Carolina spent $6.8m in Florida Sources: Fed. Election Commission, news reports

*1,144 delegates needed to win Republican nomination. Two delegates each from Iowa and South Carolina remain to be allocated. **By super PACs – Political Action Committees – which can spend unlimited funds

Pictures: Associated Press




Scores injured in Peruvian earthquake

Mexico loses RM155b in illegal outflows

A powerful earthquake on Monday injured scores of people, buckled buildings and caused power outages on the coast south of Lima, with no immediate reports of fatalities, officials said yesterday. The epicenter of the magnitude 6.3 quake, which struck on Monday night was 23km southeast of the city of Ica, the US Geological Survey said. Memories are still fresh of the powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the Ica region on Aug 15, 2007, killing more than 500 people and injured about 200,000. While residents remain jittery, there were no known fatalities afterthe Monday quake, Civil Defence officials said. However about 145 people were injured and most were taken to hospitals, though the injuries were mostly minor, the Health Ministry said. The quake also destroyed 125 homes and damaged

Rocked by quake: The Cathedral of Ica was extensively damaged by the earthquake which hit Peru on Monday night — AFPpic

581 buildings, said the Civil Defence Institute (INDECI) in its latest report. Most people were injured when they fled their homes in panic, or when they were struck by collapsing walls, said Raul Huaman with the Ica Regional Hospital. Among the damaged buildings was the Cathedral of Ica, which had already been damaged in a

2007 earthquake. The jolt caused people to flee their homes in Ica, the port of Pisco, and the towns of Palpa, Nasca and Canete. Dozens of Ica residents spent the night in parks and gardens fearing aftershocks. Peru is in the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” which is the site of 85 per cent of global seismic activity. — AFP

Mexico haemorrhaged almost US$50 billion (RM155 billion) per year in illegal financial outflows in the past decade, without counting cash transactions, according to a report presented yesterday in Mexico City. “During the 1970s the figure was US$3 billion (RM9.3 billion), in the 1980s it was US$10 billion (RM31 billion), in 1990 it was US$17 billion (RM52.7 billion) and almost US$50 billion in the first decade” of this century, Raymond Baker, director of Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based research and advocacy group,

told a news conference here. Crime, corruption and tax evasion cost the economy “an impressive outflow” of US$872 billion (RM2.7 trillion) between 1970 and 2010, Baker said. The estimates were conservative because they did not include cash transactions often favoured by drug smugglers or human traffickers, the report said. Illegal outflows rose dramatically after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — between Mexico, the United States and Canada — came into force in 1994, ac-

cording to the report. “The study does indicate that a majority of Mexican capital outflows, which include both licit and illicit capital, end up in US banks,” the report said. Trade mispricing, a form of trade based money-laundering, accounted for more than 70 per cent of total illicit financial outflows, it said. The group urged Mexican authorities to introduce computer software to detect trading prices out of line with international norms, expand tax treaties and increase information sharing with other countries. — AFP


Gingrich sued over ‘Eye of the Tiger’ Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (pic), faces a lawsuit over his use of Eye of the Tiger, the theme song to the movie Rocky III, court documents show. The claim for copyright infringement, lodged yesterday by Rude Music Inc in an Illinois federal court, relates to Gingrich’s use of the song at his po-

litical rallies. Rude Music Inc is owned by Frank Sullivan, who co-wrote the Grammy-award winning song. In addition to Gingrich, the complaint names his campaign, Newt 2012 Inc, and the American Conservative Union, an advocacy organisation, as defendents. – Reuters





world A senate banking commission will soon vote to punish Iran further with more economic and political sanctions Key US lawmakers in a statement issued in Washington



Syria showdown at UN

Police recover stolen glacier ice in Chile

Clinton to push forward UN resolution amid warnings of potential massacre

Police yesterday were investigating a criminal gang that allegedly stole blocks of ice from the Jorge Montt Glacier in southern Chile. Agents with Chile’s National Forest Service (Conaf) filed a legal complaint claiming that ice was being stolen from the glacier, located in the Chilean Patagonia region some 1,700km south of Santiago. Police in the southern city of Cochrane then swooped in on a truck loaded with five tons of ice and arrested the driver, the daily El Mercurio reported on its online edition. The driver was arrested on charges of theft, but could also face charges of crimes against cultural heritage, said Cochrane prosecutor Jose Moris. Police, who put the value of the stolen ice at US$6,200 (RM19,220), are on the lookout for the driver’s accomplices. The 454-square-kilometer Jorge Montt glacier is melting at a rate of a kilometer per year, making it one of the world’s most visible milestones of global warming, researchers said in December. The withering glacier is part of the 13,000-square-kilometer Southern Ice Field, the third largest frozen landmass after Antarctica and Greenland, shared by Chile and Argentina. — AFP

The UN Security Council braced for a showdown over Syria yesterday, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leading a Western charge pressing Russia to back action to stop the violence. Amid dozens of new deaths in Syria and opposition warnings of a potential massacre, Clinton, the head of the Arab League and the British and French foreign ministers headed to New York to push forward a UN resolution. But Russia has vowed to use its veto power to block a resolution introduced by Morocco under which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would accept a ceasefire and hand over power to a deputy ahead of talks on a settlement. “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the escalation of the Syrian regime’s violent and brutal attacks on its own people,” Clinton said in a statement yesterday announcing her trip to the United Nations. “The Security Council must act and make clear to the Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a threat to peace and security. The violence must end, so that a new period of democratic

transition can begin.” European Union leaders at a Brussels summit unanimously voiced outrage over the bloodshed in Syria. EU President Herman Van Rompuy called on the Security Council to “take long overdue steps to bring an end to the repression.” British Prime Minister David Cameron, citing reports that more than 400 children have been killed in the crackdown, said: “It’s frankly an appalling situation”. “It’s time for all the members of the UN Security Council to live up to their responsibilities instead of shielding those with blood on their hands,” Cameron said. Syria’s foreign ministry fired back, saying “the aggressive American and Western statements against Syria are escalating in a scandalous manner,” and again blaming the recent violence on “armed terrorist groups”. Russia and China — which have accused Western nations of misusing a UN mandate in their intervention to bring down Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi — in October vetoed an earlier Western-backed draft reso-

‘Bloody’ protest: Actors from New York-based Avaaz wearing giant masks of Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin stage a protest outside the UN Security Council building — AFPpic

lution on Syria. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov expressed similar concerns about the latest draft resolution. Russia has longstanding ties to Syria and is the main supplier of weapons to Assad’s regime. Russia has also called for Assad’s regime and the oppo-

sition to hold “informal contacts” in Moscow without any preconditions. Asked about Russia’s call for talks, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United States supported a political solution but was “intensely discussing” with Russia the “real deterioration on the ground” in Syria.

“The regime has lost control of the country and will eventually fall,” Carney said. Human rights groups say that more than 5,400 people have died in Syria as Assad has tried to crush the latest in a wave of Arab uprisings that last year overthrew authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. — AFP



IAEA ends Iran visit, US eyes more sanctions

Air raids kill 15 at al-Qaeda meeting

Officials from the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, wrapped up a three-day visit to Iran yesterday seen as a chance to defuse an intensifying international showdown over Teheran’s atomic activities. But even as the high-stakes mission wound down, US lawmakers signalled in Washington that they intended to keep up the pressure on the Islamic republic by unveiling plans for yet more economic sanctions, on top of those already infuriating Iran. The visit came amid a building confrontation between Iran and the West, and speculation that Israel is planning military strikes on Iranian nuclear sites. Iran’s foreign minister, Ali

Akbar Salehi, said on Monday his country was prepared to host the International Atomic Energy Agency officials for longer, “if they want” to extend their mission. It was not known if the offer was made officially to the IAEA team, whose visit was taking place entirely out of public view. The IAEA has kept silent about which Iranian officials the six-person team — led by chief inspector Herman Nackaerts — was talking with or if it was inspecting any suspect nuclear sites, and media in Teheran well being kept well away. The UN agency has said the team was to focus on suspicions set out in a November 2011 report it issued strongly suggesting Iran was re-

searching a nuclear weapon. Iran has called that report baseless and maintains its nuclear programme is peaceful. Its response to recent, severe Western economic sanctions against its finance and all-important oil sectors has been to defiantly ramp up its nuclear activities. It has started uranium enrichment at a new fortified bunker in Fordo, near its holy city of Qom, and announced that a 20-per cent enriched uranium fuel plate would be inserted into its Teheran research reactor within weeks. At the same time, though, it has vowed to keep up cooperation with the IAEA. It has also voiced willingness to resume talks with

world powers over its nuclear programme that collapsed a year ago, although it has yet to make any formal step in that direction. But key US lawmakers yesterday said a senate banking commission would soon vote a text to punish Iran further with more economic and political sanctions. The legislation “sends a clear signal through strong measures that Iran must abandon its nuclear weapons program and its designs for the spread of international terror,” said the top Republican senator on the panel, Richard Shelby. The bill targets firms that have anything to do with helping Iran mine, produce or transport uranium anywhere in the world. — AFP

Overnight air raids struck an al-Qaeda meeting and control post in southern Yemen, killing around 15 people including a long-hunted regional militant leader, tribal chiefs said yesterday. The four night-time raids were “carried out by US planes”, according to a local military official who spoke anonymously. They hit targets in the Loder and Al-Wadih areas of Abyan province, a tribal chief said. Al-Qaeda militants control much of the province after taking advantage of months of political turmoil, which has forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to agree to step down next month, to overrun swathes of the south. “We think they were carried out by American planes,” a tribal chief said,

speaking anonymously. Three of the raids targetted a school in which al-Qaeda fighters and chiefs of a local militant network were meeting around midnight. Around a dozen people were killed, among them regional al-Qaeda leader Abdul Monem al-Fahtani, who has long been sought by the Yemeni authorities, and other local chiefs, they said. The fourth strike hit an alQaeda control post, killing three people, they said. The deteriorating security situation in Yemen, caught up in an Arab pro-democracy uprising unleashed a year ago, has raised alarm including at the UN Security Council of a growing presence of al-Qaeda militants in areas in the south and east of the country. — AFP








world We gave old theories that have long hung a knockout punch and textbooks will now have to be rewritten Josef Rauschecker neuroscience professor



‘Snakes eating up Florida wildlife’ Raccoons, bobcats and foxes disappearing at dramatic rates over past decade Across southern Florida, rabbits, raccoons, bobcats and foxes have been disappearing at dramatic rates over the past decade, and invasive Burmese pythons are to blame, a US study said yesterday. The big snakes which are native to southeast Asia have been devouring all kinds of wildlife leading to “severe declines” in once common animals, said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The United States formally banned the import of Burmese pythons earlier this month, but the study suggests they have already caused enormous damage to the ecosystem in the Florida Everglades with unknown implications for the future. The research was based on data from surveys in which dead and live animals are counted along roadways. From 1993-1999, before the invasive snakes had established a population in south

Florida, raccoons, opossums and rabbits were the most frequent roadkill. But from 2003-2011, surveys spotted a 99.3 per cent decrease in racoons, 98.9 per cent fewer opossums and no rabbits or foxes, said the article authored by Michael Dorcasa at Davidson College in North Carolina and colleagues at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and the National Park Service. Surveys also saw 94.1 per cent fewer white-tailed deer and 87.5 per cent fewer bobcats. These “severe apparent declines in mammal populations... coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in Everglades National Park,” said the study. During that period, annual removals of Burmese pythons have risen from less than 50 per year to 300-400 annually. Raccoons, opossums, bobcats, deer and rabbits have all

been “documented in the diet of pythons in Everglades National Park,” added the study. Raccoons and opossums may be particularly vulnerable because they forage at the water’s edge where the pythons lurk, while other animals like deer and bobcats may be unaware of the danger posed by these unfamiliar snakes. Just how the Burmese pythons made their way into the Everglades is uncertain, though some blame pet owners who set their snakes free when they grow too large. Others believe the population began to take root after Hurricane Andrew swept through the region in 1992, destroying some pet stores and setting baby pythons free in the wetlands near Florida’s pristine tourist beaches. The changes to the ecosystem remain “complex and difficult to predict,” said the study, noting that while nuisance reports about raccoons have dropped way off, there

are mounting concerns the snakes could be eating endangered birds and other rare animals, too, such as wood storks and Key Largo woodrats. The decline in foxes and bobcats could be due to the snakes eating them, or they could be starving due to disappearing small prey like rabbits. Some species may rebound, such as crocodiles, turtles and birds, since there are fewer racoons to feast on their eggs. But overall, more study is needed to understand the

Diet for pythons: Raccoons, once found in large numbers in the Florida Everglades, are an easy prey for pythons because they forage at the water’s edge — AFPpic

shifts in animal populations due to the introduction of a new top predator, the authors wrote. Invasive species are a top threat to global biodiversity and the battle against them costs US$120 billion (RM372 billion) a year in the United States alone. — AFP



New poser on brain

Hasselhoff makes proposal No 3

The part of the brain used for speech processing is in a different location than originally believed, according to a US study yesterday that researchers said will require a rewrite of medical texts. Wernicke’s area, named after the German neurologist who proposed it in the late 1800s, was long believed to be at the back of the brain’s cerebral cortex, behind the auditory cortex which receives sounds. But a review by scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center of more than 100 imaging studies has shown it is actually three centimeters closer to the front of the brain, and is in front of the auditory cortex, not behind. “Textbooks will now have to be rewritten,” said neuroscience professor Josef Rauschecker, lead author of the study which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We gave old theories that have long hung a knockout punch.” Rauschecker and col-

leagues based their research on 115 previous peer-reviewed studies that investigated speech perception and used brain imaging scans — either MRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) or PET (positron emission tomography). An analysis of the brain imaging coordinates in those studies pointed to the new location for Wernicke’s area, offering new insight for patients suffering from brain damage or stroke. “If a patient can’t speak, or understand speech, we now have a good clue as to where damage has occurred,” said Rauschecker. “This finding suggests the architecture and processing between the two species is more similar than many people thought.” Lead author Iain DeWitt, a PhD candidate in Georgetown’s Interdisciplinary Programme in Neuroscience, said the study confirms what others have found since brain imaging began in the 1990s, though some debate has persisted. — AFP

First black opera diva dies at 92 CHICAGO: Camilla Williams, the first black woman to perform with a major US opera company who became both a cultural ambassador and civil rights activist, has died at the age of 92, officials said yesterday. “I can confirm that she died at home of complications from cancer,” Alan Barker, a spokesman for Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where Williams taught for 20 years, said. Born in a small town in the segregated southern state of Virginia, Williams began her singing career at church and was introduced to the classical repertoire at the age of 12 when a Welsh voice teacher came to Danville. “All my people sing. We were poor, but God blessed us with music,” Williams once said. — AFP

Archdiocese staff charged NEW YORK: An employee of the Catholic Church’s archdiocese in New York was arrested yesterday on charges of stealing about US$1 million (RM3.1 million) from church funds. Anita Collins, 67, has been working for the archdiocese since 2003, law enforcement and church officials said. A spokesman for the archdiocese, Joseph Zwilling, said “it has been determined that the amount stolen is approximately US$1 million.” “The theft that was uncovered was committed by the employee using a sophisticated fraud to manipulate the accounts payable system in the Department of Education Finance Office,” Zwilling said. — AFP

Spain exhumes remains of ‘17 roses’

Baywatch and Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff yesterday proposed to girlfriend Hayley Roberts, 28 years his junior, on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Hasselhoff, 59, posted the news on his Twitter account, but left his followers guessing over how Roberts, a Welsh factory worker, replied. “Tried it again on top of

the Sydney Harbour Bridge. What do you think she said?,” he tweeted, alongside a picture of him on one knee and another of the pair embracing during a climb to the top of the Sydney icon. According to reports, the twice-married father-of-two has asked the 31-year-old to marry him before, once in his Britain’s Got Talent dressing room and again atop a

PLEASE MARRY ME: Hasselhoff, on his knee, proposing to Roberts on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in this handout photo taken and released by BridgeClimb — AFPpic

mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. Hasselhoff is in Australia filming reality television show Celebrity Apprentice Australia. — AFP

GERENA (Spain): Archaeologists are unearthing the remains of 17 women who were shot during Spain’s 1936-39 civil war and dumped in a mass grave, one of the conflict’s most notorious events. Since the exhumation began last week, the remains of 14 of the 17 women have been discovered at the cemetery in the southwestern town of Gerena, said 25-year-old Lucia Socam, whose great-aunt Granada Hidalgo was among one of the victims. The skeleton of one of the women was removed from the mass grave on Monday so her descendants can give her a proper burial, she added. The women, dubbed the “17 roses”, were rounded up and shot by General Francisco Franco’s forces in 1937 for being relatives of people on the opposing Republican side. — AFP







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SPORTS If a coach or anyone force them to take doubtful substances during training at home or abroad, they should reject them ZOLKPLES EMBONG NSC DIRECTOR-GENERAL


Young ‘uns deprived State national meets held before zone championships

FLAG OFF: FT U-18 Boys meet yesterday morning


IT JUST doesn’t make sense...the Federal Territory schools sports calendar for cross-country. FT had their schools cross-country meet yesterday, way before zones held theirs. Even the national meet will be held before the zones meet. “Last year’s zone winners competed in the FT schools meet. We do it this way to prepare for the national meet, which will be held in Kedah this March,” said FT School Sports head Nordin Mohd Noor.

“We also encourage the zones to conduct their own trials and select athletes for this event. FT organises out-of-season training programmes for those with potential.” The zones — Putrajaya, Bangsar, Keramat, Pudu and Sentul — will hold their cross-country event on Oct 11. It is normal for sports to be held in stages, beginning with the zone level followed by State level and then, national level. Nordin declined to accept that Form One pupils would be adversely affected by the decision to use last year’s zone winners in this year’s na-

tional event. “That is not true. It is left to the zones to decide, if they wan to consider the performance of their Under-12 runners. We have been doing this for three years now,” he added. However, cross-country is not held in primary schools. Winners, who were in Form Five last year, would also be robbed of the opportunity to represent zone and State. For the record, in the zone level Under-14 and Under-16 categories are held while at State level, the categories are Under-15 and Under-17.


Zol: Refer to ISN when in doubt NATIONAL athletes have been reminded to be more cautious and responsible when taking substances during training and off-season. National Sports Council (MSN) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong (pic) said sports associations and athletes were repeatedly cautioned to refer to the Nationals Sports Institute when they have been prescribed medication and supplements. “They (the athletes) must be clever. If a coach or anyone force them to take doubtful substances during training at home or abroad, they should reject them.

“We don’t want a repeat of the incident at the SEA Games in Indonesia last year because the athletes did not notify MSN and ISN,” he told reporters here yesterday. Prior to this, several athletes tested positive during

anti-doping tests after taking supplements and medication supplied by their coach. Two athletes who won medals in athletics and weightlifting tested positive during anti-doping test of Sample A by the Indonesian SEA Games Organising Committee (Inasoc) on Dec 21 last year. Zolkples said MSN could not help athletes involved in taking banned substances if they did not want to help themselves. “My contact numbers are not secrets. They can contact me if there is doubt,” he added. — Bernama





SPORTS I’m sad. Both badminton and football have not progressed and I’m very sad TAN SRI ELYAS OMAR FORMER SPORTS SUPREMO


Elyas: No room for failure Former Malaysian sports supremo laments state of affairs in badminton and football HE IS known as the man with the Midas touch, especially in sports. Tan Sri Elyas Omar was not only known as the third Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, but also a prominent figure in the sports fraternity. He helmed the KL Football Association and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and was vice-president of the FA of Malaysia (FAM), among others. Under his leadership, KL won the Malaysia Cup for three consecutive years — 1987, 1988 and 1989 — and as BAM president, Elyas ensured Malaysia won the Thomas Cup in 1992. He also served as Sports Commissioner from 2004 to 2007. His recognition in sports did not go unnoticed as he was inducted in the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) Hall of Fame in 2007. Elyas had his fair share of criticism especially during his years as the Sports Commissioner, especially with the ruckus in national taekwondo scene. Some labeled him a ‘dictator’ but Elyas stressed he was merely followed the book. Elyas spent some time with Mailsport’s Senior Journalist HARESH DEOL recently as he spoke about a wide range of issues — from the pathetic state of KL football to our national shuttlers not being able to qualify for the Thomas Cup Finals.


Mailsport (MS): You were instrumental in charting the fortunes of the national badminton team leading to them winning the 1992 Thomas Cup in KL. Yet today, we struggle to qualify for the Finals. How do you see this? Elyas Omar (EO): It is really sad. It is difficult for us to qualify, and this may be the first time we may not qualify since 1949. If that happens, BAM should take full responsibility. We should be moving ahead and not backwards. Obviously something went wrong somewhere. After we won the Thomas Cup in 1992, we should have achieved more glory for the country. Feeling sad alone will not help. Something must be done immediately. There must be a five-year programme with an annual review of the programme. I’m sorry to say but they

way I see it, we don’t have a team this time around. And if we don’t qualify, then heads must roll. MS: What was your recipe back then? EO: After we almost lost to India in the 1979 Thomas Cup qualifiers, we had had to do something quickly. We developed a Thomas/Uber Cup campaign and set a six-year plan to develop the national teams and win the Cup. We had to do a quick job, pressure cooker development. It was launched in 1985 and implemented in 1986 and we succeeded in fulfilling our plan by winning the Thomas Cup in 1992. My plan was to strengthen our doubles players. At that time we had Razik Sidek and Jalani Sidek as our strongest pair and we already had the base. Then we moulded Cheah Soon Kit-Soo Beng

CHAMPIONS: The Malaysians celebrate a rare victory in the 1992 Thomas Cup

Kiang and made them into world class players within two years. We had a very tight time-table. I had always pushed but I was close to them and talked to them so that they would be motivated and able to handle the pressure. They needed confidence. It was not whether you can win it but more of a situation of if you want to win it or not. Our weakness then was in the singles department as we only had Rashid Sidek. Misbun’s (Sidek) performance was going down at that time but I placed a lot of emphasis on the doubles as we would then be guaranteed two points. All we then needed was a point from the singles and the possibility of winning a point from three singles players was greater than two doubles pairs. We should have carried on with that momentum but we didn’t. MS: What do you think happened? EO: BAM started to dismantle. I wonder what happened to the badminton academy? The government had allocated six acres of land in a joint venture effort with a private company but it is nowhere in sight till today. In fact, we should have established another academy in the country. MS: There also seems to be too much focus on the elite few. EO: I’ve been informed there’s just too much of focus at the top and not much done at the State level. I remember handing out grants to the States to produce talent. BAM should not be conducting training for the shuttlers. BAM should only have centralised training just before any major team event to tighten the loose ends. We have to create more clubs! BAM should be encouraging more clubs but it looks like they are trying to fight against the clubs. A club president once told me that BAM were very hostile. I know the predicament of Nusa Mahsuri as they used to come to me. Their problem was either Nusa Mah-

suri or BAM but never working hand in hand. State BAs should create more clubs at the grassroots. BAM has more money now then during my time. So money shouldn’t be a problem. MS: When we talk about clubs, the name of World and Asian junior champion Zulfadli Zulkili comes to mind. EO: They should be exposing Zulfadli at the highest level now. He is capable. BAM fail to realise they are a body for all associations in the country. Perhaps they need to change their name to Badminton Association(s) of Malaysia to help them remember that. MS: Do you think you were snubbed at the recent BAM gala night? EO: There was no mention of me, no thank you but I was invited. Why should they humiliate me? I don’t understand why they (BAM) asked me to attend but when I was there it was as if I did not exist. (Note: BAM had quickly issued an apology to Elyas over the matter). MS: Let’s talk about football. KL are currently placed rock bottom in the Super League. EO: I’m sad. Both badminton and football have not progressed and I’m very sad. The KL football team were the first in the country to start employing players on a semi-professional basis. We were even once the top four clubs in the region. Today, we are nothing. MS: Some believe you ‘spoiled’ KLFA by being overly generous during your time and now they find it difficult to fend for themselves. EO: I would like to correct you on that. We didn’t have money. We asked for money. Despite winning trophies our players didn’t get land. Selangor players got big fat bonuses and even petrol stations during that time. But we helped the players to buy apartments. The association did not enjoy much funds but we managed. MS:



not died despite a major crackdown in the early 90s when you were a FAM vice-president. EO: I am not trying to angkat (butter) him but Tuanku (FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah) was very serious about it. But I believe there was not enough joint effort among the parties concerned. But I’m happy the KL boys were clean as they had high values. Perhaps there was a lapse along the way. There was certainly a lapse of focus in enforcement. Corruption requires action at both State and national levels. It’s also a question of the quality of players we have. There is no point having good players who are difficult to handle. We should just sack them. MS: How was your working experience as a Sports Commissioner? EO: Three years isn’t a lot of time. As I was the first full time Sports Commissioner (2004-2007), I had to look into the legislation as many associations had faulty constitutions. Our sports management is chaotic! We cannot blame the officials alone as it is the fault of the legal framework as well. We are good at talking but we do not implement. Presidents must be hands-on. MS: But many officials and presidents seem to hang on to their positions for far too long. EO: We should not tolerate failure. We must be a disciplined society. Sadly, we are not disciplined. If a person fails, no action is taken against him or her. They carry on happily. Gagal, gagal-lah. (Fail, fail lah). MS: But you courted controversy with the deregistration of the Malaysian Taekwondo Association. EO: I was doing the right thing. I followed the book and tried to put things right. I didn’t have an agenda. MS: Will you return to the sports circle? EO: It depends. MS: Do you think Malaysian sports will prosper? EO: I don’t know.


wednesday 1 february 2012



SPORTS She is surely made of steel. But she will need to take her time and shouldn’t force herself Azizulhasni Awang NATIONAL CYCLIST

KUALA LUMPUR Motor City Open

CLEVELAND I SQUASH I Cleveland Racquet Classic

Nicol at her fiery best

ON SONG: Nicol heading for a repeat final — GETTYpic

Malaysian sets semifinal date against Ireland’s Madeline Perry WORLD No 1 Nicol Ann David was back at her best as she inched closer to the final of the Cleveland Racquet Classic. She is set to for a repeat of last year’s final, when she lost to Laura Massaro. After struggling against qualifier Joelle King in the first round, Nicol needed just 27 minutes to dispose of Hong Kong’s Annie Au 11-5, 11-6, 11-1 to cruise into the semifinals at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Ohio yesterday morning. Annie played a stronger match that the scoreline reflected, frequently using deft flicks and drops to put Nicol

under pressure. However, Nicol was able to extend the rallies until she could find a decisive advantage to finish the points off. She meets Ireland’s Madeline Perry, who defeated Egyptian Raneem El Weleily 11-8, 9-11, 14-12, 11-3. Meanwhile, defending champion Massaro will meet unseeded Amanda Sobhy after overcoming qualifier Donna Urquhart 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-2. Sobhy entered the semifinal after world No 2 Jenny Duncalf withdrew in the fourth set of their tie. Duncalf was leading 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 4-1.

Beng Hee’s first win in two years AFTER struggling for almost two years, Ong Beng Hee claimed his Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour title at the Motor City Open in Detroit, United States, yesterday morning. Beng Hee, 31, whose last title was the Chennai Open in March 2010, defeated second-seeded Hisham Ashour of Egypt 11-8, 11-9 and 11-7. He stormed into the final by stunning top seed, Mohamed El Shorbagy, also of Egypt, 11-9, 11-7, 13-11 in a semifinals on Monday morning. — Bernama



‘Don’t push too hard’

Dragons need to do a lot more

By Vijhay Vick

NATIONAL cyclist Mariana Mohammad may be a tough woman but Azizulhasni Awang urged her to be patient as she recovers from her accident. Mariana suffered multiple fractures to her ribs and forearm — which was also dislocated — after a Perodua Kancil swerved into her and three other cyclists during their simulation race on Sunday. The 34-year-old, whose left hand is in a cast, has been told by doctors that she would need three months to recover and a further two months of rehabilitation. However, Mariana insisted she would be able to compete in the Asian Cycling Championship (ACC) on Feb 14-18. “She is surely made of steel. But she will need to take her time and shouldn’t force herself,” said Azizulhasni. “I understand that as a cyclist, she would want to get back on her bicycle as soon as possible, just like how I felt previously but it is not advisable.” However, Azizulhasni believes that Mariana will re-

FIRST INJURIES: Mariana after her accident during the Asian Games — BERNAMApic

cover swiftly as she before after suffering a bad crash at the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010. Then, she suffered a a collarbone injury. The Pocket Rocket Man is best placed to advise Mariana as he suffered a careerthreatening injury early last year. However, he defied odds to get onto the podium at the keirin track race in Manchester. An eight-inch splinter pierced through his left calf due to a crash suffered during the last lap. He had to stagger across the finish line to win his third consecutive World Cup keirin overall title.

“It was pure adrenalin. I was also luckier compared with Mariana. I did not break any bones,” he added. Azizulhasni, who is training in Australia, will return to Malaysia tomorrow. He too will compete in the ACC but will not place high expectations. “My target is the London Olympics. Everything I do is to prepare for that. I’ll only compete in two events (individual sprint and keirin). “I’m aware since it is being held on home soil, the expectations would be high. But I’ll be happy with any medal.”

Westports Dragons will have to do more to secure a win over Bangkok Cobras today, despite winning their previous three league matches. They had comfortable wins against San Miguel Beermen, Indonesia Warriors and Saigon Heat but coach Ariel Vanguardia wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance against Heat. “Our defense wasn’t good at all. If we play this way against the Cobras, we will get killed…our defense needs to improve if we want to be a great team,” he said. Vanguardia went to Singapore after his last victory against the Saigon Heat to watch the Cobras. The inexperienced Cobras are coached by Joe Bryant, the father of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. “I have a lot of respect for Cobras coach Joe Bryant. Being in the big leagues and coaching internationally over the years, he can provide a lot of his experience for the young Cobras. “He is a good addition to the growth of the ABL,” he added. Bryant played eight years in the NBA and seven years in Italy. He has coached in the American Basketball Association (ABA), Women’s

In You Go: Dragons’ player attempt a three-pointer against Saigon Heat

National Basketball League (WNBA) and Japanese Basketball League (JBL). Cobras were blown out of their first game of the season by AirAsia Philippine Patriots but bounced back to beat the defending

champions Chang Thailand Slammers. They also took a big loss to the Singapore Slingers 48-73. Dragons will play Cobras at MABA Stadium at 7pm today.





SPORTS We will monitor the players and officials and scrutinise their lifestyles TENGKU Abdullah shah FAM deputy president


AMPANG i football I M-LEAGUE

Song remains the same FAM continue to crack down on matchfixing By Haresh Deol

IT was called a Special Meeting. Sadly, there was nothing special about it. FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president, Tengku Abdullah Shah, was flanked by Bukit Aman anti-vice, gaming and secret societies (D7) deputy director SAC Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director Shamshun Bahrain Jamil and FAM vice president Datuk Hamidin Amin at the Shahzan House in Jalan Wickham to announce the formation of a fulltime committee to address match-fixing in the MLeague. Nothing wrong with this picture, except that it was all too similar to what was witnessed at Wisma FAM hardly a year ago — when Fifa’s head of security, Chris Eaton, and several of his investigators were in KL. Tengku Abdullah was quick to agree this was merely a follow up to the committee set up during Eaton’s visit to KL. “I am not happy (with the

TACKLING THE ISSUE: Tengku Abdullah (centre) has called for stern action to be taken immediately to curb corruption in Malaysian football — FILEpic

progress made) and that’s why we are here. I wanted to put my point across,” admitted Tengku Abdullah. “After this (meeting), action has to be taken. Otherwise we have to take full responsibility.” The meeting also saw the attendance of Fifa’s South East Asia security officer Michael Hetson. According to Tengku Abdullah, Fifa have now stationed four of their

men in various regions — Africa (South Africa), Europe (UK), Southeast Asia (Malaysia) and the Middle East to monitor matchfixing. Tengku Abdullah added the meeting will see several officers — largely comprising of those from the Police, MACC and FAM’s vetting, integrity and coordination committee headed by Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat — working on the matchfixing issues on a full-

time basis. Ironically, FAM’s vetting committee did not hold any meetings since the July 2010 congress until a Mailsport expose last May. One of the reasons for matchfixing lies with the inability of State FAs and clubs to pay the wages of their players on time. “We will issue them a yellow card (first warning) if they lapse the first month followed by another warning



Azraai wants more time with imports

Perak FA yet to take over Ipoh Stadium

NEGRI SEMBILAN coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah (pic) said he needed a little more time to assess his new Brazilian import Fernando Augusto de Abreu Ferreira, especially in terms of fitness. Based on his observation of the 1.85m midfielder, Mohd Azraai said the Brazilian had the qualities of a good defensive midfield player and was able to blend well with the other players. “If everything goes well, we hope to sign him before the match against T-Team on Feb 8. He will replace his countryman Marquem Gonçalves Ferreira, who failed to meet the criteria set by the FA of Malaysia (FAM),” he said yesterday.

THE Perak FA are not ready to fully take over the management of the Ipoh Stadium from the Ipoh city council due to high cost of maintenance. PFA president Datuk Zainol Padzi Paharuddin said the association needed time to form a smart partnership with the council to be committed towards the upkeep and maintenance of the stadium. “It is not time yet for PFA to take over the entire management because of high costs. We don’t have the financial capacity to do so now. Revenue from ticket sales alone is not enough to cover,”

He said the 27-year-old played in the La Liga with Atletico Madrid and Racing Santander and had a stint as a junior with FC Porto. Mohd Azraai said the player, who also has an Italian citizenship, played in Europe for eight years. His club was IFK Mariehamn (Finland). Negri Sembilan also has another import in striker Jean Emmanuel Effa Owona from Cameroon. — Bernama

if they fail to pay the players’ wages within two months. If they continue to lapse in payment, we will issue them a red card which could mean the team being banned from the league for the season.” When pointed out that the national body was still babysitting their affiliates despite it being a “professional league”, Tengku Abdullah said: “We will monitor, but the States need to be professional (in making payments). We too need to be professional.” The members also decided to adopt the 3E method — education, engagement and enforcement — to tackle the problem. “We will monitor the players and officials and scrutinise their lifestyles. “We are doing this for the benefit of football. It is the nation’s sport, the sport we all love. People are now beginning to flock to the stands and we don’t want our football to be marred by greed.” When asked if the sudden interest by the authorities in match-fixing could result in the 1994 fiasco, where more than 100 players and officials were banned, Tengku Abdullah said: “I hope not.”

Training in Sabah cancelled

THE Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) yesterday cancelled plans to send the Thomas and Uber Cup teams for centralised training in Kota Kinabalu due to logistics problems. BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai said both teams, preparing for the qualifiers in Macau next month, would train at Juara Stadium, Bukit Kiara instead. Chin Chai said the centralised training stint was recommended by the High Performance Team. “If they train in Sabah, players and officials will have to come back to Kuala Lumpur before heading to Macau because there are no direct flights to Macau from Sabah. “The schedule will be hectic and the players won’t get enough rest,” he said. — Bernama


he said. Kubu Gajah assemblyman Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar had proposed that the PFA, among other State sports associations, take over the management of the stadium, sports complex and other sports facilities in the State. Raja Ahmad was quoted by an online portal, Perak Today, as saying sports associations have the ability to maintain sports facilities more effectively. Zainol said the association was focused on its financial management and ways to settle debts. — Bernama

MHF have been dissolved MALAYSIA Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Shah clarified the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have been dissolved and this was acknowledged by the Sports Commissioner’s (SC) Office. However, he admitted the Malaysian Women Hockey Association (MHWA) have yet to close its doors but are in the process of doing so. “We have already dissolved MHF. We even have letters from the SC’s office, so there are no issues there,” said Tengku Abdullah. “MHWA are in the midst of sorting it out (dissolving) and should complete it soon. As far as we are concerned, MHC remains the sole national body for hockey in the country,” he said. Mailsport had, in early

January, contacted the SC’s Office only to be told they have not received any letters or requests from MHF and MWHA to dissolve their respective bodies despite agreeing to do so in meetings on Dec 17 and 23. Concerns were raised as to where the money from both associations will be “parked” during the transition period. Also, the legality of the ongoing Junior Hockey League has been questioned. “There is no issue with the bank accounts either. It has all been sorted out,” he added. MHF and MWHA were forced to make way for the MHC following the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) rule that each country can have only one governing body.


wednesday 1 february 2012



SPORTS I did everything to try to settle this row Adrian Sutil Former Force India F1 driver



‘Little Master’s big blunder’

Shame on Shane after road rage spat

Tendulkar should have retired after winning World Cup, says Pakistani Imran Khan

AUSTRALIAN cricket great Shane Warne was facing legal action yesterday after a cyclist involved in a road rage incident said he would sue Warne for damages to his bike. Web designer Mathew Hollingsworth, 28, is launching a civil claim in the Melbourne Magistrates Court seeking US$1,668 (RM5,077) for repairs to his hi-tech bicycle plus damages, interest and costs, the Herald Sun reported. Hollingsworth alleges Warne drove his sports car into him after a robust exchange of words in peakhour traffic in Melbourne on Jan 17. The newspaper said that in a statutory declaration, Hol-

FORMER Pakistan captain Imran Khan feels that iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar should have retired after the “ultimate high” of India wining the World Cup last year. “We all want to go with a big bang but you always don’t get it right. For Sachin the ultimate time to go was after that World Cup win. He is a great player and there is not replacement for him,” Imran told the Press Trust of India. “You don’t want to go having lost to Australia 4-0. If he had gone after that World Cup that would have been the ultimate high. It’s a difficult question for a sportsman to know when to leave... and many great players have not got it right.” Asked about Tendulkar’s impending 100th international ton, Imran said it doesn’t matter whether he gets that elusive hundred or not as statistic doesn’t matter for a great player. “Greatest player I’ve played is Viv Richards. I don’t need to look at his records. Re-

cords are after all statistics and statistics did not matter to great players,” he said. The former fast bowler said that he would have hung up his boots if his team had suffered a similar consecutive overseas whitewash like India. “I think if I was in a team that lost eight matches in a row I would have given up cricket. But see who India has lost to — Australia and England. This Australia team hardly has won any series. You can’t blame the fans for feeling upset,” he said. Imran said if India gives too much emphasis on Twenty20 cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL) then it might be reduced to a “walkover team in Test cricket”. “It’s great entertainment but how do we compare T20 with Test cricket. Test cricket is the ultimate test of the skills of a player,” he said. “If India doesn’t get the balance right, they are going to be just a walkover team in Test cricket.” — Agencies

lingsworth claimed Warne lurched his car forward striking him on the leg. Warne, however, has denied any wrongdoing. The spin king claimed a cyclist grabbed on to the back of his car as he headed home from a training session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Then at a change of traffic lights, he alleged the man rode past and hit the bonnet with his hand. He said the bike rider then pulled up in front of his car, halting traffic, and abused him. Warne, 42, has come out of retirement to play with the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash League. He is also dating British actress Liz Hurley. — AFP

TIME TO LEAVE: Tendulkar looks on after their loss against Australia on Jan 28 recently — GETTYpic

MUNICH I Formula 1

Sutil apologises in court for Lux attack FORMER Force India F1 driver Adrian Sutil told a Munich court on yesterday he had made efforts to settle a row over a night club brawl last year with Eric Lux but he had failed to do so despite his repeated apologies. The German, who has yet to find a race seat this year, is charged with attacking and

injuring Lux, chief executive of Renault F1 team owners Genii Capital, in a Shanghai nightclub after the Chinese Grand Prix last year. Lux needed stitches for a neck wound. “I did everything to try to settle this row,” Sutil told the court, adding he had even offered to support a Lux charity project in Africa.

“I am really sorry, extremely sorry. I never wanted for this to happen,” said Sutil, dressed in a dark suit and tie. The Renault team has since been renamed Lotus. Force India have already announced Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg as Sutil’s replacement. Sutil, charged with bodily

harm and risking a one-year suspended sentence, said he had repeatedly apologised to Lux and denied it was his intention to hurt him. Lux, also in court, said he had expected the driver to visit him in Luxembourg for an apology. “A phone call is not good enough,” Lux told the court. — Reuters

You Sheila: Shane Warne has been named Un-Australian-of-the-Year since he started dating Liz Hurley — GETTYpic


Djokovic sets sights on French Open

Canada captain signs up for WSH

Contador doping decision next week

LONDON: After retaining his Australian Open title in astonishing fashion on Sunday the question is can anyone stop Novak Djokovic setting the bar even higher. “I’m prioritising Grand Slams this year and the Olympic Games. I think that’s one of my highest goals,” Djokovic said after becoming just the fifth player

MUMBAI: Canada captain Ken Pereira is among 11 players to sign up for the US$2 million World Series Hockey (WSH) that will be held from Feb 29 to April 2 in eight Indian cities. With the diverse mix of international players in the fray, this is a tournament that is truly global,” Pereira told

ZURICH: A decision over Alberto Contador’s long-running doping case will be announced next Tuesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said yesterday. “A confirmation as to the date and time of the publication of the decision will be given by the CAS at the end of this week,” CAS statement said.

to win three of them in succession. Clay has proved the most problematic for former greats such as Federer, Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors but Djokovic has no demons on the surface and he clearly believes the French Open is winnable for the first time this year. — Reuters

the Press Trust of India. The tournament would involve 200 leading players — Indian and international — who will showcase their talent in 59 matches. The eight venues for the inaugural edition of the league are Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jalandhar, Mumbai and Pune. — Agencies

Three-times winner Contador tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France and was cleared by the Spanish federation. But the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed the decision to CAS. — Reuters




Bayangkan anda menunggang motosikal di dalam gambar ini.

Tunggang Untuk Dilihat. Anda Mampu Mengubahnya.

Beginilah anda kelihatan dari belakang: hampir tidak kelihatan langsung, lebih-lebih lagi dengan pakaian serba hitam dan lampu belakang yang tidak berfungsi. Ini meninggikan risiko anda untuk terlibat dalam kemalangan, ia juga boleh mengakibatkan maut. Sememangnya anda tidak mahukan ini berlaku. Jadi lindungilah diri anda: amalkan memakai pakaian yang cerah dan gantikan lampu belakang yang rosak. Ia tidak memakan belanja besar, tetapi mampu menyelamatkan nyawa anda. Layari untuk mengetahui lebih lanjut.


WEDNESday 1 february 2012



SPORTS This generation has achieved a good victory for Sudanese football Mohamed Abdallah Sudan coach

LIBREVILLE | FOOTBALL | African Nations Cup


Guinea target full marks

Sudan pip Angola to last eight

... but Ghana stand in their way to reach quarterfinals GUINEA will throw everything at Ghana in a third west African derby of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Group D here tomorrow to stay alive in the competition. The Syli National are on three points from two matches and need to beat the Black Stars to boost their chances of a place in the last eight on six points. Even defeat could still see them progress, depending on the result of the tie between Mali and Bostwana being played at the same time in Libreville. Four-time winners Ghana defeated Guinea 2-1 the last time both teams clashed in the Nations Cup in 2008. Guinea go into this game on a high after trouncing Botswana 6-1 on Saturday following the narrow 1-0 loss to Mali in the opening fixture. Only Egypt in 1963 and the Ivory Coast in 1970 have scored as many goals in the Nations Cup tournament proper as Guinea recorded at the weekend. “We know that against TOMORROW’s fixtures group stage Ghana v Guinea At Franceville

Botswana v Mali At Libreville

Quarterfinals Sunday (1) Zambia v Sudan At Bata

(2) Ivory Coast v Equatorial Guinea At Malabo

Monday (3) Group C winners v Group D runners-up At Libreville

(4) Group D winners v Group C runners-up At Franceville

Semifinals Feb 8 Winners 1 v winners 4 At Bata

Winners 2 v winners 3 At Libreville

Third place play-off Feb 11 At Malabo Final Feb 12 At Libreville

Leading scorers 3-

Kharja (Mar), Manucho (Ang)

OFF GUARD: Guinea’S Balboa Osa (centre) takes a shot at goal as Zambia’s Isaac Chansa looks on — AFPpic

Ghana we will have to do more. But this tournament is very open, some of the favourites have already left, while Gabon and Equatorial Guinea are through to the

quarterfinals,” said Guinea coach Michel Dussuyer, whose team upstaged starstudded Nigeria to reach this tournament. Bastia striker Sadio Diallo

crowned his first start of the Nations Cup with two well-taken goals against Botswana. “We will continue to work hard. We will play hard and

not joke against Ghana,” said the 21-year-old striker. Diallo as well as youngsters Abdoul Razzagui Camara and Ibrahima Traore have caught the eye in Gabon with some game-winning performances playing alongside experienced campaigners like Bobo Balde, Pascal Feindouno and skipper Kamil Zayatte. For their own part, Ghana laboured to beat debutants Botswana before they turned on the class in the second-half to beat Mali 2-0. If the 2010 World Cup quarterfinalists win their group, they will face either inspired co-hosts Gabon or Tunisia in the next round. However, they have insisted that they are not particular about staying clear of any team as they aim to end a 30-year trophy drought. “We have quality players and we don’t care who we meet when we qualify for the quarterfinals,” said ‘’Baby Jet’’ Asamoah Gyan, who scored a goal and created another as Ghana dumped Mali. — AFP


Ivory Coast reserves too strong for Angola A RESERVE Ivory Coast side cruised to a 2-0 win over Angola yesterday in a lacklustre Group B match at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. Emmanuel Eboue and Wilfried Bony scored for the Elephants, who topped the final table with three wins while Angola lost out to Sudan on goal difference in the battle for second place. Co-title favourites Ivory Coast collected a maximum nine points without ever going into overdrive. The Ivorians remain in this island city to tackle cohosts Equatorial Guinea on Saturday while Sudan face Zambia earlier the same day in Bata in the first quarterfinal. Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui had hinted that he would rest some of his first choices but leaving nine on the bench came

YOUNG GUNS: Bony (far right) celebrates with teammates during their win against Angola — AFPpic

as a surprise with the only regulars in the starting line-up being centre-backs Kolo Toure and Souleymane Bamba. Kolo Toure, older brother

of 2011 African Footballerof-the-Year Yaya Toure, captained the team in the absence of Didier Drogba. The first-half did little to excite another small crowd in the 15,000-seat Nuevo Estadio de Malabo apart from a goal on 33 minutes by former Arsenal

defender Eboue. The Angolans fell further behind on 64 minutes when a long pass into opposition territory by substitute Abdul Kader Keita led to a mix-up between centre-back Massunguna and goalkeper Wilson, and a gift goal for Bony. — AFP

SUDAN reached the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 42 years, beating Burkina Faso 2-1 yesterday to end an 11-game winless streak at the tournament and edge out Angola on goal difference. Mudather Tayeb (pic) scored both of Sudan’s goals at Estadio de Bata to deliver the nation’s biggest football moment since it won the African Cup on home soil in 1970. Mudather broke clear to beat Burkina Faso goalkeeper Daouda Diakite in the 33rd minute and then punished a mistake by the keeper with 10 minutes to go to dramatically carry Sudan through, despite a goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time by substitute Issiaka Ouedraogo which caused a nerve-fraying final few moments for the Sudanese. Angola needed just a point from its final match to progress but lost 2-0 to alreadyqualified Ivory Coast in Group B’s other game in Malabo, surrendering second place to Sudan and being eliminated after conceding one more goal in the group stage. “This generation has achieved a good victory for Sudanese football,’’ coach Mohamed Abdallah said. “We proved that we can play against big teams with a completely local team, and the second youngest team in the championship with the average age of 24.” It came down to goal difference for Sudan and Angola — who both finished on four points — after the teams drew 2-2 in their group meeting. Sudan will play Group A winner Zambia, while Ivory Coast meets co-host Equatorial Guinea in the last eight on Saturday. — AFP





SPORTS I am convinced that Jose Mourinho is the best coach for Real Madrid at the moment JOACHIM LOEW GERMAN COACH

FIXTURES SERIE A TOMORROW Atalanta v Genoa Bologna v Fiorentina Cagliari v AS Roma Internazionale v Palermo Lazio v AC Milan Napoli v Cesena Siena v Catania Udinese v Lecce FRIDAY Novara v Chievo Verona

‘Klose is better than Ibra’ ... but Milan are super-favourites to lift title, says Juve coach Conte


Juventus AC Milan Udinese Inter Milan Lazio Roma Napoli Parma Chievo Palermo Genoa Cagliari Catania Fiorentina Bologna Atalanta Siena Cesena Lecce Novara

PW D L F A 20 12 8 0 33 13 19 12 4 3 40 17 20 11 5 4 29 16 19 11 2 6 30 20 19 9 6 4 27 19 18 9 3 6 28 20 19 7 8 4 34 21 20 6 6 8 25 33 19 6 6 7 16 22 19 7 3 9 24 27 19 7 3 9 25 34 19 5 8 6 16 18 19 5 8 6 22 28 19 5 7 7 18 16 19 5 5 9 17 25 19 6 8 5 23 25 19 4 7 8 20 20 19 4 3 12 13 30 19 3 4 12 20 36 19 2 6 11 18 38



Pts 44 40 38 35 33 30 29 24 24 24 24 23 23 22 20 20 19 15 13 12

TOP SCORER SERIE A Zlatan Ibrahimovic 14 Antonio Di Natale 14 German Denis 12 Edinson Cavani 11 Miroslav Klose 9 Alessandro Matri 9

LAZIO coach Edy Reja believes Miroslav Klose is a better all-round attacker than AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Germany international has been in impressive form for Lazio since joining the club in the summer, netting 11 goals in Serie A to date. Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, is Milan’s main attacking reference, with 15 to his name in the league so far, but Reja believes that the former Bayern Munich striker has more to offer the team as a whole. “Ibra is more spectacular, he searches for opportunities to shoot,” he told Lazio Style Radio. “Klose brings a lot more to the team, he works for the team. He is a smart player, a true squad man.” Looking ahead to Lazio’s home match against Milan tomorrow, Reja praised Massimiliano Allegri’s side. “We are still growing, but in any case Milan are a great team, both technically and physically,” he concluded. The Rome outfit are seven points behind Massimiliano Allegri’s men going into the game. Meanwhile, Juventus coach

Antonio Conte believes that AC Milan are still the favourites to retain their Scudetto title. Since Conte’s arrival from Siena in the summer Juventus are yet to lose a league match, but the 42-year-old believes that the current Serie A holders are favourites to hold on to their crown. “Milan are the super-favourites,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia. “We must give everything and dig deep with the others behind us. “Being forced to go forward doesn’t always work out, but it motivates you.” Conte went on to defend his decision to rotate his squad in recent matches, saying his players’ response to the changes has vindicated his decision. “They say never change a winning team, but it is not our opinion. In the last games we have made use of the whole squad and they all responded positively.” Juventus continue their bid for their first Scudetto since 2003 with a trip to Parma tomorrow. They currently sit one point ahead of AC Milan. — Agencies

KLOSE: Lazio’s top striker with 11 goals so far — GETTYpic

I’m not going to Real Madrid, says Loew GERMAN coach Joachim Loew (pic) is unfazed by speculation linking him to replace Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. The 51-year-old coach insists that he is not paying attention to gossip that he might take the reins at the Santiago Bernabeu, hailing the Portuguese as the right man for the job. Loew has been suggested as the Spanish club’s priority to replace Jose Mourinho when the Portuguese boss eventually decides to embark on a new challenge. “Mourinho should wait until 2014, when my Germany contract expires,” Loew told German newspaper AZ. “But this is pure speculation, nothing more. I am coach of the Germany na-

tional team and there are not many jobs in the world which are better than this. “I do not waste thoughts with such things. I am convinced that Mourinho is the best coach for Madrid at the moment.” Loew, who took charge of the Germany national team in 2006, has earned rave reviews for his work with die Mannschaft, who have reached the semifinals of consecutive World Cups, as well as the Euro 2008 final. Mourinho has raised doubts about his long-term future at the Santiago Bernabeu after stating last month that he wished to return to the Premier League “in a couple of years”. However, the former Chelsea manager has since

MADRID: Highly-rated young Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho (pic) signed on loan with Primera Liga side Espanyol till the end of the season from Serie A giants Inter Milan yesterday. After two goals in 19 league appearances, he has decided to go on loan to try to find regular first team football. The 19-year-old, a member of the Brazil team that won last year’s Under-20 world title and capped once by the senior side, arrived at the fifth-placed Primera Liga side with Nigerian Kalu Uche from bankrupt Swiss outfit Neuchatel Xamax. — AFP

Schuster slams Mourinho’s selection



Samba flavour for Espanyol

MADRID: Bernd Schuster has criticised Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho for his team selection in the first-leg of the Santiago Bernabeu side’s Copa del Rey quarter-final against archrivals Barcelona last month. The former Madrid coach feels that the Portuguese trainer made costly mistakes by including Ricardo Carvalho in his starting XI, and using Pepe in midfield. “I’d really like to know what Mourinho was thinking there. Giving a player the nod who hadn’t played a long time, and using Pepe in midfield,” Schuster told Spanish media. Real Madrid were beaten 2-1 in the first-leg, before being held to a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou in the return, losing 4-3 on aggregate. — Agencies

‘Schalke not good enough to lift title’

refused to comment on a potential new job, despite experiencing a backlash from some following Madrid’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey last month. — Agencies

Neymar’s Barca move on the cards FORMER Brazil international Marinho Peres has declared that Santos forward Neymar will sign for Barcelona “sooner or later”, with preparations for the move already made. The 19-year-old starlet remains linked with the La Liga giants and their rivals, Real Madrid, despite committing his future to the Copa Libertadores winners until 2014. — Agencies

MUNICH: Borussia Dortmund forward Kevin Grosskreutz has poured scorn on their local rivals Schalke’s title bid, stating his belief that Huub Stevens’ side ‘’do not have what it takes to win the Bundesliga’’. Schalke and Borussia Dortmund both sit level on points with Bayern Munich at the top of the table, but Grosskretuz believes that the Vetlins Arena side will soon drop away from the top two. Borussia Dortmund travel to Nurnberg on Saturday as they look to keep up their bid to retain their Bundesliga title. — Agencies





SPORTS The club has been great with me and everyone outside the club has been fantastic and I am enjoying it down here ANDY CARROLL LIVERPOOL STRIKER

From Back Page


Carroll’s NOT going anywhere Former Newcastle striker has been linked with Manchester City and QPR

I need a winner’s medal, says England winger Liverpool Skipper Steven Gerrard has admitted he would swap fourth place in the Premier League, and all the Champions League riches it can buy, for lifting a pot at Wembley. But for someone who has hoisted the European Cup — as Gerrard did in the year Arsenal last won a trophy — that is probably an easier conundrum to solve. Walcott said: “A winner’s medal in the one thing I would like more than anything. When I’m older, I want to look back on my career at the trophies I’ve won — and there are none yet. “I haven’t even got anywhere set aside at home for when I do win some medals. “But the FA Cup is a great opportunity for us this year because some big teams have gone out of the competition early. “It’s tough to choose between finishing in the top four or winning a trophy — ideally I would like Arsenal to finish fourth, or higher if possible, but we need to win a trophy if we can.” Walcott has been a target for Arsenal’s fickle tendency during their New Year slump to three consecutive Premier League defeats. But he is still only 22, and his record of 37 goals in 126 starts for the Gunners is a fair return for a wide player. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but we wanted to do it for the fans because it wasn’t good enough to be 2-0 down at home in the Cup,” he said. “I didn’t pay attention (to the stick) because I am the best judge of my own performance, not anyone else, and

I wasn’t happy with my last few games, but hopefully I can get back to the level I should be. “We can take a lot of regret out of our last three Premier League games because we should have won them all, but we need to look forward now and build on ouur second-half performance against Villa. “If we can come back from 2-0 down like that, we can bet anyone. Hopefully everyone will now believe we are ready to win the Cup, but it’s time for actions to speak louder than words. “It’s tough when you are two goals down and you have to lift your heads, but we should do that more often. We pressed Villa higher up the pitch and they didn’t know what to expect.” Arsenal were lifted on Sunday by a stirring half-time pep talk from skipper Robin van Persie, whose two penalties against Villa took him level with fellow Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp on 120 goals for the club. Walcott added: “Robin is our captain and he just showed us again how much he believes in us and how much he wants to win this competition for the team. “He knows we have got it in us, and maybe something came out of us in that second half which we can transfer into our Premier League form. Perhaps our luck has changed.” Manager Arsene Wenger could recall midfielder Mikel Arteta and full-back Bacary Sagna, who both came off the bench against Villa, to the starting XI for Wednesday’s trip to Bolton. — Daily Mirror

CLUB-RECORD signing Andy Carroll (pic) is determined to make a success of his Liverpool career and has dismissed suggestions he will leave Anfield. The £35million (RM175m) striker has been the subject of intense speculation about his future after a tough first 12 months on Merseyside. Having been linked with a return to former club Newcastle reports emerged late last night that he had been offered to Manchester City in a swap deal with Carlos Tevez. Liverpool have refused to comment on the story, insisting they never do on transfer speculation, and Carroll has stressed his head has not been turned by speculation

about moves elsewhere. “Not at all,” he said when asked whether there was any point in the last year when he had regretted his move to Merseyside. “The club has been great with me and everyone outside the club has been fantastic and I am enjoying it

down here. “Everyone has backed me and helped us along the way. I have signed a contract here and this is the team I am playing for.” Carroll has been stoutly defended by manager Kenny Dalglish ever since his shock arrival on January deadline day last year. However, injury affected the latter half of last season and he has not yet found his form — or a regular starting spot — with just six goals in 36 appearances for his new club. But he played a key part for both goals in the 2-1 FA Cup fourth round win over archrivals Manchester United at Anfield. For Daniel Agger’s header

he was the main distraction for goalkeeper David de Gea, who failed to get anywhere near Steven Gerrard’s corner, while his flick-on sent Dirk Kuyt through for the winner with two minutes remaining after Park Ji-sung had equalised shortly before halftime. “I thought I had did well and everyone else did but I’ve got to keep working on it and it will come,” admitted Carroll. “I am just getting into my stride now. Everyone is getting used to how I play and I am getting used to everyone else. “Everyone is helping us as much as they can and I just need to get going.” — Daily Mirror


Bolton tell O’Neill: We DON’T need to talk about Kevin BOLTON boss Owen Coyle (pic) has told Sunderland opposite number Martin O’Neill to save his phone bill — and stop pestering him about Kevin Davies. Coyle is growing tired of the Black Cats’ public interest in his target-man and has warned that Davies will not be for sale on deadline day. The striker, who is fighting to win a new contract at the

Trotters, has lost his place as a regular in the team but Coyle stressed he is part of his plans. Coyle said: “Kevin has a huge part to play at this club. If Martin does follow it up he will get the same answer - we are not encouraging anything.” However, O’Neill is not taking no for an answer and is hoping to tempt Davies

with an 18-month deal – a year longer than his current deal at the Reebok. O’Neill will also offer the 34-year-old the chance to coach at Sunderland. He said: “We can give Kevin a year and a half contract. “He is 34, but I have no concerns about that. Someone with his experience would help all round.” — DM



No charge for Van Persie over ‘elbow’

Toon’s Cabaye charged with violent conduct

ARSENAL striker Robin van Persie (pic) will face no further action over an incident involving Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar during Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round match at the Emirates Stadium. Villa boss Alex McLeish called for the Football Association to take retrospective action against the Dutchman for what he claimed was an elbow on the Spaniard, but match referee Mike Jones has told the

FA he saw the incident and decided it was not worthy of punishment. McLeish said on Sunday, following his side’s 3-2 defeat: “I thought it was a clear elbow, but the referee did not seem to think there was anything in it. “Would I like the FA to look at it? Yes, if it was an elbow in the face — look at my nose, it is a result of elbows all my career. It is something which is dangerous. — DM

NEWCASTLE midfielder Yohan Cabaye has been charged with violent conduct following an incident involving Brighton’s Adam El-Abd in an FA Cup fourth round tie on Saturday, the Football Association have confirmed. Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye has been charged with violent conduct following an incident in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round defeat at Brighton. The Football Association yesterday confirmed that the French midfielder has been charged after allegedly kicking out at the Seagulls’ Egyptian defender Adam El-Abd. A statement said: “Newcas-

tle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye has been charged with violent conduct following an incident in the FA Cup fourth round tie against Brighton Hove Albion. “Cabaye was involved in an incident involving Brighton’s Adam El-Abd during the FA Cup tie at the Amex Stadium on Saturday 28 January. “Cabaye has until 6pm on Tuesday, January 31 2012 to respond to the charge.” The 26-year-old faces a three-match ban if he accepts or is subsequently convicted of the charge, with Newcastle well aware that the penalty could be increased if he decides to contest. — DM


WEDNESDAY 1 february 2012



SPORTS I would take him every day of the week. But much as I would love to think it could happen, I’d be very surprised MARK HUGHES QPR MANAGER



Hughes: Loan me Tevez QPR boss brought the best out of Argentinian during his time at City MARK HUGHES has offered to take Carlos Tevez off his former club Manchester City’s hands — and help them win the title. QPR boss Hughes admitted it was “probably wishful thinking” that he could bring the work-to-rule Argentine’s firepower to Loftus Road. Hughes brought the best out of Tevez — nine goals in 20 games — when the pair worked together at City. Now, the Rangers manager has admitted: “I would take him every day of the week. But much as I would love to think it could happen, I’d be very surprised. “The only thing which might attract City is loaning him out to someone

like us, who are not their biggest rivals for the Premier League, and [would] help them to win the title by taking points off their main challengers. “It’s a nice thought, but it’s probably wishful thinking that he could end up on loan here. But you never know.” Hughes was also set to make one final bid to sign Christopher Samba before this morning’s deadline. Defiant Blackburn are set to hold out for a whopping £12million for their 27-year-old skipper. But Rangers believe they can reach a compromise to suit both parties. — Daily Mirror

TOMORROW Aston Villa vs Queens Park Rangers (Villa Park, 3.45am) Blackburn Rovers vs Newcastle United (Ewood, Park, 4.00am) Bolton Wanderers vs Arsenal (Reebok Stadium, 4.00am) Sunderland vs Norwich City (Stadium of Light, 4.00am)



HUGHES: Set to also make final bid for Samba — AFPpic

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Sunderland star went to games in disguise FRAZIER CAMPBELL (pic) put on a disguise to watch his Sunderland side with the fans during his 17-month injury lay-off. The ex-Manchester United striker marked his return with an equaliser against Middlesbrough on Sunday and hopes his run of bad luck, which included two knee ligament operations, is now behind him. Campbell, 24, pulled on a cap and a hoodie to go unnoticed at games. He said: “I always feel like a


fan and I went to loads of games while I was out. I just wanted to go and show my support. “I went to stacks of away grounds. I remember going to Blackpool with all the away fans. I stood with them in a stand which was shaking all the time. “It was brilliant. A great experience just to sit with the real fans of a massive football club. “I tried to go disguised, but it didn’t last very long. I tried to cover myself up but it was a pretty warm night and I

8517 9188 7206 6395 9716 4380 9042 1500 4453 8748

was sweating. “So I was there in a T-shirt and I got noticed very quickly. I didn’t mind at all. The fans were amazing.” Campbell’s attitude has impressed boss Martin O’Neill and helped him to return a couple of months earlier than expected. He added: “I was buzzing when I found out I was on the bench. “When I got on I sprinted around like a headless chicken for the first 15 minutes!” — DM

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Baggies battling Stoke over defender

The RM35m striker Fulham are after

Blackburn eye current star’s twin

LONDON: West Brom have made a new bid for Liam Ridgewell to try to head off interest from Stoke. Championship promotion chasers Birmingham have rejected two Albion bids for their versatile left-sided defender. Potters boss Tony Pulis, who wanted Ridgewell in August following Blues’ relegation from the top flight, may offer defender Danny Higginbotham in part-exchange to get his man. Meanwhile, Stoke are set to sell winger Ben Marshall to Championship side Leicester for £1million (RM1m). Marshall, a former Manchester United trainee, has never played for the Potters in three years but recently had a successful loan spell at League One side Sheffield Wednesday. — DM

LONDON: Fulham are closing in on the £7million (RM35m) signing of Borussia Dortmund striker Lucas Barrios (pic). The Paraguayan hit 17 goals for the German outfit last season but has fallen out with coach Jurgen Klopp and has found himself out of the side. Liverpool have been monitoring the marksman, but boss Kenny Dalglish has yet to make a move for the 27-year-old. The signing of Barrios would place a huge question mark over the Fulham future of 31-year-old Bobby Zamora, with Cottagers boss Martin Jol making it clear the England marksman is no longer his “No 1”. Jol, who has already lost out to AC Milan in the hunt for Catania striker Maxi Lopez, is desperate to revamp his frontline. — DM

LONDON: Blackburn boss Steve Kean is ready to sign Sweden international Marcus Olsson — in a surprise “double” deal. Olsson is set to join the relegation candidates as a free agent after quitting his contract with Halmstads. If he does, he will team up with his twin brother, Martin. The pair could form a new-look, left-sided partnership as Kean makes a bargain move for the 23-year-old who has been capped twice for his country. Marcus has trained with Blackburn before and made a good impression. Now, he has emerged as a target as they look for cheap deals after failing to move out unwanted fringe men. The Olsson boys can both play left wing and leftback. Blackburn are also ready to sign QPR right-back Bradley Orr in a bargain deal. Scouser Orr was in his native north-west for a medical yesterday. — DM

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One step away

In your own time

Nicol Ann David will play Ireland’s Madeline Perry in semifinals of Cleveland Classic

Azizulhasni (pic) advises fellow rider Mariana Mohammad not to push too hard

 PAGE40

 PAGE40


CRICKET I IMRAN KHAN KHAN: Tendulkar should have retired after World Cup last year



We need to win a trophy Gunners have gone seven years without winning anything

GREAT WALL OF GUNNERS: Walcott believes the FA Cup gives the perfect chance for Arsenal to end their trophy drought — GETTYpic


PEER through the keyhole at Theo Walcott’s pad and admire the prudent housekeeping. Six years after he joined Arsenal, the England winger has not set aside a shelf, a cabinet or a place on the

mantelpiece for his winner’s medals — because he hasn’t won any. Walcott has already been to one World Cup as a 17year-old piece of window dressing and found out he had been left out of another

on the golf course. But in club football, he is a standard bearer for Arsenal’s ungilded generation. Seven years without a trophy, and the meter is ticking. After the Gunners’ fight-

back from 2-0 down to reach the FA Cup fifth round with a Jekyll-and Hyde 3-2 win over Aston Villa, however, Walcott believes he might be clearing a space for memorabilia yet. Turn to Page 46

New England Patriots cheerleaders ranked No 1 THE Pats, as New England Patriots are called, cheerleaders was ranked as the best in the NFL this season. The ranking was by CNBC sports business columnist Darren Rovell. Ranking was based on how well they interact with their team’s fanbase through outlets like community involvement, social media and marketing. Some cheerleaders even travelled the extra mile, or a few thousands, performing for American troops serving overseas, especially in the Middle East. Notable Patriots cheerleaders include Alexa Flutie and Asia Barnes, the daughters of former Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie and former Patriots linebacker and current NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippett. The top 10: 1. New England Patriots 2. Dallas Cowboys 3. Miami Dolphins 4. Houston Texans 5. Denver Broncos 6. Philadelphia Eagles 7. New York Jets 8. New Orleans Saints 9. Oakland Raiders 10. Atlanta Falcons

Published by Malay Mail Sdn Bhd (239512V), Lot 2A, Jalan 13/2, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd (195294-X), No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40200 Shah Alam, Selangor

1st Feb 2012  

The Malay Mail

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