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Re-elected Blatter promises to rid football graft

Thursday 2 June, 2011

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Maid war

KUALA LUMPUR

... as fees for hiring of Indonesian domestic help differ vastly from government rates By MARHALIM ABAS mabas@mmail.com.my

HOPEFUL employers looking to hire Indonesian maids at a lower fee are in for a big disappointment. Despite the Human Resources Ministry’s assurance following the newlysigned memorandum of understanding with Indonesia that Malaysians need to pay only RM4,511 in

fees to hire a maid, industry feedback paints a different picture. The Malay Mail’s checks showed prospective employers would have to fork out between RM6,000 and RM9,000 to secure the services of a domestic help. Posing as a potential customer, our reporter

rang 10 maid employment agencies yesterday to enquire about the prices. Surprisingly, not a single agency stated RM4,511 was all that was needed to get a maid. When we pointed out the figure was what the ministry had announced, a Petaling Jaya-based agency

employee retorted: “You can, but you need to go and find the maid yourself.” He said agencies usually charged a RM6,000 fee to start the application process. The prospective employer would then need to pay at least another RM3,000 for other variables to bring the maid

into the country. Another agency explained the RM6,000 initial fee was fixed by its Indonesian counterpart. “So, how can we charge a lower fee when the suppliers themselves are asking for a higher fee?” • Continued on pg2

Brickfields

local

‘Three tiger stripes’ issue close to being resolved >> pg4 Batu Tiga playground death

Council told of faulty light 10 months earlier >> pg3 Sg Way buzzing with millions of ‘visitors’

>> pg6

ENTERTAINMENT

Daphne Iking’s ‘baby bump’ saves her from manhole fall >> pg7 World

Year-long family outing MEET the Ruanlts of Rennes, France, who embarked on a year-long European-Asian tour on two wheels just to teach the young ones the world is “one big family, and that we’re all brothers and sisters”, says teacher Christelle.

Letters & Opinions on pg10

Her electrician husband, Nicolas, says they preferred schools, temples, camping sites and local friends’ houses to hotels so that their three sons can get up close and personal to their surroundings. Maid in Malaysia (May 31)

Hidden costs in imported help

Now on the last leg of a five-week Malaysian tour, the family will end their long distance outing in Indonesia. — Pic: KHAIRULL AZRY BIDIN

Hotline

Report on pg6

Wangsa Permai gets more cops >> pg8

Witherspoon wins MTV lifetime achievement honour >> pg12

Fungus puff anyone?

>> pg9


2

news

The KL High Court has set next Wednesday for Parti Keadilan Rakyat's application for leave to seek judicial review of Registrar of Societies' bid to deregister party

'Honour terms'

PETALING JAYA

Minister confident maid agencies will uphold spirit of MoU By MARHALIM ABAS mabas@mmail.com.my

HUMAN Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam (pic) has an unwavering faith foreign maid agencies will uphold the terms of agreement in the new memorandum of understanding. When asked to comment on our survey findings yesterday, he replied in a text message, "That was the agreement we h a v e reached and I trust they will honour

it", without elaborating. Subramaniam had on Tuesday reminded agencies supplying Indonesian maids to Malaysia to stick to the fees and conditions agreed upon by the two governments. "The initial fee employers have to pay to get an Indonesian maid should no longer hover between RM6,000 and RM8,000, like what's happening now." The two countries yesterday inked protocol amendments to the MoU for the employment of Indonesian maids signed in 2006. The revised MoU, among others, sets the initial fees employers have to pay at RM4,511. Most Indonesian maids re-

ceived an average monthly salary of RM400. Indonesia had proposed the salary be raised to RM800 a month but the government had not agreed to it, insisting it be governed by market forces. "The Indonesian side has pledged their commitment on this matter and we should do that too," Subramaniam had said, adding a joint task force would be set up to deal with issues raised by employers and their employees. "The task force, among others, will look at salary issues based on demand and supply principles. We'll know the outcome in two weeks."

Meanwhile, in a local English daily newspaper yesterday, Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies acting president Jeffrey Foo raised questions on the stipulated cost of getting a maid from Indonesian agents. He said the cost given by the government now was unrealistic, especially to agents in Indonesia, as it had yet to be seen whether agents there were willing to send maids over as they did not agree with the cost stated in the MoU. He said the association was waiting to see how Malaysia and Indonesia would fulfill the terms of the memorandum.

Memorandum not binding on anyone, says agency owner ● From page 1 He said the additional RM3,000 was for the levy, medical examinations and visa processing and “a small profit for our agency". “If everything goes well, you can get a maid next month.” Another agency owner told us the initial fee referred to by the ministry "did not reflect

the reality on the ground". His agency charged RM8,000 for an Indonesian maid. The operator said the MoU signed between the two countries served only as a "guide". "There is no compliance mechanism in the new MoU between Malaysia and Indonesia. It is not binding on anyone, just like the old one that was signed in 2006."

The owner said he would be happy to use the rates as mentioned by the minister, "if he can get it". "It all depends on what Indonesia does. If their agencies charge a lower fee, we will, of course, pass the savings on to our customers. “We can attract more customers if the rates are cheaper."

He said the industry welcomed lower fees, as employers would not be too critical of the RM600 monthly salary expected for the maids. When told of our findings, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam remained non-committal and said he hoped all parties would respect the agreement. The high fees have led to

concerns Malaysians, unable to meet the high prices, will opt for Indonesian maids from black market operators which usually charge a RM6,000 flat rate per maid. The new MoU was signed between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta on Monday to end a two-year freeze on Indonesian maids coming to work in Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA

Children's rights groups speak up By ANDREW SAGAYAM andrew@mmail.com.my

CHILDREN'S rights groups believe it is not the case of social networking sites and lack of parent supervision which contribute to children being 'lost' as much as living in crime-prone areas. Following The Malay Mail's front page report yesterday on children as young as nine years old being lured by paedophiles, three groups we spoke to yesterday opined the environment a child grows up in plays a huge role in his or her social development. ● Voice of the Children chairman Sharmila Ganesan said social networking sites and lack of supervision by parents are not the only factors that had influenced children to "go missing".

She said the environment where the family lived was also a contributing factor. "If they live in a crimeprone area, their children would more than likely come in contact with destructive characters who will influence them. "These characters will trick this unhappy children, mostly teenagers, into thinking they are friends who understand their predicament at home. But, they have ulterior motives instead. "In many cases, the boys will be enticed into taking drugs while the girls would be lured into prostitution." ● Protect and Save The Children association director Madeleine Yong said a more

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FLASHBACK: Our report yesterday

extensive support group system should be established to "take care" of low-income families or single parents. "At hospitals, for example, if a young mother gives birth to a baby and upon checking she has no husband, the hospital should alert the Welfare Department. "The department officers

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can talk to the woman and find out how she would be able to cope raising the child. If she has to work extra hard to make ends meet, negligence will occur regardless of what age her son or daughter is at." She said checks should be done more frequently in areas where lower income families

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live and to find out how they fare raising a family. ● Empower Malaysia's executive director Maria Chin Abdullah said the Welfare Department and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry should go down to the ground more than what they are doing presently. "We must go to people and find out what problems these families are facing. They should have vans going around among the lower and lower middle income groups where the majority of such problems occur. "Having crisis centres alone aren't enough. These families need someone to go to them and provide help."

The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

Rio cleans up Vila Mimosa VILA MIMOSA, Rio's bustling working-class prostitution zone, is a beloved institution or a blight, depending on who is asked. But like so much of this city that officials have deemed marginal, it faces the prospect of being torn down in the name of progress as Rio revamps crumbling infrastructure and polishes its image before the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Spelling the possible demise of Vila Mimosa is a 510km highspeed train the government wants to build to link Rio to Sao Paulo. Work has not begun but the prostitutes are already wary. If the plans move forward, it will pass right through the neighbourhood. — AP

Google adds +1 feature GOOGLE is hoping other websites will like its recently introduced system for recommending online content and ads. The Internet search leader has been using "+1" recommendation button on its own site for two months. It became available to other publishers yesterday. The +1 feature is similar to the Facebook "Like" button that has become a staple at thousands of websites. Pressing the +1 or Like button enables people to recommend an article, photo, video, song or some other kind of material to their online connections. — AP

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The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

Malaysia ranked 9th in the list of 10 friendliest countries of the world — HSBC poll

SUBANG JAYA

Many not buying into My First Home Scheme By EE ANN NEE ean@mmail.com.my

CITY dwellers remain sceptical over the government's "My First Home Scheme", given the steep property prices in the Klang Valley. The scheme is available to those aged 35 and below, with monthly salaries less than RM3,000. First-time house buyers are eligible to buy a property, priced at RM220,000 and below, with 100 per cent financing.

M. Tara, 38, engineer, Petaling Jaya

By SHAHRIM TAMRIN shahrimtamrin@mmail.com.my

Frederick Aloysius, 30, account director, KL: "With property prices escalating, how can the scheme only cater to those with a monthly salary of less than RM3,000? For a house priced at RM220,000, and if it’s located far from the city, then, what’s the point? In addition, you can’t assume people will settle down by 35, as many people are postponing marriage and only buying a house when they reach 40." Radin Hazwan, 25, optometrist, Petaling Jaya

"I think the scheme will benefit those living in the outskirts rather than in the Klang Valley. If anyone is looking for a decent house below RM220,000 in the Klang Valley, I must say, good luck to them. Even if you are earning RM4,000 or RM5,000 monthly, owning a house in the city is almost impossible. The property prices here are crazy. The government should provide a similar scheme that caters to the RM3,000 to RM6,000 monthly income bracket group."

New light on boy's death SUBANG JAYA: batu tiga playground electrocution

THERE is a twist to the probe by the Energy Commission of Malaysia into the recent electrocution of a 11-year-old boy at the Taman Batu Tiga playground in Shah Alam. Allegedly, Subang Jaya Zone 5 councillor Keshminder Singh's assistant had lodged a complaint on May 25 last year with the Subang Jaya Municipal Council on the defective lamp post, which Muhammad Naquiddin Mohd Marzuki accidentally touched, and was killed, on March 19 this year. However, the council had denied any complaint made over the lamp post. The commission’s enforcement director Othman Omar said he had instructed the investigating team to call up

Keshminder's assistant. “I have instructed the Petaling Jaya probe team to call up this person soonest as this new information is vital for us in the investigation. "We believe this latest information will shed some light on events leading up to the tragedy. We may have to revert to the council on the nature of the complaint and what kind of action was taken.” Given the latest development, Keshminder has urged the commission to hasten the investigation. “I brought this matter up at the council's full board meeting last week. But I am disappointed the council instead asked me to discuss the matter in private. A boy has died and a complaint was made about

a year before the tragedy happened. “I think it’s important for the commission to scrutinise the complaint seriously and also call up more people. The council had stated the contractor who installed the lamp post might have been appointed by a former councillor or residents association (RA)," said Keshminder. In response, Othman said it was important for the commission's probe team to conduct the investigation properly. “We will call up potential witnesses, including the former Zone 6 councillor and past RA key members, if necessary. There are also other areas we are looking into.”

The alleged complaint

"For such a scheme, the income bracket for house buyers in the Klang Valley should be extended to RM4,000, considering the high cost of living in the city. I’m aware of the 100 per cent financing scheme, but young people already have enough debts."

T H E Mal ay Mai l h a s obtained a copy of the complaint lodged last year by Subang Jaya Zone 5 councillor Keshminder Singh's aide. The complaint was given t he re fe re nc e nu mb e r 1163/05/2010-[1] after it was sent via the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s complaint management system on May 25 at 10.13pm. The complaint re ad: “Lampu gelanggang futsal dan gelanggang badminton

tidak menyala serta main switch box yang terdapat di situ yang menghubungkan antara dua gelanggang ini didapati kedengaran bunyi seperti terdapat lintar pintas di dalamnya seolaholah ada letupan kecil yang tidak berhenti. Minta pihak tuan menghantar maintenance dengan segera kerana dikhuatiri amat membahayakan.” (The lights for the futsal and badminton courts are not functioning and the

main switch box connecting the two courts emits soft exploding sounds as if there is a continuous short-circuit inside. Request your side send maintenance as soon as possible, for fear this could be dangerous.) Sources claimed the council's maintenance contractor had attended to the complaint a day after it was made, and allegedly moved the panel board, originally located on the ground, to a different electric pillar.

SUBANG JAYA

Work on transport hub starts next month

THERE will be pedestrian-friendly walkways at the Integrated Transport Terminal Subang Jaya (ITTSJ) and Subang Jaya City Centre (SJCC), with construction work scheduled to begin next month. The hub includes the LRT Extension Project station 4 and KTM Komuter station. Syarikat Prasarana Negara

Bhd (Prasarana) project development group director Zulkifli Mohd Yusof said the integration of the rail stations would be completed by the end of 2013, and fully operational by August 2014. “The impact for Subang Jaya residents and its surroundings will be beneficial as it will provide options for commuters in terms of

direction, connectivity and seamless travel by public transport,” Zulkifli told The Malay Mail. He s ai d I T T- SJ w a s designed and would be constructed by Prasarana, while the SJCC and a link bridge that connects the integrated stations to the SJCC podium block, would be developed by Sime Darby Property Bhd.

Artist'S impression: The proposed Subang Jaya Integrated Transport Terminal

news

3

Rats! Pack grounds Qantas jet QANTAS was forced to ground one of its passenger jets after a pack of rats was discovered on board, The Age reported. Flight attendants found five rats in the cabin of a Boeing 767 due to leave Sydney on Tuesday. The rodents were discovered in emergency medical equipment carried on the aircraft, 10 minutes before passengers were due to board. Qantas was unsure last night how the rats got onto the passenger jet.

'Cap' ban to halt telco bill shock TELCOS in Australia will be forbidden from using advertising terms such as "cap" and “unlimited” under regulations recommended by the communications regulator. They will also be forced to implement supermarket-style unit pricing and new measures to prevent bill shock. Claims of broadband speeds would also need to be substantiated.

Actress held for vice bid POLICE in Bangalore, India, said a 29-yearold actress has been taken into custody for attempted prostitution. The name of the actress, who had acted in two Kannada films and three television serials, has been withheld. A 40-year-old woman, a pimp, who had acted in two teleserials, and two men were also taken into custody, police said.


4

news

The decommissioned Royal Malaysian Navy's warship KD Rahmat to be converted to a living museum — Perak senior state executive councillor Datuk Hamidah Osman

The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR

Marked for a deal Government willing to talk to resolve national jersey issue By VIJHAY VICK vijhayvick@mmail.com.my

THE government is willing to negotiate with Mesuma Sports Sdn Bhd, the rights holder of the 'three tiger stripes' design, for use of the pattern on jerseys by Telekom Malaysia (TM). “We will look into the legal aspects of the matter and decide on the appropriate action,” said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek yesterday. "One approach is for Mesuma to be offered an out-ofcourt settlement in exchange for TM having joint rights to use the trademarked design." Shabery said until the mat-

ter was resolved, TM would continue to promote the Team Malaysia jerseys. “The idea behind striking a deal with TM is to reach the masses. TM has the machinery, which Mesuma does not possess, to promote the 'three stripes' to the public.” However, TM is selling the Team Malaysia jerseys at a higher price — at RM79.90 each — whereas Mesuma is selling it at RM42 each. The National Sports Council (NSC), the funding arm of the ministry, signed an agreement with TM allowing it the use the 'three stripes' logo for the next five years.

But observers feel if promoting the 'three stripes' to the public is the objective of such a deal, Mesuma Sports should have been included in the deal. The company is the registered proprietor of the trademark for 10 years — from July 9, 2009, to July 9, 2019 — and certificates of registration were issued to the company on Feb 19. Shabery's stand is similar to that of NSC director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong, who said earlier the rights to the design should be held by the government and not private partners.

IN QUESTION: The contentious tiger three stripes national jersey

BANGI

Athletes risk losing contracts By HARESH DEOL haresh@mmail.com.my

THE three national sprinters, who failed to show up for the anti-doping test last week, may lose their contracts with the National Sports Council (NSC). The trio — Noor Imran Ab Hadi, Nurul Sarah Abd Kadir and Norjannah Hafiszatrio — now in Bulgaria for competition in the Sofia international athletics meet (on Sunday and on June 11-12), the Bulgaria national meet in Sliven (June 18-19) and the Pzvel Pzulov International in Sofia (June 25). They then head for Bucuresti, Romania, for the Campionatul nationals on July 2. “We have done our best. The rest is now up to the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU). They are the governing body for the sport,” said NSC directorgeneral Datuk Zolkples Embong. “We can ask them to vacate their rooms or terminate their contracts but I don’t want to go down that road yet. We leave it to the MAAU to address this.” NSC is the funding arm of the Youth and Sports Ministry and has no authority to sanction athletes. Elite athletes under the NSC programme enjoy a monthly salary and other perks, including accommodation and food. However, MAAU, being affiliated to the International

Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), is compelled to investigate the matter and take the necessary action. When told MAAU could just sweep the matter under the carpet, Zolkples said: “That's their call. What can we do?” Zolkples was met after the flag-raising ceremony at the Malaysia Games athletes village in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia yesterday. Also present were KL Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail and National Sports Institute (NSI) director-general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz. Earlier, Ramlan said all 12 athletes, including sprinters Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Siti Fatima Mohamed and Yee Yi Leng, tested negative for the anti-doping test last week. However, he said, the Anti Doping Agency Malaysia’s results management committee would meet today to discuss the conduct of athletes who 'skipped' the antidoping tests. “There are irregularities. This raises a lot of suspicion. Also, we will look at allegations by the athletes who were said to have taken pills from the coach. “This will be referred to MAAU who must take the required steps by forming a panel to investigate the conduct of the athletes.” Ramlan also said athletes

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NATIONAL RUNNERS

United, the PM and accessibility ON FRIDAY LOCAL

Wife’s fury fuels vice raid >> pg3

MOHD NOOR IMRAN AB HADI

Sprinters: ‘We took pink pills’ SITI ZUBAIDAH ADABI

YEE LI LENG

NORJANNAH HAFISZAH

SITI FATIMA MOHAMED

NURUL SARAH ABD KADIR

Beware of Jalan Ampang bridge robbers!

>> pg4

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Singer Prema Yin latest local Three athletes claim coach supplied them ‘recovery and lass to shockers in the case of six athletes who went AWOL relaxation’ drugs. More land in after skipping dope test. US >> pg7 MAIL EXCLUSI VE

By JOHNSON FERNANDEZ

and HARESH DEOL mmsports@mma il.com.my

• SOURCES from t NATIONAL Sports the sports fraternity Council t HE said the girls also (NSC) chief Datuk claimed the trio Zolkples Embong, who met claimed they were told were assured the by officials to leave three 4x100m relay team drugs, described for a training-cummembers on Wednesday, as ‘pink-coloured competition stint in said they claimed officials pills’, were not Bulgaria earlier, adding told them not take the test. performancethe athletes were also They took it yesterday aft er told to switch off boosters. their being advised to do so. mobile phones.

Letters & Opinions

t THE NSC head said they could not reach the chief coach and Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) deputypresident following the athletes’ absence at the doping test.

t MAAU said they were unaware of the matter until it was highlighted by the Press.

t THE National Sports Institute to get Bulgarian counterparts to test ‘missing’ runners. t Reports on pg2

FLASHBACK: Our front page on Friday SECTION ON PG10

Motorist crushed to death

(May 25)

Get errant drivers off the

road

Hotline is now two pages daily

Garbage shed turned office poser >> pg8

Staple in spring roll shocker

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NORJANNAH

should only be taking medication from the National Sports Institute (NSI). The tested athletes revealed they were given 'pink tablets' for relaxation and recovery. “We did not give any tablets or supplements to coaches. Any professional coach will

NOOR IMRAN

NURUL SARAH

know it is not good practice for them to give drugs to athletes. “There is no excuse for athletes to take drugs from anyone other than NSI. We are available around the clock to address their (athletes) needs.”

BANGI

Shahidan hogs limelight at flag-raising ceremony A 'TENSE' scenario enveloped the Malaysia Games athletes village at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia yesterday. As National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong and National Sports Institute director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz were welcoming KL Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail, Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and MAAU deputy president Karim Ibrahim were eager to address the Press at the other end of the parking lot where the event was in progress. The 'heated affair' somehow got to a Malacca athlete, who fainted during the flag-raising ceremony. Shahidan wanted to speak about the three national sprinters — Noor Imran Ab Hadi, Nurul Sarah Abd Kadir and Norjannah Hafiszah — who skipped an anti-doping test last week and leave for Bulgaria for a training-cumcompetition stint instead. A hastily arranged Press conference was held while the flag-raising ceremony was going on. Shahidan made remarks which left members of the Press in stitches. Sadly, the whole affair proved to be an anti-climax of sorts. "We are only cucumbers but they (NSC) are durians...

all pointy and ready to pick a fight," said Shahidan. "Let's not judge the athletes. I just hope the other three athletes (Siti Fatima Mohamed, Siti Zubaidah Adabi and Yee Yi Ling) will join their team mates for training in Bulgaria," Shahidan said. "Noor Imran, Nurul Sarah and Norjannah are in Sofia and are in training in Bulgaria. This was arranged by Bulgarian coach Vasko (Tsvetanov Nedyalkov)." "I don't understand why Noraseela Khalid, Tan Song Hwa and Lo Choo Sieng were allowed to leave the country before the results were known but Siti Fatima, Siti Zubaidah and Yee are still in KL." Shahidan said he was aware athletics coach Harun Rasheed gave 'tablets to the sprinters as supplements from the National Sports Institute. He declined comment when asked why Harun gave the pills and why the sprinters 'skipped' the anti-doping test. "That, you must ask the coach (Harun). "We had to fork out our own money first. I hope NSC will bear the cost of our trip to Bulgaria. After all, they approved the budget for the trip (RM177,782) Karim, meanwhile, added it is "normal for MAAU not deal with the local (Bulgarian) athletics federation".


ThursDay 2 June, 2011

the malay mail

5


6

news

SUBANG JAYA

Fire hydrant to call your own By TH TEOH mmnews@mmail.com.my

HAVE you got a fire hydrant in front of your house or located just a stone’s throw away along your street? How about adopting it and making sure it works as and when it is needed — like during a fire? The Fire and Rescue Department of SS17 Subang Jaya has 5,000 fire hydrants under its care and is calling on residents to help them watch over these. SS17 Fire Station head deputy superintendent Mohd Khairi Daud said it was important for them to work with the community to ensure the hydrants were not vandalised, blocked or not functioning. “We wish to work with the community. It is crucial for a fire to be put out within eight to 10mins. That is why fire hydrants in your neighbourhood are important,” he said during the recent launch of a gotongroyong initiative with residents of USJ 2 & 6 Rukun Tetangga. Ramli Chik, a house owner along Jalan USJ2/4P, almost immediately signed up to adopt the hydrant beside his house when he noticed the team of volunteers clearing the grass around it. Communities who wish to carry out a similar exercise with the SS17 Bomba team can call 03-5634 9444.

Those who visited Europe from May 1 and are experiencing dysentery (bloody diarrhoea) are advised to go for check-up following bacterial outbreak in Germany — Health director-general Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman

Bee invasion SUNGAI WAY

Council plans night-time assault to get rid of hives By FAIZAL NOR IZHAM mmnews@mmail.com.my

THE collection of bees accumulating on a one-way signboard in Jalan Sungai Way is apparently not a new problem, according to residents there. "They seem to come every year," said Khoo Bing Chai, 56, a kuih seller running his

business next to the sign. "We noticed bees coming from behind shoplots and settling at places, not just on the road signage." But, a lot more bees settled on the signboard about 11am yesterday. "They all came at once," said

Khoo. "They don't sting as long as people don't disturb them." The day before, the road sign was shaken by some students - resulting in the bees buzzing around menacingly. Cobbler Shah Ali, 47, who operates nearby said he noticed the bees' presence since around 4pm on Tuesday. "They don't disturb people," he told The Malay Mail. "But, I hope the authorities do something about this before anything untoward happens." He claimed no one has so far complained about the bees' presence. Together with his 45 yearold friend Aziz Bustamam, also from Sungai Way, they have worked there for the past 18 years. " I

THEY WENT THAT WAY: Kuih seller Khoo Bing Chai pointing to the direction the bees came from — PIC: Ashraf Shamsul Azlan

usually work from 10am to 6pm everyday. The bees have not disrupted my business so far, but it could get worse." Stating the bees are rather large in size, he said: "Some have now gone. Maybe they'll come back because they don't tend to stray for long. I have no idea why they've gathered there in the first place." New bee colonies are usually formed when the queen leaves the previous hive with a large group of worker bees in a process called swarming. Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) spokesperson Zainon Zakaria said they have been alerted to the issue and have passed the matter on to the council's health department. "We will send a team to take care of it at night. In daytime, they tend to get aggressive." She explained the council's staff will attempt to get rid of the bees by smoking them out. "Hopefully they will be completely gone after this. We wouldn't want their presence to disrupt people living and working nearby." She further assured the bees would be taken care of by this week.

KUALA LUMPUR

Showing kids the world is one big family

TO let their children experience European and Asian cultures, a backpacking French family is doing this mainly by cycling. Now on a stopover in KL, the family of five from Rennes began their leisurely-paced journey in Hungary last August and expects to complete their one-year travels later this month. "From Hungary we headed to Romania and Bulgaria and reached Turkey in December," said secondary school teacher Christelle Ruanlt, 35, adding they are using three bicycles. "We then took a flight to Vietnam and cycled from there to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and now Malaysia. I must say Turkey and Laos have the most interesting landscapes. We end our journey in Indonesia next week and then fly back to Paris." Christelle's electrician hus-

The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

ALL FOR CHILDREN: Nicolas and Christella relating their experiences

band, Nicolas Ruanlt, 38, said: "The friendliest people we met were Romanians, Turks, Cambodians and Malaysians. Asian cuisine also suits our

tastebuds as long as it's not too spicy, and we especially enjoyed Vietnamese, Laotian and Thai cuisine." Rounding off this family

affair were their three sons, Mael, nine, Matheo, seven and Timothe, four. "My husband and I want to show our kids the world is one big family and that we're all brothers and sisters," said Christelle. "We want our children to be open-minded so that they will learn to accept differences among various people and cultures." Christelle said they chose to travel by bicycles in order to have close-up experiences of normal, everyday life of each nation covered. "We seldom stayed in hotels throughout the journey," said Nicolas. "Instead, we slept in schools, temples and houses of friends we made on our travels and also by camping out." As part of their five-week Malaysian tour - they arrived here on May 1 - the family

visited Perlis, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang. "Perhentian Island off Kuala Besut, Kelantan was one of our favourite spots," said Nicolas. "We went snorkelling and saw many types of fish. We found it peaceful and serene there." From Kelantan, they made their way down to KL, cycling along traditional roads which they said was more interesting. "It's nice to see people of different ancestries living harmoniously with one another in Malaysia," said Christelle. Were there setbacks during their journey so far? Nicolas said: "I just got bitten by a dog while visiting a Hindu temple and will have to seek treatment but I think I'll be fine." For an overview on the Ruanlt family's journey so far, visit their travel blog at www. desmomesavelos.fr.

Wong in 'cat-call' spat DESPITE dire economic data and tragedy in Afghanistan, question time in Australia's federal parliament yesterday was dominated by a hotter topic — sexism triggered by a misguided "meow" involving Malaysianborn Finance Minister Penny Wong (above), Adelaide Now reported. It said while the rest of the nation was focused elsewhere, Canberra was gripped by the "cat-call" incident. Liberal senator David Bushby guaranteed himself infamy when he uttered an impromptu "meow" at Wong who was explaining the absence of the secretary of Treasury during an estimates committee session. "It is just extraordinary," she told the committee. "The blokes are allowed to yell but if a woman stands her ground, you want to make that kind of comment. It's not schoolyard politics, mate." Bushby later issued a halfbaked and ill-considered apology: "I thought she was like an angry cat, the way they sometimes strike out. I like cats."

Manila to debate divorce Bill A CONGRESSIONAL committee in the Philippines is due to start discussing a Bill to legalise divorce. The Philippines and the Vatican are now the only places in the world where divorce is prohibited, after Malta voted to remove its ban last weekend. But the passage of this Bill is far from certain, as the influential Catholic Church is fiercely opposed to any change in the law. The vast majority of Filipinos are Catholic, and the church is extremely powerful. A Bill has also been put forward in the Philippine Congress aimed at making it easier for poor people to get their marriages annulled.


The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

The MTV World Stage concert at I-City Shah Alam is on. The caveat: must end before midnight, minimum sound impact on nearby residents and decent dress and behaviour — Selangor MB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim

Saved by 'baby bump'

Twitter Your S@y

KUALA LUMPUR

THE public loves showbiz scandal but for the artiste concerned, it might boost his/her career or end it. In the case of Hong Kong singer-actress Gillian Chung, she's now attempting a comeback after lying low the past three years since being snared in the Edison Chen sex photo scandal. In the 2008 scandal, Canadian-born Edison Chen's sexually explicit, privately-taken nude photos of himself with several Hong Kong stars were leaked and widely circulated on the Internet, causing damage to the careers of all those involved. Question is, can babyfaced Chung bounce back to stardom by winning back her fans? Here are some of the responses by our readers over Twitter. er liked 6: I nev ing 8 e t a g Cm ing/sin her act , a girl's gotta r but hey back up afte bounce edy. I think g any tra ady for a e she’s r rt. a t s new

Being pregnant has its advantages

By SHUHAIDAH SAHARANI iedas@mmail.com.my

DAPHNE IKING (pic) looked radiant when met at a perfume launch event in KLCC recently. But behind that beautiful smile, Daphne is nursing some cuts and bruises after falling into a manhole just a few days before. “I was at Jalan Alor to have a dinner meeting with the Bella (ntv7) team and I was walking up and down the pavement trying to get a glimpse of the crew's car (they were lost). Then I spotted them, so I ran to grab their attention that they had found the place — and then I fell unglamorously into a manhole!” said the Sabahan beauty. She was on her own, while her husband Azmi Abdul Rahman (Joe) waited for their table with her three-year-old daughter Isobel Daniella, unaware she had fallen. Daphne added that she was very lucky not to have fallen all the way in, thanks to her baby bump.

Azariahloh: Let bygones be bygones :) JereTeo: Time to kickbutt. She really is very pretty. I cannot wait. Heck, Edison moved on. It’s about time she rocked it too.

ne, She’ll do fi Yumiikaz: ve scandals. lo the public

Setokityan: Kin da iffy because sh e now appeals to a di ffe audience, which rent not really jive w does ith personality… ne her eds some work!

KUALA LUMPUR

“I injured both legs with cuts and bruises. Surprisingly, despite the bump holding me from going all the way in, there was no injury or bruise on the tummy and baby is fine. “Joe was shocked and deeply concerned.” Needless to say, her husband doesn't allow her to walk alone anymore. Talking about her baby, we wondered when baby was due, if she already knew the gender and if the couple had picked a name yet. “We want to keep all that a surprise!” smiled the 32-yearold. Daphne was at the Bvlgari cocktail launch of its latest women eau de parfum fragrance, Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir, representing ntv7 for Bella, along with her cohosts, Elaine Daly and Deborah Henry. The anchors of the daily English language women's talk show were acknowledged by Bvlgari for Bella’s inspiring representation of every empowered Malaysian woman.

Another one on the way SERINA REDZUAWAN (pic) is pregnant. Again! Barely nine months after the birth of her first child, Tristan Tareef O’Luanaigh. Daughter of celebrity chef, Datuk Redzuawan Ismail (Chef Wan), Serina, also a famous TV star from her roles in police-based TV dramas, told The Malay Mail it was not a planned pregnancy but the whole family is ecstatic about the news. “My husband loves the idea

of a large family. He comes from one and has always wanted it for us too,” Serina said, adding they want five children. Busy on location for season four of Roda Roda KL, she might just have to slow down a little during this pregnancy. According to Serina, after her contract with the drama is fulfilled, she would concentrate more on her production company, YKS Filmmaker Sdn Bhd, which is currently

busy churning out telemovies and dramas. As for her father’s reaction to the news, Serina admitted he is extremely happy and hoping for a baby girl. “My father is such a doting grandfather. Every time he is in town, he would whisk Tristan away on shopping sprees and movie dates. My father is a true believer in educational toys, so Tristan is showered with so many of these.”

news

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SHAH ALAM

Snakes alive, all 250 of them! By EENA HOUZYAMA eena@mmail.com.my

IT'S true, TV personality and emcee Rina Omar confirmed she is busy with her own new reptile business True Discovery Sdn Bhd, inspired about six years ago when she worked on Step Forward for 8TV. "We had visited an oil palm plantation and found a huge python which we helped to rescue. Ever since, I have been not only been fascinated by snakes, I have fallen in love with reptiles," Rina told The Malay Mail in an exclusive interview. Having such an interest, Rina has visited lots of exhibitions which has helped her better understand the species. From this experience, she also noticed how children were often intrigued by them and had lots to ask. "When I saw how interested children were, I began explaining to them about reptiles. I didn't know much then but it sparked the idea I could start giving workshops to children about these highly misunderstood animals." She formed the company a year ago but they only recently found a space where she could showcase the 250 reptiles in their collection covering about 95 species. "We have the largest collection of reptiles and we recently moved into i-City, Shah Alam, where we showcase all of them." Besides giving workshops and school tours to share knowledge on reptiles, True Discovery also provides a special service for the entertainment industry. Rina, who is the communications and special projects manager, explained their collection has 'stars' which are hired for photo shoots and even to appear in films. "We are experts in handling these reptiles and we make sure we do not overexert them while on shoots," said Rina, an animal activist herself, who ensures the reptiles get the best treatment while on the job or in their enclosure. "Our 12-foot reticulated p y -

thon 'Baby', was recently hired to be part of a movie, which hasn't been released yet. The other favourite is a four-foot python, 'Chicken', who has appeared in numerous photo shoots with me." She adds:"We are a selffunded company and probably the only reptile advocacy group in Malaysia. The earnings from workshops and exhibitions are mainly to support the enclosure as well as provide for the reptiles." Recently, the tables were turned on Rina when she appeared as a contestant in the new TV3 reality TV show, Sejuta Impian, where she pitched her cause and asked for a sum of cash to support True Discovery. Without revealing how much or if she did receive funds from the show, Rina admits that any form of support is useful in maintaining the well-being of these animals. "Most important is the message we wish to share with the public about these reptiles which is to educate them about poaching, how to handle reptiles when they enter homes and also responsible pet ownership," she stressed, adding the company also takes in animals that owners no longer want. Now that the school holidays are here, parents may be interested to check out the reptiles at True Discovery, i-City, Shah Alam, as a special treat for the children.

RINA: Charmed by her 'Baby'


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Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011 the malay mail

your right to be heard

hotline@mmail.com.my

tel:03-7947 2288 fax: 03-7960 5096 tel:019-261 4948 (after 9pm)

Complainants have to submit their personal particulars and provide a detailed account of their complaint. Complainants have to first file their complaints with the respective parties before contacting Hotline. Complaints referred by Hotline to the relevant parties would be published if there is no response in seven days. After a complaint has been resolved, the complainant cannot demand non-publication of the matter.

By CECILIA VICTOR, SITI NURSURAYA ALI and REENA RAJ

Soon, cops will be there Police to set up booth in Taman Wangsa Permai to ease crime worries

LIVING IN FEAR: Residents want a police station in the area and suggested this council building but it is already occupied

Taken for a ride RINA WAN EBRAHIM from Kuala Lumpur is disappointed with the Electric Train Service (ETS). RINA says she frequently commutes to Ipoh and the first time she boarded the train since the new ETS rates came into force was on May 28. She boarded the 8am train from KL Sentral and was astonished to find the price had increase from RM30 to RM45. Believing the price hike would mean better service, RINA was wrong. "KTM calls the 8am train ‘Platinum Class’. I don't understand why as passengers are not given a choice as to which class they prefer to travel in. “I don't see any difference in the Platinum Class other than breakfast is served. It is more

of light refreshments as there's just a hot drink and a bun.” Rina feels passengers should be given a choice as not everyone wants breakfast. She says KTM appears to be taking advantage of the large number of passengers on the 8am train, giving them no choice but to pay the higher ticket price. "I feel this is a rip-off. KTM must explain the reason for the price hike."

● ELECTRIC Train Service (ETS) customer service executive Sarah Aziz says the new fare structure, implemented on May 1, offers passengers three different choices — ETS Platinum, Gold and Silver — which allows passengers to choose the travel duration that best

fits their requirements. Sarah says the ETS Platinum service is designed to cater to time-conscious passengers who prefer to travel without the hassle of intermediate stops. “It offers the shortest travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, directly conveying passengers from city-centre to city-centre in less than two hours.” The daily service departs KL Sentral at 8am and from Ipoh at 8.30am. She says breakfast on the ETS Platinum service is served on a complimentary basis according to the menu of the day. "We will take measures to improve our complimentary food in the ETS Platinum service.”

FOR too long, folks at Taman Wangsa Permai, Selayang, have been living in fear following several reports of crime in the area. Worse, residents have to travel to the out-of-the-way Desa Jaya police station to lodge a report. Now, they want a police station closer to home. One resident, STEPHEN NG, spoke of a fight involving some residents and several foreigners on May 16. He says a scuffle broke out when residents confronted the foreigners for allegedly disturbing local women. He adds a stretch of road leading from Sri Damansara to Sungai Besi, is prone to petty crimes including snatch thefts, and that break-ins are common. Residents find the long distance to the police station inconvenient and want a station at Wangsa Permai to help them feel more secure. NG suggests a Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) office there be turned into one. The trouble is, he says the council is unwilling to give up its building, even though it is not being used. He claims the building is occupied by other parties unknown to him.

NG says another resident has started a petition and has so far collected 1,200 signatures from residents. JENNY LEE, a resident there for the past 10 years, agrees with NG. "We pay a RM50 fee to make this a guarded community but in spite of that, crime still occurs."

● SELAYANG Municipal Council president Datuk Zainal Abidin Aala says: "A police booth can be set up in the area for residents to report crime.” However, he denies the council’s Wangsa Permai office is occupied by noncouncil members but is being used as a council collections office. Zainal Abidin says council meetings are also held there. ● GOMBAK police chief Assistant Commissioner Abdul Rahim Abdullah says while they understand the residents’ concerns, they are unable to cater to their request at the moment. "To build another police station would mean planning, identifying a place and allocating budget and staff. “The Desa Jaya area is densely populated, hence, it is hard to find land to build a station there.”

Abdul Rahim is, however, receptive towards the council's suggestion a police booth be set up. He says the crime rate in Wangsa Permai is manageable compared with other areas such as Taman Ehsan or other parts of Gombak district, as it is a guarded community. "Most of the time, the problems they have are with African nationals. We receive complaints about them disturbing local women and blasting loud music in the middle of the night. It is more of a cultural difference. We have dialogues with residents from time to time to discuss this," says Abdul Rahim. Gombak police have also made a request to the Federal Police Headquarters to upgrade its current police station from grade C to grade B, which would see an increase in staff. "The documentation is complete and are waiting approval." A Sungai Buloh police headquarters will also be set up soon, the location of which, Abdul Rahim says, is close to Wangsa Permai. With this, the areas once under Gombak police jurisdiction will be transferred to the Sungai Buloh police.

Buddy list hassle from gym NUR ARIANA ZAINUDDIN cannot understand why she must first fill up a friends' reference list before obtaining gym membership cards for her and her husband, despite having paid for it. NUR ARIANA says she signed up as a member of True Fitness gym at its Jaya 33 branch on May 1. She was told she would receive a complimentary gym bag and starter pack should she introduce another member to the gym, so she signed her husband up as well. Two weeks later, the membership cards were still not ready. Upon inquiring, NUR ARIANA

was told she had to complete a buddy reference list before collecting the cards. “This is nonsense. I already paid for the two memberships and I was not told that I had to submit a buddy reference form before getting the cards. If I had known, I would not have signed up." She regrets signing up with True Fitness, saying: “I planned to introduce another family member there but I do not think that is a good idea anymore."

● A TRUE Fitness spokes-

man apologises for the inconvenience NUR ARI-

ANA experienced in collecting her membership cards and clarifies it is not necessary to provide a list of names before she can do so. "We have spoken to the sales staff responsible and rest assured, something like this will not happen again.” NUR ARIANA, however, questions why True Fitness is blaming the sales staff alone as she claims the staff constantly referred to his manager before reverting to her. She says she does not believe the fault lies with the staff, as it was the manager who had advised the staff what to do.


ASEAN EMBASSIES • Brunei: 03-21612800 • Cambodia: 03-42571150 • Indonesia: 03-21164000

• Laos: 03-42511118 • Myanmar: 03-42516355 • Philippines: 03-21489989

• Singapore: 03-21616277 • Thailand: 03-21488222 • Timor-Leste 03-42562046

Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011 the malay mail

Pothole pain in Taman Melawati SARAH JACOBS from Kuala Lumpur is appalled by the condition of the road along Jalan Bandar, Taman Melawati. SARAH, a frequent visitor to the area, says numerous potholes are posing a danger to road users. “I have had to fix my car tyre rims numerous times due to the potholes. It is hard to avoid them as they seem to be everywhere. " SARAH says City Hall should ensure basic public amenities are in good condition. She says the street is also too narrow which prevents her from being able to drive around potholes, especially when there is oncoming traffic.

● CITY Hall Corporate Communications manager Anwar Mohd Zain says City Hall will dispatch engineers to the

Online Hotline comments www.mmail.com.my Insurance headache over missing iPod (June 1)

PAINFUL DRIVE: The bad state of Jalan Bandar has irked motorists

THE insurance company does not seem to be sincere with its terms regarding the travel insurance policy bought by the complainant. If you are supposed to pay for the loss, just pay it instead of making excuses. In EE's case, her luggage was broken into and her iPod touch missing. EE also provided the necessar y documents per taining to her loss. The insurance company should have been more compassionate when handling her case instead of just compensating for the missing lock. It was only af ter a complaint was made to Hotline that the company was willing to pay for the "Loss of Personal Ef fects". What a shame. — shaktiman

area to assess the problem. After a report is filed

by the team, Anwar says City Hall will decide on the best plan of action.

“If needed, contractors will be sent to start repair works there."

Mould in puff Hypermarket takes step to improve product quality

HE bit into his favourite crunchy pastry puff and tasted mould. That was the unsavoury experience DONALD TAN of Setia Alam went through last week after buying a pastry from a Tesco bakery. He says his family frequents the Setia Alam hypermarket and love a particular pastry puff from its bakery there. On May 24, he bought a box of the puffs for the whole family for breakfast the next day. "I took the first pastry puff and found it tasted funny,” he says. When he cut one open, TAN was mortified to find the filling was mouldy. “I almost vomited.” He says although the puffs he bought were sold at a special price because they were the last stock, it had yet to pass the expiry date printed on the box. "My family is disappointed with Tesco. We now worry as this could explain why we all fell sick some weeks ago after eating the same food.” TAN says this is not the first time the store had let him down. "We complained about their dirty trolley laden with used baby diapers as well as spoiled and mouldy vegetables offered at reduced prices, which did

9

WHY was it that only af ter a complaint was made to Hotline that the insurance company agreed to compensate the complainant for the missing iPod, in addition to the missing lock. The company appears to be lazy or taking shor tcuts. Please buck up. — Anonymous No rooms despite RM10k membership (May 30) T YPICAL run-down service. The same is of ten heard with other time share companies as well. — Corrupted MANY fall for scams where companies tr y to pull a fast one. Do not fall for all these socalled cheap rates and discounts for holiday packages. Just book holidays on your own. You could end up losing more just because you wanted to save a little. — kambengz I STILL wonder why there are people willing to pay large amounts of money for a promise. This kind of scheme can be par t of a scam where you are asked to pay upfront and in the end, you are made to beg for their mercy, just so you can get a room. What a joke. — max Long wait for bank refund (May 30) I , to o , h a d a s i m i l a r ex p e r i e n c e b u t my money was credited back within three days. However, my question is, why did it take three days for the bank to refund my money when they knew the transaction had failed immediately af ter it happened? ATM systems are sophisticated enough to track transactions to determine if a withdrawal was successful or not. I think banks can refund the money immediately without waiting for customers to file of ficial complaints. — Anonymous

UNSAVOURY: The mould is clearly visible inside the offending pastry

not seem fit for human consumption."

● A TESCO Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd spokesman says: “Tesco contacted TAN regarding his concerns of the product he bought, apologised and have re-

Not so ‘sedap’ train breakfast (May 26)

solved the matter with him accordingly.” The spokesman says they investigated the claims and have taken measures to correct its distribution process to ensure the situation does not recur. Tesco says they are mak-

ing continuous improvements to ensure a better shopping experience for all their customers. When contacted, Tan says he expects no monetary compensation but wants Tesco to guarantee such incidents will not recur.

I AM not denying that a staple can kill. Many of us agree with that but do people know the police can’t do anything in this situation? The police can’t carr y out spot checks at the premise to check if they have violated health regulations. So, why go to the police station and burden them? — Behalf of other commenters


10 letters&opinions Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

the malay mail

● Opinions may be in the form of Letters to the Editor or comments posted in relation to all news.

Mail: Letters To The Editor, Malay Mail Sdn Bhd, Lot 2A, Jalan 13/2, 46200, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

● Letters to the Editor must carry your name, address and contact number. A pseudonym may be included. Email: mmnews@mmail.com.my Fax: 03-7960 5096

I DON'T CARE Maid in Malaysia (May 31)

Maid could cost RM12,000 AFTER reading about the lifting of the Indonesian maid freeze, I called several maid agencies to get more details on the matter but was instead told not to believe what was written in the media. I was told RM4,511 was only the fee for the agent in Indonesia and does not include processing fees for Malaysian agents. The initial fee could easily come to around RM7,000, not including the first six months of the maid's salary. Roughly, the total package could cost about RM12,000. The details regarding the replacement maid or refund if she runs off within the six-month time frame is also incorrect. According to one agency,

it is actually a three-month period and employers have to fork out RM1,500 for medical costs, passport and other documentation. A refund comes only at the company's discretion and even if it was forthcoming, it wouldn't be much and would involve a lengthy process. What was reported in the newspapers sounds too good to be true. These businesses will make their own deals, agreements, contracts and limit refund and replacement policies. These agencies are aware of the high demand for maids and will go for the throat to make their business as profitable as possible. The authorities should set guidelines for all agen-

cies, revoking their licences, imposing hefty penalties or even blacklisting those who try to manipulate the system. Sometimes what we read is just too good of a deal. Pick up the phone and call around. You will find none of them adhere to the RM4,511 fee, not to mention refund and replacement maid snags, as well as hidden fees. Angry Employer

Price for being kind I HAVE been without a maid for almost a year now and have been looking around for

a replacement. Recently, a woman offered me a solution. Claiming to be an agent (although I did not ask for her business registration), she told me Indonesian maids could be brought in on a visitor's pass and delivery made within a month of the application. This, she said, is being done by many desperate employers: "Just ask around." Also, don't expect to get a refund if the maid runs away after six months. You are bound to lose everything. I paid RM8,500 for a maid and allowed her to have a mobile phone to keep in touch with her family. The maid ran off after three months and 10 days. I gave her a room, bought

TAMAN TUN DR ISMAIL MRT project

Waiting for decision on final alignment WITH the public feedback period over for the proposed Klang Valley MRT project on May 14, many of us are waiting in anticipation for the final alignment of the line to be made public. Many residents of Taman

Tun Dr Ismail, including myself, were upset over possible disruptions to our lives when it was announced the MRT line would pass beside our houses. However, after attending some of the public dialogue sessions organised by

the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), I felt the authorities were open to suggestions and our grouses were being looked into. We now look at the MRT in a more positive light and know that public transport will make moving around

the Klang Valley much more convenient. There are some sacrifices to be made but if everybody is engaged in the process, the project will produce a positive outcome. Alice

clothes from overseas and even paid her in full when I was supposed to be deducting her pay. So much for being kind. Which begs the question: Where do these maids run off to? After all, Malaysia is not such a big country. I can't afford Filipinos and can't understand Cambodians, so I have to rely on Indonesian maids, for what it's worth. I am looking at other agents now. The cost? Local agent fee: RM3,000. Foreign agent fee: RM3,300, not including levies, Fomema and insurance. Did someone say RM4,511? Sarah

THE MALAY MAIL-DUTCH LADY HAMPER FOR CHARITY THE best opinion of the week as decided by the editor will win a hamper from Dutch Lady Malaysia for charitable institutions. Readers are encouraged to nominate charities deserving of this gesture. The Malay Mail will deliver the winning hamper.

PJ Animal rights

Ridiculous obsession IT IS laughable that the media is giving so much prominence to animal rights, overshadowing more important things like safety, security and citizens’ rights. The problems of strays and mauling by animals are squarely the fault of so-called animal lovers. The clamouring against putting down dogs responsible for killing a human being is ridiculous. A life has been lost due to the negligence of the owner. A dog is an animal and having had the taste of "murder", could do so again. Even a human being found guilty for murder is hanged. I wonder what their reaction would

be if their spouse or children were killed by someone else’s pet. The problems of strays are caused by those with no civic conscience to neuter or find them proper homes. Owners allow their pets to soil public parks and roadsides and don't pick up the droppings. Worst of all, many dogs are allowed to bark and howl incessantly at night, causing a nuisance and distressing residents. S u c h inconsiderate behaviour reeks of hypocrisy and selfishness, yet, they portray themselves as humane animal lovers.

Honest Animal Lover


ThursDay 2 June, 2011

the malay mail

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world

Lhasa gets first five-star hotel, The St Regis Lhasa, built by the Chinese government that defends its mandate to rule over Tibet — News reports

3-year-old with IQ of 140

The Malay Mail Thursday 2 june, 2011

Singer's AIDS plea

TALLAHASSEE (Florida)

AS a three-year-old, Saffron Pledger from Essex, Britain, should only just be learning to count, running for the first time or simply scribbling with crayons as her young mind develops. But she is no normal child - this prodigy already reads bedtime stories to her seven-month-old sister and is set to become one of the youngest ever members of Mensa, the Daily Mail reports. After notching up an IQ of 140, this score makes her officially brighter than former US President Bill Clinton who has a score three points lower.

Elton John wants Florida governor to maintain drug help service

Unborn child on Facebook MARRIAH GREENE has a lot to say for someone still in her mother's womb. Not only can she tell her 268 friends that she is kicking her mummy's tummy, but she can also interact with them and post pictures of herself. Ellie Greene from Texas decided four months into her pregnancy it was time to share her big news with the world and there was Facebook. So unborn Marriah Greene sent out hundreds of Facebook requests to everyone that Mrs Greene and her husband Matt knew. Within a day she had more than a hundred friends,' according to Daily Mail.

SINGER Sir Elton John (pic) is urging Florida Governor Rick Scott to protect a programme that helps lowincome HIV/AIDS patients get medication needed to control the virus. John, founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, wrote to Scott on Tuesday after hearing the Department of Health was considering changes in income eligibility. A department spokeswoman says there are no immediate plans to change the AIDS Drug Assistance Programme, though it held hearings to discuss the possibility of lowering income requirements to participate. In t h e i r l e t t e r, Jo h n and foundation chairman David Furnish say lowering income eligibility could mean 1,600 people will no longer get help obtaining anti-retroviral medication. — AP

MTV STAR: one Witherspoon honoured as one of the most versatile and accomplished performers of her time. — Getty Images

LOS ANGELES

MTV Generation Award goes to Witherspoon MTV says Reese Witherspoon will receive its Generation Award at Sunday's MTV Movie Awards. The 35-year-old Oscar winner is being recognised for her range as an actress and for delighting the MTV audience throughout her career. MTV president Stephen Friedman called Witherspoon "one of the most versatile and accomplished performers of her time." Saturday Night Live star Jason Sudeikis will host the ceremony at the Gibson Amphitheater, where Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Steve

Carell, Shia LaBeouf, Patrick Dempsey, Cameron Diaz, Selena Gomez and Nicki Minaj are among those set to present the prizes. Fans voted online for the winners in categories such as best kiss, best villain and best line from a movie. MTV chose Witherspoon, who joins previous Generation Award winners Sandra Bullock, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey. Sunday's show will also feature a first-look at footage from the latest Twilight installment, Breaking Dawn, Part 1. — AP

NEW YORK

Adele postpones tour dates due to laryngitis BRITISH singer Adele (pic) has postponed five dates on her tour of North America due to laryngitis. Columbia Records said in a statement the 23-year-old Grammy winner was diagnosed last Thursday in Minneapolis, where doctors ordered immediate rest. Her show was cancelled and rescheduled for June 22. She performed in Denver on Saturday, but her show in Salt Lake City on Sunday was cancelled at the last minute "when her illness worsened." The tour w i l l resume on Saturday in San Francisco. Adele's new album, 21, has been at the top of the music charts in the US. — AP


ThursDay 2 June, 2011

the malay mail

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world

Palin flirts with the Big Apple SARAH PALIN'S flirtation with the US presidency hit the Big Apple yesterday when the firebrand conservative visited the Statue of Liberty and hung out with Donald Trump. Palin refuses to announce or rule out a presidential run next year, but her "One Nation" bus tour along the eastern seaboard's top list of historical sites has all the look of a campaign and the New York stop was no exception. Heading to the latest patriotic holy of holies, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York Harbour, Palin announced on her website she was "getting ready to fire up the bus for another beautiful day talking to Americans about the foundations of our great nation." On Tuesday she kicked off the New York visit by eating pizza with another outsized and controversial conservative character, Trump. The Times Square family chowdown was billed as a quiet get-together between friends. -- AFP

Cool 'salarymen' of Japan IN Tokyo, the Japanese government wants the country's suit-loving "salarymen" to be bold this summer. Ditch the stuffy jacket and tie. And for the good of a country facing a power crunch, go light and casual. Japan's "Super Cool Biz" campaign kicked off yesterday with a government-sponsored fashion show featuring outfits appropriate for the office yet cool enough to endure the sweltering heat. This summer may be especially brutal. The loss of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, crippled by the March 11 tsunami, means electricity could be in short supply around Tokyo, during especially hot days. To prevent blackouts, the government is asking companies and government offices to cut electricity usage by 15 per cent. -- AP

India's most popular swami Baba Ramdev will launch his 'fast unto death' in New Delhi on Saturday in protest against corruption and injustices — News reports

The Malay Mail Thursday 2 june, 2011

NEW YORK

Natasha's justice NY rape victim leads project to catch predators

A SEXUAL assault survivor who waited 15 years to see her assailant brought to justice, Natasha Alexenko, who is featured in an upcoming HBO documentary on sex crime prosecutions, insists authorities often have the evidence to convict predators, but it goes untested for years. It happened to her. The Long Island woman is the founder of and spokeswoman for the new Natasha's Justice Project, which seeks to advocate for rape victims and erase a nationwide backlog of untested sexual assault kits, also known as rape kits. The backlog could be in the tens of thousands, according to some estimates. "You'd be surprised how many people are not aware of the fact that an individual is sexually assaulted, we have the DNA evidence, and yet the kit sits on a shelf going absolutely nowhere," said Alexenko, 38, who recently resigned as head of the Long Island Maritime Museum to support the foundation. The documentar y, Sex

Crimes Unit, premieres June 20 on HBO. It focuses on the sex crimes prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office, often credited with pioneering aggressive techniques in convicting sexual predators, including clearing its backlog of 17,000 untested rape kits in New York City. Although media normally does not identify sexual assault victims, Alexenko is willingly coming forward to lift the stigma associated with sex crimes. Alexenko was a 19-year-old college student from Ontario when she was raped and sodomised at gunpoint in the hallway of her Manhattan apartment building in 1993. She immediately reported the assault to police and went to a hospital, where authorities collected physical evidence, including DNA samples. But Alexenko's rape kit sat on a shelf in an evidence room for nearly a decade. Only months before the 10-year statute of limitations was to expire, New York City prosecutors seeking to clear its

REACHING OUT: A file photo from Jackson Films/HBO shows Natasha and her friend Trevor Ballin in New York last year. She has formed an organisation to help rape victims. She is being featured in a June HBO Documentary about her own rape and the eventual prosecution of her attacker.

backlog of rape kits had the evidence analysed. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office said its backlog grew because evidence amassed at a faster rate than the timeconsuming lab analysis could be completed. New York City no longer has a backlog, officials said With no suspect in custody in Alexenko's case, prosecutors employed an innovative

TRIPOLI

Nato extends air war on Libya

NATO yesterday extended its Libyan air war by three months and said the departure of Muammar Gadaffi is only a question of time, as the strongman's oil minister reportedly defected to the rebellion. Hours after Nato-led aircraft launched new raids on Tripoli, ambassadors of the military alliance meeting in Brussels decided to renew the mission for another 90 days to late September. "This decision sends a cl e ar m e s s a ge to t h e Gadaffii regime. We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya," said Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. "We will sustain our efforts to fulfill the United Nations mandate" to defend civilians from Gadaffi's forces, he said in a statement, adding: "We will keep up the pressure to see it through." Nato, whose current campaign expires on June 27, has intensified air raids in recent weeks with daily

CARNAGE: Libyans inspect the site of a blast in the parking lot of the Tibesti hotel, used by rebel leaders, diplomats and journalists, in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi yesterday. -- AFPpic

strikes on command and control bunkers in Tripoli to prevent Gadaffi from crushing a revolt that began in mid-February. In Rome, news agency ANSA reported Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem announced yesterday he had resigned and left Libya to join the uprising against

Gadaffi to fight for a democratic country. "I can't work in this situation so I have left my country and my job to join the choice made by young Libyans to fight for a democratic country," he said in Rome, following weeks of rumours and denials about his defection." — AFP

legal strategy and indicted the DNA sample belonging to the unknown perpetrator, a socalled "John Doe indictment," which essentially stopped the clock on the statute of limitations. In 2007, authorities arrested a suspect who was eventually convicted in Alexenko's sexual assault; he becomes eligible for parole in 2057. Alexenko, who testified at the trial, said afterward she felt an obligation

to help other victims. "I think with all the years I had to heal, it no longer becomes a matter of an eye for an eye, or revenge, it becomes something that's more than that. And that is keeping this person from hurting anyone ever again," she said. Alexenko said that when a rape kit is tested, the forensic evidence is placed in a national database, where it can often be matched to suspects, leading to arrests and convictions. A May report by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the US Justice Department, said the exact number of unanalysed sex assault kits nationally is not known, in part because of an "antiquated process" of reporting in many jurisdictions. An NIJ survey found that 43 per cent of law enforcement agencies lack a computerised system for tracking forensic evidence. It also found that in 18 per cent of unsolved sexual assault cases between 2002 and 2007, forensic evidence was collected but never submitted for analysis. — AP

WASHINGTON

Do not 'laser' our planes, say US aviation officials US aviation officials said yesterday they will begin imposing stiff penalties on people who shine lasers into airplanes, after the number of such dangerous incidents skyrocketed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can deem the flashing of lasers into a plane's cockpit as "interfering" with the aircraft's pilots and flight crew, putting the action under the same legal statute that is used to protect the crew and passengers from hijackers, the FAA said. "Our top priority is protecting the safety of the traveling public. We will not hesitate to take tough action against anyone who threatens the safety of our passengers, pilots and air transportation system," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. Pilots nationwide reported more than 2,800 laser incidents last year, almost double the previous year

and nearly 10 times as many in 2005, according to FAA figures. FAA administrator Randy Babbitt said the lasers "can temporarily blind a pilot and make it impossible to safely land the aircraft, jeopardising the safety of the passengers and people on the ground." Violators can be fined as much as US$11,000 per incident, the FAA said. In late 2009 a California man became the first person in the United States jailed for aiming a hand-held laser at a plane, after he was convicted of pointing a laser at two Boeing passenger jets as they landed near Los Angeles. Evidence suggests the incidents are largely pranks, but legislation is pending in the US Congress that would criminalise the aiming of a laser device at an aircraft. Planes have also been targeted by lasers in Australia, Cyprus, France, Greece and New Zealand. — AFP


The Malay Mail Thursday 2 june, 2011

Ceremonies were held in Brazil and France yesterday to mark two years since Air France flight 447 plunged into the Atlantic, killing all 228 on board — News reports

world

15

DAMASCUS

Syria's child martyrs Images of children killed by government forces stoke greater unrest

THE images grow no less shocking with time, a gaping wound on a tiny skull, the hair matted with blood; a gunshot that pierced the skin of a small torso and went straight toward the kidney; and finally, the broken neck and severed penis of a 13-year-old boy, his mangled body contorted on a plastic sheet. The images of children killed in a government crackdown on protests are circulating widely among Syrians on YouTube and Al-Jazeera, Facebook and opposition websites. And they are stoking even more fury against a regime the opposition says has lost all legitimacy. Syria's government tried to blunt the anger with promises yesterday to investigate the killing of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib, whose tortured and mutilated body turned him into a symbol of the Syrian upris-

ing. But protesters deride that and other government concessions, including an amnesty that freed political prisoners yesterday and a committee to prepare for national dialogue, as nothing more than a ploy to buy time for President Basher Assad. They say at least 25 children are among more than 1,000 dead, with government crackdowns that increase the toll almost daily. The deaths of two girls, a 12-year-old killed on Saturday when her school bus came under fire, and an 11-year-old shot to death on Tuesday while her town was being shelled, appeared certain to inflame tensions. Already, a Syrian opposition page refers to the older girl, Hajar Tayseer alKhatib, as "the flower of Syria's martyrs". Military operations in southern and central Syria killed

at least 33 people on Tuesday and yesterday, even as the government released hundreds of political prisoners. The government claims the revolt is the work of Islamic extremists and armed gangs. Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said more than 500 prisoners were freed, including some who took part in the latest demonstrations marking the most serious challenge to the Assad family's 40-year rule. Activists say 10,000 have been rounded up since the protests began midMarch. Syrian State television on Tuesday said the amnesty covered "all members of political movements", including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which led an armed uprising against Assad's father in 1982. Membership in the party is

GROWING ANGER: An image grab taken from YouTube shows pro-reform Syrians demonstrating in the village of Kfar Nabil on Monday — AFP PHOTO/ YOUTUBE

punishable by death. Both the US and France said the amnesty would not be enough. "We need to see all political prisoners released, and

we need to see an end to the violence that Syrian forces have been continually carrying out against civilian populations," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said

in Washington. "The gesture of releasing a hundred or so political prisoners doesn't go far enough, and I think that the Syrian people would feel that way." — AFP


x news lifestyle 16

Voices say… LIFE and death form a harmonious equation, but what happens when that balance, by defiance of fate, is thrown into discord? Crazy abnormalities happen, apparently. The driving concept behind this new Thai horror, Voices from the Grave essentially becomes a mildly frightening 80-minute long ordeal. Mildly. The plot, by itself, is undoubtedly interesting. Throughout almost the entirety of the movie you will be kept wondering about the reason behind all the madness that seems to engulf the protagonist, a journalist by the name of Dao.

First class mutants DESPITE the looming presence of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, X-Men: First Class rocks. Charting the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, this edition reveals a secret history of famous global events. Starting with the 1940s, the film revolves around the world before mutants began to reveal themselves. It was also then when Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr changed their names to Professor X and Magneto. The film reveals how the two young men discover their powers for the first time. Not the archenemies that we have grown to love to watch, the two were first closest of friends who worked together with other mutants to stop Armageddon from happening. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, X-Men First Class will not disappoint fans of the X-Men series. In this prequel to X-Men (2000) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006),

the strength lies in the depth of characters — the mutants. Starting with Erik Lehnsherr or Magneto, the antagonist with the ability to manipulate electricity, gravity and the electromagnetic spectrum, the audience gets to see how he changes from a good guy to totally bad through Michael Fassbender. Playing Charles Xavier or Professor X is James McAvoy, who not only is able to read people’s mind but also uses his telepathy to control them, a character

Erik Lehnsherr or Magneto

portrayed by Patrick Stewart in earlier editions. Another familiar character is Raven Darkholme or Mystique, Charles’ sister figure in First Class, a shape shifter who can turn into anyone. Jennifer Lawrence is the mutant in blue who like many young women, is trying to accept her own mutant imperfections. First Class introduces a new set of mutants to be admired, including Angel Salvadore or Angel, who is a beautiful ex-dancer with a tattoo of insect-like wings, which actually transforms into real wings growing from her back, giving her the gift of flight. She has an arsenal of deadly acid, which she gets to project as vomit while in combat. While Angel has wings, Sean Cassidy or Banshee uses unique sonic blasts to carry him into flight. Alex Summers or Havok has the power of emitting super-heated energy waves, causing his targets to burst into flame. He constantly drills Hank Mc Coy, a brilliant scientist with only a few mutant fea-

By JEREMY TAN lifestyle@mmail.com.my This madness takes the form of people miraculously coming back to life even after suffer-

ing certain death experiences, and new life somehow denying itself. Dao goes through this mind-twisting ordeal beginning with her father somehow being resurrected even after suicide with a bullet through his head. After a series of similar events, she begins uncovering the truth behind it all. Sadly, if you’re a horror junkie, not much sustains this below average of a motion picture besides the decent idea. Director Thaklaew Ruengrat fails to do the film justice with his abrupt and head-scratching transitioning between scenes. The pacing and logical flow of the story is compromised by a lack of fluidity between scenes, and that really breaks the immersion. One moment you see Dao being shot to the ground, then seconds later you see her panting up a flight of stairs. Did she teleport? And one would think that with issues of life and death, you’d expect to be scared right out of your manliness, but no. Voices from the Grave's failures extend more than one with cheap scares throughout; you’ll never undergo the need to stifle a shriek.

Sometimes these moments don’t even coalesce properly with the plot, making the "scary moments" feel detached from everything else. It’s as if it’s there just to fulfill the requisite of a heart-skip every five minutes after a lack of spookiness. Dragging the quality of the flick down to even lower depths was the unmemorable and painfully sub-par acting. Susira Angelina in the shoes of Dao

tures until a serum unexpectedly unlocks his superhuman speed and strength. The darker side is led by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a Nazi collaborator whose early research forever altered the life of a young Erik Lensherr. He can absorb energy and re-channel it and he will stop at nothing to start a war to ensure

X-Men:First Class is a good example that prequels can be a hit as long as there is depth


The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

t

… no!

17

The end of a great 'Mentor' season equates to a very unconvincing portrayal of a girl experiencing abnormal natural perversions. Jason Young playing a policeman named Wuth seems to exist because he’s good looking, and everyone else treads the line of mediocrity. Nothing special and no one worth commending. In the end, all Voices from the Grave has in its coffin is a solid idea for a horror film massacred

by a lousy combination of bad acting, laughable transition between scenes, and lukewarm scares. If somehow you actually need something rather dull to wash down the plethora of other more nerve-wracking movies you’ve witnessed, then this is for you. Otherwise, the voices from the grave of silver screens are calling this level of mediocrity back to where it truly belongs — six feet under.

that mutants inherit the earth. Helping him is Azazel, a demonic figure who can teleport by opening a portal into another dimension and Emma Frost, a platinum-haired beauty telepath who possesses a diamond-like skin that is indestructible. Never far from the side of his head honcho, Questad or Riptide creates powerful whirlwinds that can demolish building and challenge even the most powerful mutants. First Class, a story by Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer, is a good example

that prequels can be a hit as long as there is depth. The movie is fast-paced and spirited just like the previous X-Men movies and will have you sitting on the edge, not so much for its combating scenes but for the discovery of mutants and their powers on screen. The film also includes Zoe Kravitz, Rose Byrne, Jason Flemyng, Alex Gonzalez, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till. — By ANU VENUGOPAL X-Men: First Class opens in cinemas today.

IT was an anti-climatic curtain call for the Mentor 5 final as gossip TV reporter Nas Ahmad came on stage to interview Salma just as she was announced the winner. It might have been easier to swallow if his questions were sharp and relevant but what came out instead was just a little inappropriate. Many would agree that what the audience wanted to see was Salma belting out her newly composed song, Aku Permata by Taja from Meet Uncle Hussein and maybe catch Erra Fazira joining her protégé, singing along in the celebration. Yet, as the confetti fell, the audience was left with nothing more than a few questions to end what would be an overall great show. "Kenapa awak menangis (why are you crying)?" was the gem that came out of Nas' mouth. Perhaps Salma was a little unhappy winning RM100,000 and a new car. Ah well ... Fortunately, the closing did not reflect the rest of the show as this year’s Mentor proved to many that it has quality contestants, while the production seemed to have set the bar higher for other reality TV shows currently on air. “I believe that this year, the show has been the best of all seasons — from the quality of the weekly performances to the commitment shown by all the mentors. Everything seemed to have brought great success to the show,” producer Muhamad Sufian Isa said. The highly spirited opening gig for the final itself had set the mood for the night. Hujan definitely set the bar with its high energy performance. The segment also featured previously eliminated protégés, Aiman, Ayish and Ratnah singing some of Hujan's hits.

Iqa (left) with Edry Abdul Halim

Datuk Sharifah Aini (left) with Shiha

to truly make the song her own. Edry Abdul Halim's protégé Iqa too gave her all as she performed Datuk Sheila Majid’s, Ku Mohon accompanied by an orchestra. With visuals from the recent Hulu Langat landslide tragedy on screen, the performance was somewhat of a tribute to all the victims. With the first of three rounds of performances down, all three protégés seemed to have their sleeves rolled up ready to give it their all. The second round of performances saw the protégés performing with a guest artiste each. The three presented a nice variation of songs but unfortunately they might have missed the idea of what makes a duet performance effective. Iqa seemed to have been overshadowed by Faizal Tahir while Shiha’s rendition of Kasihnya Laila and Di Puncak Singgahsana got the audience talking more about the confusing costume, especially the yellow "gown (dress?)" worn by her duet partner Black. Perhaps the costumes were just a bit too much for the already colourful songs. The last segment for the evening, before Salma (left) votes were with Erra Fazira tallied, featured

The real competition began with protégé Salma (Erra Fazira was her mentor) who had been touted as a strong contender throughout the season. Salma took a huge risk by singing in English and we are not talking just any English song here. Her choice was Beyonce’s Listen which definitely showed off her powerful vocal range. Yet, some may say that it was an unnecessary risk to take. Up next was Datuk Sharifah Aini's protégé, Shiha. Unlike Salma, Shiha did not rely much on an elaborate set and props to embellish her performance. It was all about her voice. Singing Kisah Hati by Alyah, Shiha not only matched the professional singer’s version but she managed

new compositions which are chosen specifically for the contestants. Proving that she was ready to be a true performer, one could see that Salma poured her heart and soul to be one with the new song. Her performance was heartfelt. Salma's decision to feature an ensemble of all female musicians was a nice touch. Shiha, who performed Bila Bertemu Mu, written by awardwinning composer Ajai, seemed to be in her elements as the ballad complimented her vocals. In fact, the song did not seem like a big challenge for this talented petite singer. Iqa, the last to perform that night, sang Di Penghujungnya, a composition by her mentor Edry. The song, which has already been turned into a single by KRU, won the hearts of many in the audience. In fact, she was awarded full 20 points by the bunch of selected nonprofessional jury. All in all, Mentor 5 truly pushed the reality TV talent show to another level. One could safely say that Mentor is now a show to be reckoned with. Over the past years, the show's rating seemed to pale in comparison with other similar shows like Akademi Fantasia (on Astro Ria), but thanks to the more legit talents (and their strong mentors), the programme has definitely progressed. — By EENA

HOUZYAMA


18 lifestyle

The Malay Mail • Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

Newly-minted Idol still in shock ALL is well for the new Idol winner, 17-year-old Scotty McCreery. As recently announced, Scotty and runner up Lauren Alaina took two of the 10 top spots on iTunes' lists of top-selling tracks and albums last week. Scotty's I Love You This Big was the third best-selling single, behind Adele (Rolling in the Deep) and Pitbull (Give Me Everything feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer). As for albums, his compilation of Season 10 recordings ranked fourth among albums, behind Lady Gaga (Born This Way), Adele (21) and Brad Paisley (This Is Country Music) while Lauren ranked eighth on both the track (Like My Mother Does) and album charts. “That is wild,” said the country boy when he heard the news. “I love the song, it's just a great song to start off with. It's just - when they pitched it to me I just fell in love with it. When I sang it for my finale it was kind of a choked up performance. But I got through and I hugged my family with it.”

Scotty became the first country musician since Carrie Underwood to win the Idol title and a recording contract. Despite the shock, he’s slowly handling and getting used to all the attention that he is getting now. “This is pretty wild, I've got to say. I mean, it's a whole lot more than I bargained for coming into this. I never would have expected it. But I'm handling it well. It's what I asked for and this is my new life. So, it's a really crazy ride so far.” When Carrie Underwood won, she was brought to Nashville and made her post-Idol debut at the CMA Music Festival (Fan Fest) and the Grand Ole Opry which is coming up in June 9 till 12. Could Scotty be headed the same way? “We've talked about it. I was talking to someone before and another one last night. I think we're going to try to get me and Lauren out there for the Fan Fest this year. They're trying to work out the specifics right now about where we're going to be playing. They're working all this out as we speak. But yes, we're going to be down there for sure. I think.” Back at the American Idol Season 10 finale, Lauren gave him a big kiss and said that he might be her boyfriend. Could romance be blooming between the two of them? “No. We've been getting that question a lot today,” answered Scotty sheepishly. “Me and her, it's more like the brother-sister thing. She told me before the show, yesterday, she was going to do that and it's kind of like a joke. She's a character. Really, we're really close friends. I met her day one of Hollywood week

and we were school mates through this whole experience. She's great. But yes, it's more brother-sister friendship between me and her.” Looking ahead, Scotty talked about what kind of album he is hoping to make. “I'm really looking forward to getting my music out there. We've already recorded two songs this week and we weren't sure which one we're going to do and I Love You This Big turned out to be the one that we did. But I'm really excited about the other one too. I think it's going to be a great album. I've got to pick some good songs,” he said, adding that he is not allowed to reveal anything about the second song just yet. “That's what it's all about after the show. It's getting good songs because the fans got me to where I'm at right now. So it's my job to get them the music they want to hear. Hopefully Lauren and I will get to do a duet from time to time. I'm not sure about the first album but, hopefully, some time soon.” BEING NUMBER TWO Despite not winning, being in the top two is such a great accomplishment that many people can only dream about. To some,

'The Kitchen Musical' — first Pan-Asian TV musical drama AUDIENCES across Asia, including in Malaysia, will soon enjoy the performances of Malay-British actor Stephen Rahman Hughes (right) and the creative vision of Malaysia-born director-producer CheeK in a fresh, multimilliondollar, pan-Asian television musical drama series, The Kitchen Musical, on Southeast Asia’s No. 1 rated English general entertainment channel, AXN (Astro 701). Featuring drama, music, dance and even culinary recipes, the tantalising tale of The Kitchen Musical produced by The Group Entertainment will be told through 13 onehour episodes to premiere in October during primetime in some 22 Asian markets where AXN is available. Each installment of the series will showcase rearranged and re-recorded popular hit songs brought to

life by specially choreographed dance sequences. Viewers can also look forward to new dishes and desserts spotlighted in every episode. The Kitchen Musical is set in the musical world of a famous restaurant. A rich, young girl, just out of culinary school Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, embarks on a journey of self-discovery when she starts working in the restaurant’s kitchen among the masses. It stars actor and awardwinning choreographer Stephen Rahman Hughes in the lead role of Alex, the brilliant and driven head chef who is notorious for his ruthless pursuit of culinary perfection. Speaking about The Kitchen Musical, Rahman Hughes said: “I am proud to be representing Malaysia as the lead actor in this ground-breaking regional production. To be seen across Asia by millions in a first-of-its-kind TV musical drama series is a new

milestone in my career. I will do my best in The Kitchen Musical for Malaysian fans and to win over viewers beyond that.” Currently in production, The Kitchen Musical is conceptualised and created by Penangborn CheeK (Chicken Rice War), The Group Entertainment’s executive vice-president and creative director who also directs the production. His work on television and movie production has taken him across the region, having held top appointments in key media networks in Singapore, Taiwan, China and Japan. On The Kitchen Musical, CheeK said: “The idea of a musical television series that hones in on Asia’s passion for food has never been done before. We wanted to create a fresh and original concept for the global audience and still well identifiable within the region.” In addition to Stephen

Rahman Hughes and CheeK, this TV musical extravaganza will feature a team of talents from the region in front of and behind the cameras. Viewers will recognise veterans as well as up-and-coming faces including Filipino singer-songwriter and actress Karylle Tatlonghari, as well as singing sensation Christian Bautista. Crew members and behind the scenes staff will work with Australia’s top choreographer, Jason Coleman, current judge of Australia’s So You Think You Can Dance and the man who orchestrated the performance at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Other notable crew members include well-known Filipino music director, Gerard Salonga, as well as Massimiliano Della Maggesa, international make-up artist who has worked with Alexandra McQueen, Donna Karan and Chloé. “AXN is delighted to be the

regional broadcaster for The Kitchen Musical and are excited with the fresh and original concept of the show. Featuring some very talented Asians, the show will tap into Asian viewers' passion for drama, music, dance, and food. AXN always endeavours to bring viewers new and innovative Asian original productions and we are confident the high production quality and high energy of The Kitchen Musical will have a broad appeal amongst our viewers,” said Ricky Ow, senior vice- president and general manager, Networks, Asia, Sony Pictures Television.

being number two may be a ‘failure’, but to Lauren Alaina Suddeth, she is quite content at being the runner up. “There’s thousands of people out there who would love to be second place in American Idol. I’m very fortunate to have made it as far as I did,” said the 16-year-old. Dismissing talk about giving ‘fake smiles’, Lauren said she was really happy that Scotty won. “I will be happy for Scotty forever because we are great friends. I know what you mean by people faking it. But, I’ve been saying all along that no matter what happened, if it came down to me and Scotty that I’d be happy either way because we’re such great friends. I couldn’t have picked a better person to get second place to.” The audience seemed to learn a lot about Scotty and Lauren in American Idol. Could there be anything more that we didn’t know? “I’m not really a blonde,” said Lauren, laughing. “People call me a dumb blonde a lot but I’m actually really smart. I love to go to school. My favourite subject is math. I like going to school more than anything probably,” said the bubbly teen. *Transcript thanks to 8TV.


lifestyle 19

The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

Struggling to achieve a new life The much-anticipated HBO Original Miniseries, Mildred Pierce, starring Academy Award winner Kate Winslet in the title role, will premiere in Asia on Thursday, June 9, with a special two-hour premiere starting 10pm on HBO (Astro 411) / 9pm on HBO HD (Astro 431). This five-part drama brings to life the memorable character introduced in James M. Cain’s classic 1941 novel of the same name, and offers an intimate portrait of a uniquely independent woman who finds herself newly divorced during the Depression, as she struggles to carve out a new life for herself and her family. The story explores Mildred’s unreasonable devotion to her insatiable daughter, Veda (Evan Rachel Wood), and the complex relationships she shares with the indolent men in her life including her polo-playing lover Monty Beragon (Guy Pearce) and exhusband Bert Pierce. Led by Kate Winslet (The Reader, Revolutionary Road), the cast of Mildred Pierce includes Guy Pearce (The King’s Speech, The Hurt Locker), Evan Rachel Wood (HBO’s True Blood, The Wrestler), James LeGros (Zodiac, Enemy of the State), Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Frozen River), and Brían F. O’Byrne (Before the Devil

did have this notion that Lucy is somehow iconic.

d Guy Kate Winslet an

Lucy has some surprising best friend advice for Mildred. She's a forward-thinking girl! Her husband is in the bootleg business — I suppose the statute of limitations has run out now so we can talk about what Ike did back then. I think there's something kind of jazzy about Lucy. She's a little older than Mildred. And I find I’m happily giving advice right, left and centre now that I've been around the block more than once.

Pearce

Did you create a backstory for Lucy, or work with Todd? There were a couple of different ideas tossed around, mostly by the wonderful, delightful Ann Roth, the costume designer. She got it in my ear that maybe many years before, Lucy came out to Hollywood to be a showgirl.

Knows You’re Dead, Million Dollar Baby). One of the memorable and pivotal characters is Lucy Gessler played by Melissa Leo (right). In an exclusive interview, Leo talks about her character and the drama. The best friend is a classic role in the "maternal melodrama". How did you approach playing such an

iconic character? Well, she becomes a best friend. At the start, I don't know that Mildred has any need for Lucy except as a neighbour. You see the development of their friendship over the five episodes as Mildred's life becomes more different than she expected. But I was primarily guided by (director) Todd Haynes – who

Is that where she got some of her cynical views about men? I think Lucy has realistic views of men. She landed a winner and she's willing to stand beside him and his illegal activity and that's working for her. But it doesn't mean it's going to work for everyone and when your husband abandons you, well honey, you've got to latch onto another one to take care of you.

changes the framework. And if Lucy had not by then forged the real true friendship with Mildred, she and Ike could have been out of a house. But Lucy realises if Mildred can do this, go to work, I can do this too — and then she gets Ike work too. When people help one another from their hearts, a lot can get done, you can save families. What goes around comes around. How does Lucy feel about Veda? Lucy has not had children herself so she doesn't know much on how to relate to children. But she does know that one of Mildred’s children is a gem, and the other one is really difficult. That's all Lucy knows. She sees it as she sees it.

one that tells Mildred the truth about Veda. That was something Todd and I did have discussions about. There's a foreshadowing of Veda being a bad egg and Lucy's the one who's not taken in by her. Later, when she hears the girl sing, though, she thinks maybe she doesn't understand. Lucy's never witnessed talent before, so I think she doubts her own opinion for a little bit there. But the truth will come out in the end.

She does seem to be the only

It seems like Lucy was keeping Ike afloat. Eventually yes. You make a living at illegal activity and when the activity is legalised, it

Final call for registration

Phat Fabes

FRIDAY, June 3, is the last day for interested participants to sign up for ntv7 Feel Good Run 2011. The charity fun run held in-conjunction with the station’s 13th anniversary this year will be held on Sunday, July 3. Proceeds from the run will be channelled to Yayasan

Jaclyn Victor

Jantung Malaysia, National Cancer Society, Malaysian AIDS Foundation, and The National Autism Society of Malaysia. With fees of RM25 for participants aged 13 and above and RM10 for those aged 12 years and below, the four categories of the charity run are as follows: 1. Feel Good Run — 7km, aged

Nazrudin Habibur Rahman

13 and above. 2. Run with Celebrities — 3km, aged 13 and above. 3. Costume Fun Run — 3km, aged 13 and above. 4. Kids Run — 700m, aged 12 and below. Registration can be done

online at www.ntv7.com.my/ feelgoodrun. Manual registration can be done at the following places: • Federal Territory Amateur Athletic Association (FTAAA), Level 2C, Multipurpose Hall, Wisma OCM, Jalan Hang Jebat 50150, Kuala Lumpur. • Twenty First Century Sports (M) Sdn Bhd, No 51 Jln SS 18/6, 47500 Subang Jaya. All runners who participate in the run will receive a running kit comprising a T-shirt, water bottle, face

towel, message bib, and other sponsored items. Race packs can be collected on July 1 and 2 at Federal Territory Amateur Athletic Association (FTAAA), Level 2C, Multipurpose Hall, Wisma OCM, Jalan Hang Jebat 50150, Kuala Lumpur, between 10am to 6pm. Those who wish to get their race packs delivered to them instead only need to pay an additional RM10. A certificate and memento will be presented to those who successfully complete the fun runs. The start and finish point for all categories in the run will be at Sri Pentas, Bandar Utama, Selangor. The route will be around Bandar Utama area.

Participants and visitors will also be entertained with a mini carnival and stage events on the day. Full information regarding the run is available on its official website www. ntv7.com.my/feelgoodrun. feelgoodrun@ntv7.com. my or call 03-56373821 for more information. Feel Good Run is also deemed as the nation’s most prestigious celebrity running event, bringing together a whole host of beloved personalities, including Nazrudin Habibur Rahman, Jaclyn Victor, Phat Fabes, Cheryl Samad and more!


20 lifestyle

By ANU VENUGOPAL anu@mmail.com.my FROM the strong beats of Chinese drums to the gentler gamelan, the Hands Percussion Team has something a little different for music lovers this time around. The Hands Percussion Gamelan Concert Ri Yue Chu Yin, taking place from June 9 to 12 at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, celebrates the unity of Armour and Skin with a musical journey inspired by diverse traditional roots unique to Malaysia. “I wanted to try something different with the group. It is always good to learn something new. It brings you to another level,” the group’s artistic director Bernard Goh said. The Gamelan is a musical ensemble originating from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java. It features a variety of instruments including metallophones, xylophones, bamboo flutes, gongs and plucked strings. In the beginning there were few from the group who

were reluctant to learn the gamelan, another percussive instrument, but in the end, they embraced the learning experience wholeheartedly. With the guidance of gamelan specialist Susan Sarah John, the young bunch of musicians have gone one step further by composing their own music for the concert. Among the compositions to be featured at the upcoming concert is one by 22-year-old Jack Wan. “The process of composing a piece and then translating it to stage is difficult. What I did is to edit these pieces to make it more professional but the ideas came from them,” Susan, Hands’ musical director, said. A long time member of the well-known Rhythm in Bronze ensemble, Susan has her work cut out for her with the 15 members of the Hands Percussion, teaching them how to play the instrument through focus and discipline. “We have tried out the gamelan in our pieces before more so as an experiment and now it is time to take it seriously,” added Bernard, who, together with his partners, purchased a gamelan set for the group. The idea of using the gamelan as a centrepiece came when Bernard was often asked on his trips abroad about Malaysia’s traditional instruments. With many instruments like drum originating in China, and gamelan from Indonesia, it was difficult for

The Malay Mail • Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

A fusion of percussions

him to give a straight answer. “As Malaysians we have a lot of variety, our music and instruments come from many places. It is fine to fuse different sounds together to come up with something unique," Bernard said. One example of the fusion was the duo’s collaboration in last year’s piece Redha (surrender), a contemporary piece that combines Chinese drums with traditional Hokkien singing accompanied by gamelan. It was a hit at the Hands 2: Rhapsodrums performance.

Redha, together with a rearranged Makan (a piece that premiered at the World Gamelan Festival in July 2010) will be a part of this month’s concert by Hands. Along with the talents of Paul Philbert, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal timpanist and seven songs from the world class percussion group The Eight Mallets Percussion from Beijing, the Hands Percussion Gamelan Concert is set to be an interesting night of traditional and fusion music.

The concert will conclude with a new piece performed by both groups. Catch the fusion performance from June 9 to 12 at 8.30pm and 3pm

(Saturday and Sunday) at Pentas 1, KLPac. Ticket prices are from RM48 to RM128. Contact 03-40479000 or visit www. klpac.org.my for details.

Randomness rocks

A SMART AND WHIMSICAL CAST: Featuring real life anecdotes with dashes of humour, the short sketches from the bunch were relatable

WHETHER you like it or not, randomness is what the young generation is all about. Not that it is a bad thing. In fact, the talented cast of Projek Disko Baldi made randomness rock on stage at PJ Live Arts last weekend. Starting off with an informal chat with the audience,

the seven cast members of Playground Productions gave the audience a gist of what they would be talking about — the budding leaders of tomorrow, Malaysia’s youth. Founded in August last year by a group of friends and theatre practitioners with love for comedy, the zany ensemble consists of Redza

Minhat , Farah Rani, Megat Shahrizal, Iedil Putra Alaudin, Ashraf Zain, Tuan Faisal and Shamaine Othman. Their second production, an 18PL skit presented in both English and Bahasa Malaysia, painted pictures of everyday activities, modern pastimes and the technologically driven world we live in through hilari-

ous dialogues and acting. Featuring real life anecdotes with dashes of humour, the short sketches from the bunch were relatable. From the decline of conversation skills, thanks to the widespread usage of acronyms like ROFL and the smiley face, the obsession of winning (and losing) Twitter followers and the displeasure that nasi lemak from school canteen menus were all quickly, yet funnily, depicted in Projek Disko Baldi. In between the comedic moments, the cast entertained the crowd with a few songs and dance routines, but still kept it funny either with the lyrics or their moves. This reviewer remembers the sexy dance by the two girls of the group and Iedil Putra Alaudin and Ashraf Zain’s funny duet called Ada Aku Kisah. Many from the audience got the chance to laugh over ordinary but realistic situations like how some Malaysians put on accents to get into

places or how we constantly compare Kuala Lumpur with other cities like Melbourne or Toronto. Projek Disko Baldi, derived after hang-out sessions at the mamak, is a good example of how randomness and youth oriented issues are not only relevant and interesting to the young but the older ones too. It poked fun at people and events that are happening around us every day with sarcastic yet funny social commentary and good acting. While the spotlight was shared equally by the group, there is

no doubt that the cast are talented in their own way. Interesting to note is that despite not having an official director for the show, everything went on smoothly with the cast members providing feedback on each skit to make it perfect, which it was. Watch out for their next production in June, entitled Main Dalam Stor, a compilation of four original Malaysian short plays staged with the help of a diverse team of young directors, actors and writers.

TALENTED: While the spotlight was shared equally by the group, there is no doubt that the cast are talented in their own way


What’sUp PETALING JAYA: Movie Carnival 2011

Malaysia's biggest movie event is on until June 19 with blockbuster screenings, goodies and fun-packed activities such as casting sessions, cosplay competitions, popular character appearances, meet the star sessions, a movie bazaar and more not to be missed. The event will be held at IPC Shopping Centre (Ikano Power Centre), Mutiara Damansara. Look out for more updates on www. moviecarnival.com.my.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bravo Broadway

From June 3-5, catch the greatest hits from Broadway with music from Gypsy, Funny Girl, My Fair Lady and more at the Malaysian Philharmonic Petronas, KLCC at 3pm and 8.30pm. Admission is from RM25 to RM110. Contact 03-20517007 and visit www. mpo.com.my for more details.

PETALING JAYA: An evening with Rhona Bennett

The event will be held at the Grand Lagoon Ballroom, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Bandar Sunway, PJ on June 11 from 8pm onwards. Be entertained while you contribute to provide financial assistance for medically challenged individuals in need of critical

sudoku

surgical procedures, bright but poor students who are unable to continue with their education and projects for the conservation of nature. Tickets are on sale from RM80 and RM280 upwards. Contact 016-3820309 (Adrian) or 0323000888 (Joann).

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Eng Beng Solo Exhibition ArtBeat: The Pulse of Urban Expressionism

Purplehouz Fine Arts Exhibition Space at No 94, Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya is featuring the works of Lee Eng Beng, an award-winning watercolourist, as he enters a new foray with acrylic on canvas. The exhibition will go on until June 21 from 10am till 7pm. Admission is free. Contact 03-79608005 or visit http://purplehouz.com.

My bleeding heart… again In And out

KUALA LUMPUR: Serial Killers: The Heat is On

THIS art exhibition will be held at Galeri TAKSU, 17 Jalan Pawang, KL from June 9 to July 3 and is open from 10am to 6pm. The KL edition gathers works from Filipino artists like Argie Bandoy, Patricia Eustaquio, Lyra Garcellano, Nona Garcia and Pow Martinez. Admission is free. Contact 03-42514331 or check out the website at http://www.taksu.com for details.

sudoku

how to play Sudoku X is a simple variation of Sudoku with the only difference being the squares in white (which make up the numeral X) need to tally from 1 to 9 along with the remaining coloured squares.

Yesterday'S solution

lifestyle 21

The Malay Mail Thursday • 2 JUNE, 2011

By zainal alam kadir alamkadir@mmail.com.my IT was yet another inspiring story told by a friend during my stay in Kuching last weekend. Apparently, there was this guy from Kuching who made it big as a model in China. Apart from modelling, he was also quite a financial whiz and through both careers, he made lots of money. He traveled quite a bit too and for some reason he ended up in Tibet and experienced significant change in the way he looked at things. He was at that time based in Hong Kong. Since he was pretty affected by what he saw, he somehow sold off everything that he had and took out all his savings and travelled back to Tibet. With all the money that he brought, he began freeing all the “slaves” that were meant to be trafficked around the world. He did not stop there, as he set up a cheese factory (using Yak milk) for the freed “slaves” who were mainly children. My friend told me that the young philanthropist had since remained there running the factory and living modestly with his new “family”. “My friend who told me this story said he did not want to come back to Kuching. He was very happy and had found what he was looking for.” A pretty amazing story, I

might say, and a very inspiring one as well. This friend’s story brought me back to my earlier trip to Semporna in Sabah. That was my first time there and I did not know what to expect. The only thing I knew about Semporna was that it is the main gateway to Sipadan, Kapalai, Mabul for those who are into scuba diving and marine life. Anyway, I somehow ended up in the small town of Semporna and was having lunch with some friends. As I was about to take a bite, a little boy stood next to me and gave me the signal that he was hungry. I guess he was not more than seven and he really looked disheveled and unkempt. I offered him a piece of goreng pisang but he refused. He kept giving me that “I need some food” signal. Since he did not want the goreng pisang, I instinctively reached for my wallet and took out a RM1 note. “Don’t!” one of my friends said. “Why?” “Kau tengok lah… kejap lagi, ramai yang datang (you just wait and see. More will come),” he said. I knew he was concerned about me, but I guess RM1 was not much, so I just placed it in the little boy’s hand. About half an hour later, as my friend predicted, a few more kids came to me. They looked even younger. Their hair was discoloured and they looked like they’d not washed for days. “Told you… there are things in this world we cannot help…” my friend said. Apparently, he had been there several times and was pretty used to it and I guess he had been hardened by all that he had experienced in his life (he was older than me and rather well-traveled too). The kids were still standing near me and my heart just sank. I tried to ignore them but all I could do was occasionally turn to them

with a pretty helpless look. Then I got this idea. I took out my handphone and scrolled through all the pictures that I saved and looked for the faces of my nephews and nieces who are around the same age as the kids who were standing near me. I thought by looking at the happy faces of my cute nephews and nieces would distract me from the real issue. I was wrong. It left an even bigger hole in my heart… I mean, my nephews and nieces are clean and well fed with nice clothes and lots of love surrounding them. The next thing I knew, I reached out for my wallet again and ended up giving RM1 to each of the kids. My heart was breaking and I just could not bear it. You can call me a sucker and I won’t even deny that. Yes, I’d seen it all on TV. On CNN and other international news channels, but seeing it for yourself, in your own country, now that is something else altogether. My friends just looked at me and for a few awkward seconds I was quiet. We decided to leave the restaurant right after that and along the way to the hotel we were staying at, I just could not help but feel rotten inside as I watched more sad looking children running around the market. Some were child labour I guess. A few were shoeless and many I saw were pushing wheelbarrows around the little town, perhaps offering their services to shoppers who needed to carry their stuff to their cars. What I experienced in Semporna was perhaps nothing compared to what many out there had seen in various parts of the world. I guess that’s the very reason for me to try my best to not go for holidays in certain places. The last time I was in Jakarta, I had to look down all the time as the car I was in ploughed through the traffic jam as dirty little toddlers and young children roamed

around the streets selling God knows what. Now, that’s why I was extremely impressed and inspired by the story that was told by my friend in Kuching about this great guy who made a drastic change in his life to make the world a better place. Later that day in Kuching, I decided to take the river cruise to enjoy the entire city by boat. Maybe it was fated. I ended up with a bunch of special students from Malacca who were on a field trip accompanied by their teachers. I found out that some of them are children with attention deficit disorders and slow learners. They somehow were “attracted” to me and ended up sitting with me. We did not really have a real conversation but I have to say it was quite a moment for me. At one point, we ended up singing and I was at first very amused and entertained. The song was a simple version of Rasa Sayang, but the moment one of them took out a piece of paper with some lyrics on it, I began to feel the “tremor”. All of them painstakingly tried to read the words as they sang the verses and I just lost it. The joy I felt watching them was just overwhelming and I started tearing up. Oh dear! What is happening to me? Am I getting soft? Is age finally catching up? I am supposed to be loud and fearless and extremely cynical… I mean, I usually could mask my real self with laughter and some silly sick jokes to keep everything light. That could have been a bad week, or it was something that I ate. I came back a couple of days ago with the images and emotions intact in my head and in my heart. Maybe it’s time for me to find my own “little Tibet”… Soon I hope.


22

the malay mail

THURSday 2 June, 2011


ThursDay 2 June, 2011

the malay mail

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24

PROPERTY / MOTORING / HEALTH

the malay mail

Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

Readers can also look out for classified ads ONLINE as early as 9.00a.m at www.mmail.com.my

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Properties for sale

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Properties for sale

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Properties for sale

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Car for sale

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Vehicles for hire

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Personal messages

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Fashion/health & beauty

Fashion/health & beauty

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HEALTH / HOME /OTHERS / JOBS

Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011 M321

Fashion/health & beauty AROMA ASIAN Massage. For outdoor only. With Promotion price. Interested please Call Julie: 016-293 1051 OUTCALL TRADITIONAL MASSAGE, pre / post natal,body Scrub for men / women by experienced masseur. Call: Mira 013-336 3160 OUTDOOR / INCALL MSSG by local Indian girls. 2 1/2 mile Jln Ipoh. 016-679 7786 / 016- 642 3786 Kajal.

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Photography

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M434

the malay mail

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JOBS / LEGAL / NOTICES

the malay mail

M515

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LEGAL FIRM IN KL required experience Banking Litigation Clerk urgently.Good remuneration. Call: 012-2514 297

SENIOR ACCOUNTANT (Full set account) & General Clerk. Interested candidates please call Mrs Yap H/P: 012-3900 738 / 016-3230 738

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RECOVERY OFFICERS Supervisor/ Manager needed. Attractive basic salary, commission and performance bonus provided. Located near the Pudu LRT station. (walking distance) Call: 03-9195 5551 @ 5552 or E-mail gtr@galatrack. com

SALES EXECUTIVE wanted. Start immediately with/without experience. Training provided. Own car. Based near Bandar Utama. Age 21 to 40. Malaysian only. Earn RM3k-6K. Contact Jimmy 017-252 9802

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M580

Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011 M580

Notices/legal/proclaim

URGENTLY NEEDED MALAY Receptionist and Traditional therapist for a health center in Kajang. Call 012-907 3796

WORKSHOP ASSISTANT Manager needed by established workshop at jln Kelang Lama. Salary up to RM3500. Socso & EPF provided. 3 yrs experience in car workshop preferred. Can work with min supervision with technical & computer knowledge. Call Mr. Lai 012225 1559 / 03-7987 1288 or send resume to cmychai@ carworldmotor.com

03-7947 2288 03-7960 5097

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Notices/legal/proclaim

M580

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LEGAL / NOTICES

Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011 M580

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the malay mail M580

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28

sports

The attitude of corporations which contributed total sponsorship of RM2 milllion (for Sukma) should be praised â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek

And so it begins KUALA LUMPUR

Teams vie for top honours in KLHA league

Divisions 3 and 4 will kickstart the 2011 Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) league, starting on Monday. Eleven teams are in Div 3, with all of them hoping to be promoted to Div 2 next season. Last year, Royal Selangor Club (RSC) beat Kg Pandan Sikhs 4-3 to win the Div 3 title. This year Kg Pandan Sikhs will play as Akaal Academy in the same division and obviously, the y star t as favourites. In Div 4, the teams have been split into two groups. Eighteen teams have entered this division. C ochrane Sports Club were last year's Div 4 champions when they beat Senil S olution in a nailbiting final. A golden goal by Raymond Tio sealed it for them. Strangely, Cochrane are not participating this year, and that leaves the door wide open for Senil Solution to clinch the title.

InTheD

with G. Prakash prakash@mmail.com.my

Teams competing in their respected divisions

Div 1 and 2 will begin after Hari Raya Puasa. K L H A s e c r e t a r y V. Rajamanickam (pic) said about 70 per cent of the Div 3 and 4 fixtures will be completed before the fasting month begins. "We just hope we don't get unnecessary postponements," he said. KLHA also hope to stage a Premier League this year but this will largely depend on the national team's com-

DIVISION 1: MISC, NSTP A, Kepong Baru A, Sentul A, Sunday 2030 A, Kilat Club, MSSKL A. DIVISION 2: LDHN A, Uni Pertahanan A, Goodwood, TPCA, Enigma A, RSC, KL Irrigation, KL Ladies, MSSKL B. DIVISION 3: Taylor's University, Sunday 2030 B, Felda, Kepong Baru B, Senil Solution, Ernst & Young, MSSMKL Under-14, MCOBA A, VI Old Boys, Akaal S.A. DIVISION 4a: Sentul B, LHDN B, Havenger, HSBC, Ex- SAS, Sunday 2030 C, Felcra, OPA, Shell IT. DIVISION 4b: St John Alumni, Staroba, Bank Negara, Uni Pertahanan B, Polis Bersatu, ASTI, MISC B, ULA Alumni, NSTP B.

mitments. "We are one of the most a c t ive ass o c i at i ons . We organise several tournaments and this year we even had the inaugural KL women's league. "All this requires money

and while we have been able to raise some funds on our own, we hope MHF will recognise the effort we're putting in to raise hockey standards and provide us with some financial assistance," said Rajamanickam.

SENTUL: SUKMA/FUTSAL

FT underdogs, says coach

By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN hussein@mmail.com.my

EVERYONE seems to be dreading the favourites' tag. Take Federal Territories' futsal team for instance. They seem to be pre-Sukma favourites but coach Muhammad Faizul Abdul Ghafar begs to differ. "We are the underdogs a c t u a l l y, " s a i d Fa i z u l . "We only started training together at the end of May. "I don't understand how we can be the favourites. Our team comprises of 18 to 19-year-olds and we've been together for... two months maybe?" Faizul pointed out they lacked the experience to be the favourites in the competition. He said they have not been able to train as often or as intensively as he would have preferred. Ideally,

Senil's winning solution

They won all their 11 matches in Division 4 last year, scoring an impressive 55 goals. It was a good achievement considering Senil Solution was only formed five months before the league started and it was their first ever major tournament. But having won all the m at c h e s w a s n ot go o d enough as they were defeated in their final game against Cochrane Sports Club in a dramatic final. The top two teams in the division play in the final. "We beat them 4-1 in a league match but couldn't reproduce the form in the final," said team manager Seniljit Singh. "This year we want to be Div 3 champions. We want to put last year's final behind us and redeem ourselves. "It was our first major tournament and considering that, second-place was not bad." Senil Solution was formed by Seniljit, his cousin and a few friends, all passionate about the game they've played together since school. Another reason for forming the team was to encourage youngsters to be more

MEAN BUNCH: Playermanager Seniljit (with sunglasses) with his players

involved in sports and at the same time learn to have fun. "All of us played hockey during our schooldays and some of us have not played for years until we formed this team last February." Senil Solution have players aged between 18 and 42

years. The captain is 41-yearold Taranjeet Singh. Their key player is 24-yearold Manpreet Singh. He scored 15 goals last year. "He is a very skilful player, and an asset to the team. We would be depending on him quite a bit again this year," said Seniljit.

SENIL SOLUTION'S PROGRESS IN DIVISION 4 LAST YEAR bt Sunday 2030 B 5-0; bt BPSS Ladies 4-1; bt HSBC 7-1; bt Havenger 5-1; bt Cochrane 4-1; bt St John 3-0; bt LHDN 6-1; bt Staroba 1-0; bt Bank Negara 5-1; bt VI Old Boys 6-0; bt KL Under-14 9-1.

The Malay Mail Thursday 2 june, 2011

PROLIFIC: Manpreet (right) scored 15 goals last year

he said, they should have trained every day instead of the two-three weekly sessions. FT are in the same group as Kelantan, Sabah and Perak. "It's very difficult to say where we will finish considering this is the first time futsal is included in Sukma. I know we will have a strong finish but not to win gold, or anything like that. "The boys are focused during training, and sometimes they train on their own. The extra hours they put show they are serious about the objectives in this Sukma. This is definitely a good platform to shine," said Faizul. FT play Kelantan in their opening match at Matsushita Sports Complex on Saturday.


The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

sports

Andy Murray is just the second British player to reach the last four in Paris in the Open era after Tim Henman did so in 2004

Results

Men's quarterfinals Andy Murray (GBR) bt Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, 6-2; Rafael Nadal (ESP) bt Robin Soderling (SWE) 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) Women's quarterfinals Li Na (CHN) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 7-5, 6-2; Maria Sharapova (RUS) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-0, 6-3

Today's matches

Women' semifinals Li Na (CHN) v Maria Sharapova (RUS); Marion Bartoli (FRA) v Francesca Schiavone (ITA)

China's Li finally finds feet LI NA said she had surprised herself after becoming the first Chinese player to reach the last four in singles at Roland Garros yesterday. Sixth seed Li beat hardhitting Belarussian Victoria Azarenka (pic) 7-5, 6-2 on court Philippe Chatrier to seal a clash with another risk-it-all player in the shape of former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova who is closing in on her career Grand Slam. "So you think I'm not so good?" Li, who was runner-up at the Australian Open this year, joked when asked if she had thought she could play so well on clay. "I never thought I could play semis in Roland Garros. "Clay courts for all Asians are not so well because you have to slide a lot. Also you have to play a lot of topspin. But Asians play flat." With Sharapova waiting in the next round she will at least be reassured that her opponent is also not a natural mover on clay, even if she has been impressive so far here. "I would not have liked to play a Spanish player for example, someone who plays with a lot of topspin, drop shots," Li said. "I always have to run and hit the ball. I hate that." Although she played down her claycourt skills, Li said solid performances in Madrid and Rome had given her some belief going into the year's second Grand Slam. — Reuters

29

It's the big show

paris: tennis/French open

Nadal, Murray find their groove

REJUVENATED defending champion Rafael Nadal setup a mouth-watering French Open semifinal clash against British fourth seed Andy Murray as both men clinched impressive straight sets wins this morning. Nadal, who will be 25 on Saturday, the day of the semifinal, turned in easily his most impressive performance of the tournament, demolishing Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3). It was the Spaniard's second successive French Open win over Soderling after his victory in the 2010 final had avenged his stunning fourth round defeat to the Swede the year before, still Nadal's only loss in Paris against 43 wins Murray charged into the semifinal for the first time with a 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, 6-2 win over Argentinian veteran Juan Ignacio Chela. He is just the second British player to reach the last four in Paris in the Open era (since 1968) after Tim Henman in 2004. With Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic contesting the other semifinal, it will be the first time since the 2006 French Open that the top four

CLAY CLASH: Nadal set to meet Murray (inset) on his birthday — APpic

seeds are into the last four in a Grand Slam event. Despite being on the verge of losing his world No. 1 spot to Djokovic, who he could yet meet in Sunday's title match, Nadal shook off the shackles which had restricted his performances in the earlier rounds. Soderling, the 2009 and 2010 runner-up, was undone by 41 unforced errors.

"I played a very tough opponent. I'm happy I'm through to the semis," said Nadal. "I was much better than in previous matches. I was more solid and Robin made more mistakes than usual." Murray, who only completed his five-sets, fourth round win over Serbia's Victor Troicki 24 hours earlier, again started sluggishly, as he tested

Schiavone takes on claycourt converts

THREE players not known for their abilities on claycourts will join defending champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, who is fully at home on the red dirt, in the French Open Open semifinals today. Schiavone, at 30 the oldest of the quartet, will go up against Marion Bartoli who is bidding to become the first French woman to win at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce in 2000. The other semifinal opposes three-times Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova and Li Na who is aiming to become the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam title. The 24-year-old Sharapova, once described her movement on clay as resembling a cow on ice, but this year she has found her feet in winning in Rome in the buildup to Paris before reaching the semifinals here for just the second time. She did have a huge scare

in the second round when she trailed French teenager Caroline Garcia a set and 1-4 before pulling herself together. But since then she has gone from strength to strength and believes she is in with a chance of completing a set of Grand Slam titles having won Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open once apiece. "There's no doubt I have improved on this surface," she said after reaching the semifinal of a Grand Slam event for the first time since the 2008 Australian Open by d e fe at i ng G e r m any ' s Andrea Petkovic (pic). "It's really exciting to be back in the semis here. I put a lot of work in to be at this stage of the Grand Slams. I'm going to have a chance to go further." The other semifinal will

once again see the little Italian Schiavone try to use her tactical nous and variety of shots to unhinge a bigger and stronger opponent. Bartoli's run into the semifinals has taken many by surprise as, in the week prior to the tournament, she was forced to abandon in the final of the Strasbourg Open with a painful left thigh. But after three consecutive threeset matches she has gained in confidence and impressed with her quarterfinal win over former winner Svetlana Kuznetsova which put her up against another former winner in Schiavone. She does not have a good record against the Italian having won only once in five meetings, but believes this time could be different. — AFP

out the right ankle he injured against Michael Berrer in the fourth round. The 31-year-old Chela, who had lost six straight times against the Scot, including in the last two years at Roland Garros, jumped out into a 4-1 lead with two breaks of serve before the fourth seed started to get into his stride. The 24-year-old Murray saved two sets points to get

to 5-4 and then on cue broke Chela's serve again to get level. The set went to a tie-break which saw Chela win the first point against serve before Murray went on a run of five straight points to eventually take it 7-2 after which he headed off court for a comfort break. On the resumption, Murray grabbed another break and he looked totally in control as he smoothly moved 4-1 up with Chela looking for, but not finding, any answers to the Scot's domination. Inexplicably, serving for the set at 5-2 up, Murray again seemed to lose his focus allowing Chela to win three games in a row, with two service breaks, to draw level at 5-5. The Scot buckled down though to take the next two games for a two sets lead. He then broke Chela yet again to start the third and this time he raced away to victory keeping alive his hopes of finally winning a Grand Slam title after three losing finals. But to do so he will first have to get past Nadal who he has never beaten on clay. — AFP

Women's semifinals head to head

Francesca Schiavone vs Marion Bartoli Schiavone leads 4-1 2003 Canberra, hard-outdoor, SF, Schiavone, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. 2008 Sydney, hard-outdoor, R16, Schiavone, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. 2008 Dubai, hard-outdoor, R32, Schiavone, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-1. 2009 Dubai, hard-outdoor, R32, Bartoli, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0. 2009 Wimbledon, grass-outdoor, R32, Schiavone, 7-6 (5), 6-0.

Li Na vs Maria Sharapova Sharapova leads 5-2 2005 Australian Open, hard-outdoor, R32, Sharapova, 6-0, 6-2. 2006 Miami Masters, hard-outdoor, R64, Sharapova, 6-2, 6-4. 2006 Birmingham, grass-outdoor, R16, Sharapova, 6-2, 6-4. 2006 US Open, hard-outdoor, R16, Sharapova, 6-4, 6-2. 2009 French Open, clay-outdoor, R16, Sharapova, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4. 2009 Birmingham, grass-outdoor, SF, Li, 6-4, 6-4. 2010 Birmingham, grass-outdoor, F, Li, 7-5, 6-1.


30

I want to fight these young players — Chelsea's Frank Lampard, inspired by competition in England squad

sports

ZURICH

England stunned by attacks

ENGL AND FA generalsecretary Alex Horne admits he was stunned at the vitriol poured on England after their unsuccessful attempt to postpone the Fifa presidential election. Argentina's Fifa members Julio Grondona and Angel Villar-Llona from Spain berated the FA and the British media. "I was a bit surprised, but once a couple of people had got up and said it they poured more vitriol on to

us. I was certainly surprised that Grondona and Villa Llona went on, rambling about politicians and journalists," said Horne. Horne insisted the FA's action had helped pressure Fifa president Sepp Blatter to announce reforms. "I think he's been pressured to go as far as he has over the ethics commission and the solutions committee partly because of what we have done," he said. After his re-election as

president Blatter said he had been surprised by the FA but that there were no hard feelings. "This was a surprising start to the Congress. The No. 1 national association in Fifa — the England FA founded the game in 1863 — have the right to be called the FA, Football Association. They should be an example, so that was a surprise," he said. "I had heard about it, and Uefa made a special meeting

trying to convince them. I thought this problem would be solved so I was surprised when they tried to change the agenda of the Congress and not have elections. "I'm the president of all the associations and will work with all of them. There's no bad feeling with any of the associations that didn't vote for me. "I'm the president of Fifa, and with 186 votes I'm proud. Don't worry about the English."

Radical reforms ZURICH

Blatter vows to clean up battered Fifa's image

SEPP BLATTER, re-elected unopposed as Fifa president yesterday, promises to use his final four-year term for radical reform of a sport reeling from bribery and corruption allegations. Delegates gave Blatter overwhelming backing to reform football's governing body from within, rejecting a call from England to delay the election and then giving the Swiss 186 of the 203 votes cast. "We will put the ship back on course in clear transparent waters," said the 75-year-old Blatter. Yet even as he received flowers and soaked up the applause Blatter was facing trouble, after Germany called for a review of the process in which Qatar awarded the 2022 World Cup. Blatter, who joined Fifa in 1978 and has been president since 1998, did not address that issue directly but said he was determined to clean up the sport's governance after a series of allegations that left him feeling personally "slapped". With Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam having dropped out of the race — he was subsequently suspended pending an inquiry into bribery claims — Blatter effectively sealed victory when a motion to postpone the vote was defeated by 172 to 17. The actual election was a formality. Blatter, who has repeatedly said this will be his final term, traced Fifa's problems back to last year's World Cup vote, when the inner circle of executive committee members chose Russia to host the 2018 tournament followed by Qatar in 2022. Immediately following his election win, Blatter proposed and won the backing of Congress to shift power to award future World Cups to

Reaction to England FA’s bid to postpone Fifa presidential election  "We always have attacks from England which are mostly lies with the support of journalism that is more busy lying than telling the truth, this upsets and disturbs the Fifa family."  "It looks like England is always complaining so please I say will you leave the Fifa family alone, and when you speak, speak with truth." — Senior Fifa vicepresident Julio Grondona of Argentina. And speaking to a German news agency he went further... He describes the English as "pirates" and said he asked England to hand back the Falklands before he would consider voting for them in the 2018 World Cup bid.  "Yes we are facing allegations. Allegations, what a beautiful English word that is. Someone stands up says a few things in the Press and then these things take their own body and mind, they are expanded, take a seed in our minds without most of the time a single shred of truth. — Costakis Koutsokoumis, president of the Cyprus federation.

Briefs ONE MAN SHOW: Blatter was the sole candidate at the Fifa presidential election — AFPpic

Fifa's full 208-member congress, though the 2026 event will not be up for grabs for another six or seven years. Congress also accepted a proposal to strengthen the ethics committee by separating investigation and decisionmaking powers and another to create a new watchdog called the "solution committee". "There was so much doubt leading up to this, there was a lot of talk, but all of that is in the past," said Blatter. "Now we have created instruments to fight against all that is bad in Fifa with more transparency." A large measure of the doubt has been over the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, though the bid team have denied any wrongdoing in the campaign. Theo Zwanziger, head of the influential German Football Association, said Fifa could not afford to ignore the suspicions, which have been denied by Qatar's bid team. "There is a considerable degree of suspicion that one cannot simply sweep aside," Zwanziger told German television.

Fifa are facing what general secretary Jerome Valcke agreed was a "watershed moment", with the crisis being compared to the Salt Lake City corruption case the International Olympic Committee have to deal with in 1998. Since then the IOC have strictly controlled the bidding process, banning all members from travelling to candidate cities unless they are part of the official evaluation commission. Blatter will need to provide more detail on his own plans if he is to satisfy critics he is equally serious about reform. He has led Fifa through a period of unprecedented prosperity on the sale of TV rights and sponsorship. The financial report submitted to delegates yesterday showed reserves of US$1.3 billion (RM3.9bn), with TV rights for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa having brought in US$4.2 billion between 2007-2010. Behind the money and the glitz, however, the game's reputation has been put under the microscope after an outbreak of corruption allegations and

the suspension of Hammam and fellow executive committee member Jack Warner. The two men, who are facing an investigation into bribery claims in the election, denied any wrongdoing. In another twist, Chuck Blazer — an American whose whistle-blowing led to the suspension of Hammam and Warner — was sacked on Tuesday from his position on Concacaf. An hour later, that organisation, which run football in North and Central America and the Caribbean, declared the dismissal invalid but the split deepened yesterday as acting president Lisle Austin insisted Blazer had indeed been lawfully dismissed. The internal chaos magnified the drama surrounding the Congress in Zurich. Reacting to the election result, British sports minister Hugh Robertson welcomed Blatter's new proposals while expressing his regret that the vote had not been postponed. "I think Blatter will be judged by his actions from now," Robertson told BBC.

The Malay Mail Thursday 2 june, 2011

 Sepp Blatter has proposed three reforms to restore Fifa's credibility. Calling himself the captain of a ship in troubled waters, he proposes:  Future World Cups will

be awarded by a vote of the full congress rather than the executive committee  Congress will also elect members of the ethics committee  A committee of Fifa officials will examine corporate governance and make recommendations for reform. After winning a crucial confidence vote not to postpone the election by 172 to 17, Sepp Blatter said: "I am the captain weathering the storm. This is a difficult period for Fifa and I admit that readily. Not only is the pyramid shaking but our ship has drawn some water. In his victory speech, he said: "We shall move forward, we will put Fifa's ship back on the right course in clear, transparent waters. We need some time, we cannot do it overnight, but we will do it. A number of Fifa executives were said to have met last night to formulate a plot to oust him, The Sun reported. Q u ot i n g s ou rc e s , t h e report said the executives realised they could not stop the scandal-hit Sepp Blatter prolonging his 13-year reign at the Zurich-based organisation. The sources told the paper the executives will make it clear they will only back Blatter for the first two years of his new four-year term, after which they will expect him to stand down.

MUNICH

Fifa must undergo complete overhaul, warns Rummenigge EUROPEAN CLUB ASSOCIATION chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called for a complete overhaul of how Fifa are governed. Fifa president Sepp Blatter was yesterday officially reelected by the world governing body's 208 member associations. The 75-year-old Swiss was elected unopposed in the wake of a host of corruption allegations which have rocked the organisation. Rummenigge called for the immediate introduction of "democratic and transparent structures and procedures" and claimed clubs would demand involvement in Fifa decisions

which affected them. Rummenigge, who is the Bayern Munich chief executive, said: "The recent happenings have once more proven that Fifa need a change in their whole structure. As chairman of the European Club Association, I request Fifa to immediately introduce democratic and transparent structures and procedures. "European clubs will no longer accept that they do not participate in the decision-making when it comes to club related matters. We will closely follow Fifa's development in this respect in the future and take appropriate measures, if there is no improvement," he said.


The Malay Mail Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

Presstalk DAILY STAR

Villa want Hughes ASTON VILLA are ready to launch a smash- and-grab raid on Fulham to get Mark Hughes as their new boss. Hughes is top of Villa’s wish listas Gerard Houllier's replacement. The Frenchman reluctantly stepped down on health grounds. "Sparky" Hughes, 47, will be offered a bumper deal to take up the reins at Villa Park. V i l l a ’ s A m e r i c a n ow n e r Randy Lerner singled out the former Blackburn and Manchester City boss following the departure of Martin O’Neill in August. But Hughes had committed himself to Fulham just a couple of months earlier so they turned to former Liverpool boss Houllier instead.

DAILY MIROR

Bent pleads Young, Downing to remain DARREN BENT has pleaded with his England and Aston Villa teammates Ashley Young and Stewart Downing to stay at the club — and continue to help him deliver goals. Bent has benefited from the service provided by Manchester United target Young and Downing — linked strongly with Liverpool — since his £18 million move from Sunderland to Villa in January. It has helped him become a first-choice striker for England and he will be looking to score for the fourth successive international on Saturday against Switzerland at Wembley.

METRO

Chelsea lead Neymar chase CHELSEA could be on the verge of tying up a deal for Santos striker Neymar, after sources claimed his agent had flown to London to hold transfer talks. The 19-year-old is one of the most exciting talents in world football, and AC Milan, as well as Real Madrid have been strongly attributed with an interest in his signature, but it’s the Blues who look like they’ve finally won the race. Wagner Ribeiro, the Brazilian’s agent, is believed to have scheduled a meeting with owner Roman Abramovich to thrash out a £28million deal, and if all goes to plan, Neymar could be forming a new look partnership with Fernando Torres at Stamford Bridge next season. His compatriot Robinho has also encouraged the Samba star to make the move, but insisted he must be used in his natural position, and not asked to fulfill defensive duties like he was.

One thing's for sure... we're not selling Samir Nasri to Manchester United — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

sports

31

football/chelsea's tour of malaysia special

Excited 'El Nino' Torres looking forward to Asian tour with Chelsea

STRIKER Fernando Torres (pic) is no stranger to Asia and cannot wait to be back there in a Chelsea shirt. The Spain international, who joined Chelsea from Premier League rivals Liverpool end of January has visited Asia in the past with both the Reds and first club Atletico Madrid, and admits he was surprised at the reception he received each time. "I went to Asia twice with Liverpool. The first time I didn’t realise how many Asian fans were aware of the Premier League," said the 27-year-old. "We arrived at the airport and there were thousands of fans waiting for the plane, it was an amazing reception. "Every day at the hotel, the training ground, everywhere, it was amazing. Premier League stars are obviously so important to fans there and it was a nice surprise for me, and a good

experience. "You realise how important it is for them — that they only have maybe one chance to see their favourite players and the teams they want to see. So it is important for them and for the club to stay as close as possible to these fans." Having visited Hong Kong and Bangkok before, Torres is now looking forward to returning to, as well as taking in, Kuala Lumpur, Chelsea's first stop in mid-July. "We had some days off, and got to see some of the places a little bit," he said. "Hong Kong is an amazing city and I was with Atletico in Shanghai so I have been to other parts of China, it’s an impressive country. "I also really like Thailand, the people there were very polite. I didn’t know so much about the continent but now I know more

and learned a lot, so it is exciting to know I will be going back there with Chelsea." Of course, for the players, the emphasis is more on work than play and Torres sees pre-season trips as a key time in creating an effective team spirit. "You have time every day to spend with your teammates, pre-season is a great time to get to know each other and help new people arrive so it will be good for all to be together for a couple of weeks and create a very good relationship outside the pitch," said Torres. No doubt Chelsea fans in Asia are as keen to see him as he is them.

LONDON: football/ championship

Fernandes' bizzare bid to West Ham WEST HAM co-owner David Gold is unaware of an official offer for the club from Tony Fernandes, but would be prepared to discuss the prospect of the Team Lotus Formula 1 boss joining the Upton Park board. Fernandes, who is Air Asia CEO, claimed on his Twitter account yesterday he had made an offer for the recently-relegated Hammers. But this was quickly dismissed as a publicity stunt by Gold's fellow co-owner, David Sullivan, just hours after they had appointed Sam Allardyce as West Ham's new manager. Gold was equally surprised by the claims of Fernandes, but did not rule out the possibility of talks regarding possible investment from the life-

long Hammers fan. When informed of Fernandes' Twitter claim, Gold told Sky Sports: "That is news to me. I certainly haven't heard any information regarding this. It is interesting." On the possibility of investment in West Ham, Gold said: "We are interested in finances coming into the football club. We welcome that. I certainly would be very happy to sit down with Tony with a view of him joining the board and bringing in desperately needed finances." But Gold finds it bizarre that Fernandes announced a supposed offer via Twitter and not through official channels. "I can't disagree with Sullivan's comments," said Gold.

"You would think that if someone was going to buy a football club they would approach the incumbent owners and sit down privately and discuss a way to go forward. "I find it quite bizarre that anybody makes an offer for any business via Twitter. "But, you just don't know. Let's hope it is serious because I am sure Sullivan would agree with me that we would welcome another investor." Meanwhile, Allardyce described West Ham as a fantastic club with a great tradition and loyal supporters. "And I am determined to get this club back up," he said. Allardyce, out of work since his surprise sacking by Blackburn's new owners in December, has reportedly been

offered a huge bonus if the Hammers are promoted next term. The appointment will not be met with much enthusiasm with many West Ham fans turned off by his direct style of play. But Sullivan and Gold opted for pragmatism over sentiment with Allardyce having taken Bolton from the Championship into Europe during his spell at Reebok Stadium. Allardyce said on the club's website: "I wouldn't have taken this job if I didn't think we could bounce straight back into the Premier League. More than that, I wouldn't have contemplated the job if I didn't think there was the opportunity to build something substantial at West Ham."

Exclusive from Chelsea magazine Ticket information for Kuala Lumpur — Malaysia XI v Chelsea 21 July at Bukit Jalil Stadium. Available at selected Adidas stores in Malaysia. Supporters who purchase from these outlets will receive free exclusive training passes to an open Chelsea training session at the stadium. Tickets are also available via the Ticketpro website at www.ticketpro.com. my, Ticketpro outlets or Ticketpro Hotline +603 7880 7999. For more information about the tour, visit www.chelseafc. com/ontour. Ticket information for Bangkok — Thailand All Stars v Chelsea 24 July, Rajamangala National Stadium. Available from all branches of Thai Ticket Major, through their website at www.thaiticketmajor.com, and at Star Soccer Shops, Panthip Plaza, Seacon Square and Big C Supercenter Pattaya. For more information about the tour, visit www.chelseafc.com/ontour. Put your face on our tour flag Chelsea are making special tour flags for the Asia tour in July; made up of up to 160,000 fans' Facebook photos. To put YOUR face on the actual flag, simply sign up at www.chelseafc.com/ontour The flag can be viewed online at www.chelseafc.com/ontour and massive silk flags — 180m square in size — showing everyone’s photograph, will be produced and passed around by the crowd at the matches (Thailand and Malaysia only). Closing date is June 16. Full terms and conditions are available at www.chelseafc.com/terms

LONDON: football/ premier league

More playing time for Owen expected

MANAGER Alex Ferguson has handed striker Michael Owen (pic) a one-year contract extension at Manchester United and says he will try to use him more next season. Owen's present two-season deal was about to expire and, having been overshadowed by Mexican Javier Hernandez last season and knowing new signings were expected — in addition to the return of Danny Welbeck from Sunderland, it was anticipated the former

England striker would be released. However, Ferguson evidently still views the 31-yearold as an important member of his squad. "Owen has proved to be a top footballer," said Ferguson. "It is unfortunate that he did not get more opportunities but the form of Chicharito (Hernandez) put everyone in the shade and his partnership with Rooney proved invaluable.

"I am delighted Owen is staying for a further year and we will look to give him more opportunities in the new season." The last of Owen's two league goals closed a record 19th title-winning campaign for the Red Devils, and earned him a championship medal for the first time. It was also enough to earn him a place on the bench ahead of Dimitar Berbatov for last Saturday's Champions

League final, although he did not play a part in United's 3-1 defeat. "I am delighted to have agreed a one-year extension to my contract," said Owen. "To play alongside so many great players, under an exceptional manager, and in front of so many passionate supporters is a real inspiration. "I can't wait for next season to start." The news cast an even greater shadow over Berbatov's ca-

reer with United though. The Bulgarian was tightlipped when he returned home on Tuesday but it is difficult to see what role he could play unless Ferguson opts to offload Welbeck, who gained his first England cap against Ghana last March.


Thrilled Torres Chelsea’s Fernando Torres keen to put on a show on Blues’ Asia tour

BackToSchool with Vijhay Vick

BIRMINGHAM: premier league

End of Houllier’s reign at Villa ASTON VILLA manager Gerard Houllier has stepped down. The Frenchman took charge of Villa last September after the departure of Martin O’Neill, but was forced to miss the club’s final five league fixtures due to ill health. The 63-year-old suffered from heart problems while in charge of Liverpool and following this latest health scare, the club announced his departure by mutual consent. “I would like to thank Gerard for his considerable efforts over the past nine months and for the dedication, commitment and work ethic he has demonstrated as Villa manager,” chief executive Paul Faulkner said in a statement on the club’s website. “We regret the circumstances of Gerard’s departure and, naturally, we wish him well in his continued recovery. I know I speak for everyone associated with Aston Villa in expressing our hope that Gerard will return to full health as quickly as possible and we wish him all the best for the future.” Faulkner also revealed Villa are already actively pursuing a new manager in a bid to ensure they are fully prepared for next season. Houllier revealed his health has improved recently and expressed his gratitude to Villa, claiming it is not the end of his stint in football. “I am extremely disappointed that I will not have the opportunity to manage Villa next season,” he said. “My health has improved considerably since I was taken ill on April 20. I now intend to take the next few months to concentrate on recuperating fully before I may return to football. “I was very much looking forward to the prospect of my first full season as Villa manager and returning for pre-season training to prepare for the campaign ahead, a luxury that I did not have last season. “I have been extremely touched by all of the messages I have received and by the reaction of people throughout the world of football.”

>> pg31

Thursday 2 JUNE, 2011

tomorrow TENNIS

Li creates history LI NA admits surprising herself after becoming the first Chinese player to reach the last four in singles competition at Roland Garros yesterday

TENNIS

PRESSTALK

FOOTBALL

RAFAEL NADAL (pic) set-up a mouth-watering French Open semifinal clash against British fourth seed Andy Murray as both men clinched impressive straight set wins this morning

SANTOS starlet Neymar is close to sealing a dream move to Stamford Bridge beating other big clubs

WEST HAM co-owner David Gold denies any knowledge of an offer for the club made by lifelong fan Tony Fernandes on Twitter but welcomes more investment

Clash of the Titans

>> pg29

>> pg29

Neymar for Chelsea

Tony tweets interest

>> pg31

>> pg31

Dirty money racket exposed ROME: FOOTBALL/serie a

Italian football rocked by match-fixing scandal, again

MAGISTRATES in Italy have uncovered evidence revealing how much it would cost to fix Serie A, B and Lega Pro matches. La Repubblica reported investigators probing the recent Calcioscomesse scandal have discovered payments of up to €400,000 (RM1.7m) were required to fix a game in Serie A, €120,000 in Serie B, and €60,000 in Lega Pro, formerly known as Serie C. According to magistrates, a huge ring of match-fixers were involved in a countrywide organisation. Up to five games would be fixed on occasions, with most likely to have happened in the lower divisions of the Lega Pro where the lesser cost of fixing a match would make it easier, according to magistrates. Around 16 people have been arrested in connection with the investigation being led by judge Giudo Salvini in Cremona. He confirmed earlier that Serie A clubs Atalanta and Siena were implicated in the latest scandal to hit Italian football. Police, meanwhile, arrested former Italy striker Giuseppe Signori and charged 15 others with involvement in “organised crime” activities de-

signed to influence matches in Serie B and the lower divisions. The Italian Football Federation would open an inquiry after Atalanta and Siena, due to be promoted to Serie A next season, were named as being among the clubs under the spotlight. Domestic football has been battling corruption for years with the fallout from a major 2006 match-fixing scandal in the top flight still rumbling on in the criminal and sporting courts. “State police from Cremona, collaborating with police departments in Bari, Como, Bologna, Rimini, Pescara, Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Ravenna, Benevento, Roma, Torino, Napoli and Ferrara have carried out 16 arrests,” said a police statement yesterday. “This follows an investigation into a series of episodes connected to match-fixing which in past months has significantly influenced the results of some matches in Serie B and Lega Pro.” Former Lazio captain Signori has been placed under house arrest with seven others while another seven have been held in prison following the six-month probe. Signori

scored 188 Serie A goals, earning 28 caps for Italy in his illustrious career. A further request has been made to arrest another of the accused who is outside Italy, according to a police source. “As well as the arrests there are another 28 people under investigation including footballers of a certain standing still playing,” added the source, who declined to be identified. “The investigative procedure was able to collect important and irrefutable evidence to demonstrate the existence of an organised crime group composing footballers, exfootballers of international standing, bookmakers and other individuals,” said the police statement. “Each, with specific and pre-determined roles, were able to plan through verbal agreements or payments the fixing of some football matches. There was a serious incident on the occasion of a football match that took place at the end of last year in Cremona. “The investigation revealed criminal behaviour in a wider context linked to several people in the footballing world who, because of direct and indirect contacts, were able

SIGNORI: Under house arrest — GETTYpic

to influence the results of several matches and thereby make a payment of large sums of money through legal betting networks in Italy and abroad.” Former Bari captain Antonio Bellavista, Benevento goalkeeper Marco Paoloni, former AC Milan player Mauro Bressan and Ravenna sporting director Giorgio Buffone were among those held in jail. The revelations come just a

day after prosecutors in Italy’s long-running calciopoli trial requested former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi face five years and eight months in jail if found guilty for his involvement in the 2006 scandal. Juventus were demoted to Serie B in 2006 and had their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles stripped after being punished in the sporting courts for trying to gain favourable referees for their matches.

Published by Malay Mail Sdn Bhd (239512V), Lot 2A, Jalan 13/2, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, and printed by The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad (4485-H), 31, Jalan Riong, 59100 KL

2 June 2011  

The Malay Mail

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