Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ulama: A pint cannot be halal

 One of the brands   being marketed as  halal  beer. —  NST picture by Yazit Razali
One of the brands being marketed as halal beer. — NST picture by Yazit Razali
KUALA LUMPUR: There is no such thing as "halal" beer. Beer is beer, it contains alcohol, and, therefore, it is not halal, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria said.

Commenting on the subject, which was being hotly debated on social networking site Facebook, he said beer had never been halal because the alcoholic content was above 0.01 per cent.

"Any food or drink with an alcohol content of below that (0.01) is permissible but above that it is not halal. Alcohol is an intoxicant, therefore, it is haram. There shouldn't be any doubt about that."

Harussani said beverage manufacturers should not use the word beer for a non-alcoholic beverage, adding that the term itself was self-explanatory.

"It is very simple; basically beer is alcohol. Just don't use the term, 'halal' as it would only confuse the people."

According to Wikipedia, beer was the most widely consumed, and probably oldest, of the world's alcoholic beverages. It is the third most popular drink after water and tea. Beer is produced by the brewing and fermentation of starches, mainly from cereal grains -- commonly malted barley, although wheat, maize and rice are widely used. Most beer is flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruits may be included.

The debate on "halal" beer followed a report in a local daily that it was popular among Muslims. 

Following this, the Johor Islamic Affairs Department took samples of the beverage and it was discovered that it was produced from various fruits and the alcohol content was 0.5 per cent.

On Sunday, Bernama reported that Muslims were advised against consuming "halal" beer.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said this was because the beverage's alcohol content was 0.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Islamic Development Department of Malaysia director Othman Mustapha said Jakim had never issued halal certificates for such beverages, which were mostly imported from the Middle East.

The beverage is being sold for RM3 and RM5 per bottle.

"Jakim had rejected the applications for these beverages because they did not meet the 1500:2009 halal standards and Jakim has specific requirements that distributors must follow to obtain the halal certificate.

"He said the halal certificate issued by Jakim was a standard document for all food products in the country.

"Any food product that does not have the halal logo is questionable. Jakim's advice is to be cautious when buying the products." - NST

Mum, daughter held for slapping cops

PONTIAN: A mother and her teenage daughter were detained for verbally abusing and slapping two policemen here on Sunday night.

Pontian police chief Superintendent Zahaliman Jamin said three policemen who were on crime prevention duty in Pontian Besar had noticed a car being driven in a suspicious manner about 10pm. 

Zahaliman said the policemen, who were in uniform and on motorcycles, caught up with the car and ordered the driver to pull over.

Instead of stopping , the 19-year-old girl sped off towards Benut. The police team gave chase, and after several minutes, managed to force the girl to stop the car. 

The girl and the others in the vehicle, however, refused to get out when ordered to do so. She also refused to show the policemen her driving licence. 

About 15 minutes later, a group of men and women, believed to be the girl’s family members, arrived at the scene. 

Zahaliman said that at this juncture, a 38-year-old woman, who was the mother of the girl, started to berate the policemen.

He said the woman yelled at the officers and slapped two of the policemen. Zahaliman said the teenager, who was now out of the car, also verbally abused the policemen. 

The mother and daughter were then detained by the policemen. Zahaliman said the case was being investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code for voluntarily obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty. If convicted, the mother and daughter could be fined up to RM10,000 and jailed not more than two years. 

Zahaliman said the teenager could also be fined for driving without a licence. - NST

British lecturer detained over fatal pub brawl

Shirley Leong (right) recounting the incident to a group of reporters last night.  — NST pictures by Aizuddin Saad

Shirley Leong (right) recounting the incident to a group of reporters last night. — NST pictures by Aizuddin Saad

KUALA LUMPUR: A father of three died at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital on Sunday morning hours after being assaulted by a British lecturer outside a pub in Pandan Indah.

Leong Chin Yap, 50, died of head injuries after being hit with a blunt object and punched several times on the side of his head.

A 53-year-old British national, lecturing at a local college, was remanded by police yesterday.

Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah confirmed the incident but declined to elaborate as investigations were ongoing.

The attack occurred early on Sunday morning when a group of Thai women were having a birthday celebration at the pub.

Pub owner Shirley Leong Siew Lai, 46, said the women were ordering drinks and mingling with other guests, including the British national and his male friend who were sitting at a different table.

"As the night wore on, the women ordered more and more drinks and were getting quite drunk. Some of them went and sat with the British man and his friend," she told reporters last night at the Xiao En funeral parlour in Jalan Kuari.

"When given the bill later, the women refused to pay, saying that they did not order the drinks. I confronted them but was kicked in the shin," Shirley said.

"My brother Leong, who helps me out in the kitchen, came to my assistance. Both of us grabbed the girl to escort her out, so as not to disrupt operations in the pub.

"However, it is understood that as Shirley and her brother were taking the girl outside, the British lecturer allegedly punched Leong several times on the side of the head without provocation.

He started bleeding from the nose and vomited blood. Shirley said they rushed her brother to a nearby private hospital but he was transferred to Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

Leong died without regaining consciousness and the initial autopsy report revealed that he died of severe head injury and a fractured skull. He is survived by a wife and three daughters, aged 22, 20, 18. 

Leong was the sole breadwinner. A police report was lodged and the British national was arrested. It is learnt that he had been working in Malaysia for about six months. - NST

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dee Hsu walks around naked in bedroom

It is no secret that popular Taiwanese host Dee Hsu wants a son.
The 32-year-old has two daughters with Taiwanese entrepreneur Mike Hsu. While her in-laws are not giving her any pressure of producing a son, Hsu, who is noted for her hot mama image and forward-thinking ways, wants to do so and has gone the extra mile for it.
It was reported that she tends to walk around naked in the bedroom when her husband is around, while maintaining her hourglass figure, shedding two kilograms so that she would look skinnier.
“It is to excite my hubby,” she admitted.
In addition, she consumes a lot of vegetables and even resorts to eating lizards just to prepare her body for pregnancy, reported the Taiwanese media.
To grant her wish, her husband also spends less time outside these days.
Still, we have yet to see a baby bump. Denying that she was pregnant earlier on, the petite beauty revealed that she is working on having another child this year.

Singer Sean Kingston crashes watercraft in Miami

MIAMI (AP) - Authorities say rapper Sean Kingston is hospitalised after crashing a personal watercraft into a Miami Beach bridge.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino says Kingston and a female passenger were injured when the watercraft hit the Palm Island Bridge around 6 p.m. Sunday.
Pino says both were hospitalised early Monday at Ryder Trauma Center, but he didn't know their conditions.
Pino says authorities are investigating the crash, and "nothing at this point would indicate that alcohol played a role."
A representative for his label Epic Records confirmed early Monday that Kingston was in a crash and "was now stabilised." No further information was provided.
Kingston rose to fame with his 2007 hit "Beautiful Girls" and was also featured on songs by artists including Justin Bieber.

Electricity tariff to go up by about 7% from June 1

PUTRAJAYA: The electricity tariff will go up by about 7% from June 1, in a bid to rein in the ballooning subsidy bill.
However, the increase will not affect 75% of domestic users.
The gas tariff for electricity and industrial sectors will rise by RM3/MMBtu every six months from June 1 to Dec 2015.
After that the price would be based on market rates, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin on Monday.

Woman refuses to leave ex-boss' bed

A Chinese woman refused to leave her ex-employer's bed until he settled two months' salary that he did not pay her..
The incident caused an uproar at a quiet village in Nanjing, China, last week.
Neighbours, who learnt of the 2pm commotion, went to the house of Xu Qiang to find out what had happened.
They recognised that the woman was Zhang Wenqing, in her 30s, who had worked for several months last year at Xu's eatery.
"They were said to having an unusual relationship. Then, Xu's wife came from her hometown to check on her husband at the end of the year.

"Later, Zhang stopped working at the eatery," one of the neighbours  said.
Zhang being dragged out of Xu's house
Zhang being dragged out of Xu's house

Since then, Xu's wife had been staying with him until she returned to her hometown for a short break recently.
"The moment the wife left, Zhang showed up. We were wondering what was going on," a neighbour said.
Zhang, who claimed to be having an affair with Xu, said her ex-employer owed her two months salary amounting to 4,200 yuan (RM1,954).
She also demanded an apology from his wife.
"I telephoned him once and his wife scolded me over the phone. I want her to apologise to me," she said.
Xu, however, denied all allegations and called the police for help.
With help from the police and Xu's landlord, they dragged Zhang out of the house.

Despair after savings for wife’s surgery goes up in smoke

KUALA LUMPUR: A supervisor is in despair after a fire razed his house, wiping out all the cash he had kept for his wife's surgery.
“It's going to be tough. I had saved RM5,000 for my wife's cancer surgery but now all that money is gone in the fire,” said C. Muniandy (inset), 45.
He said he had just withdrawn the money from a bank on Saturday to prepare for her surgery today.
Final douse: A firefighter putting out the embers after the fire which razed three houses in Kampung Pandan Luar, Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Muniandy said P. Vijayakumari was scheduled to go for a breast cancer surgery at Pantai Hospital.
“I really don't know where I am going to get the money for her surgery now,” he said.
He was among 15 people who lost their home and belongings in the fire, which destroyed three houses in Kampung Pandan Luar here at 11.25am yesterday.
Pudu Fire and Rescue Department senior officer Yusof Abu Bakar said firemen arrived at the scene about 10 minutes after getting a call.
“The fire had already engulfed all three houses,” he said.
He said 25 firemen and three fire engines from the Hang Tuah, Pudu and Tun Razak fire stations responded to the call.
“We successfully put out the fire at about 11.45am,” he said. - theStarOnline

MyKad error

PETALING JAYA: Your MyKad may be safe in your wallet or handbag. But is it usable?
Over a million MyKad holders reported faulty chips last year after the cards were rejected at banks and at the Immigration Department, Road Transport Department, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and PLUS Bhd, among others.
The MyKad is used in situations that require identification and authentication of the card holder's personal details such as the fingerprints.
Newer versions of the MyKad also have ATM, MEPS cash and Touch 'n Go features.
The National Registration Department (NRD) confirmed yesterday that chip failure was the main cause of MyKad replacements.
Of the 2,158,621 applications for MyKad replacements received last year, 1,018,698 were due to faulty chip.
NRD director-general Datuk Alwi Ibrahim said he viewed the matter with deep concern, saying the NRD would introduce an improved version of the MyKad chip by July.
“The MyKad is more complex because it has many applications compared to bank cards which would be for a single purpose,” he said.
Alwi said there had also been cases of holders reporting that the MyKad chip had fallen off.
The NRD offers a 12-month “warranty” for the MyKad which begins from the date the card is issued to the applicant.
If the chip is found to be damaged within the one-year period, it will be replaced at no charge.
The holder has to pay RM10 to replace the card after this period.
NRD public relations officer Jainisah Mohd Noor said records showed that more men reported MyKad with faulty chips, adding that this could be due to the cards being kept in wallets in their back pockets.
Vijay Kanna, 25, said he discovered that his MyKad was faulty when he applied for a border pass to attend a university programme in Songkhla two years ago.
Journalist Jonathan Fernandez, 25, said he found out about his faulty MyKad when he went to open a bank account. - theStarOnline

Saturday, May 28, 2011

School blamed for girl’s molest

KUALA LUMPUR: The family of a 10-year-old girl, who was allegedly molested after being abducted from her school, claims the school failed to keep security tight.
The girl's father, known only as Mohamad, said he wanted to lodge a complaint with the Education Ministry.
In the 8.15am incident on Monday, the 48-year-old technician claimed his daughter had gone out from the classroom to go to the toilet.
“A man wearing a cap suddenly entered the toilet and grabbed her.
“He took her with him and climbed over the school's back wall,” claimed Mohamad, a father of three.
He alleged the man, in his 20s, had tied the girl's mouth and used a sarong cloth to carry her over the wall.
“After that, he rode off with her on his motorcycle to some bushes nearby.
“He then molested my daughter there,” said Mohamad, adding that the man fled after hearing noises which sounded like police sirens.
Mohamad said the teachers at the school noticed the girl was missing at about 9am and asked the school's ustaz (religious teacher) “whether the girl had been taken away by spirits”.
“When the ustaz told them no, only then did they try to search for her outside of the school.
“Later, a teacher saw my daughter walking back to the school from the bushes,” he said.
Mohamad said the teachers should have called the police upon realising that the girl was missing.
“My daughter is traumatised by the incident.
“She feels embarrassed every time other children look at her,” said Mohamad, who lodged a report at a police station in Ampang Park.
City CID Chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah confirmed receiving the report.
He added that the case was being investigated under Section 354 of the Penal Code for outraging of modesty.
He also urged those who have information on the case to contact the nearest police station. - theStarOnline

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wife takes over plane when pilot-husband can't fly

DENVER – A woman whose pilot-husband was having trouble breathing and speaking took over the controls of a small airplane during a flight from California to Colorado and flew toward a nearby airport while receiving guidance from ground controllers and another pilot, authorities said.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday released audio and a transcript of the May 17 incident.
"Have you ever flown an aircraft before?" asked the other pilot, who was flying a Great Lakes Airlines flight in the area and was in radio contact with the woman. "Do you have any experience?"
"No," the woman replies.
The Great Lakes pilot instructed the woman on how to turn on the autopilot function and begin a controlled descent.
"Hang on, hang on. I'm trying to get him to put auto ... autopilot," the woman said. "I don't know how to do this."
"There should be a button on the autopilot panel that says H-D-G for heading," the Great Lakes pilot said a few minutes later. "You want to push that. There should be a big knob you should turn."
The FAA declined to release the names of the pilot and the passenger, citing privacy concerns, and the specifics of the man's medical problem weren't available. The single-engine Cirrus SR22 is registered to the Colorado Springs-based Alcar Aviation. Records at the Colorado Secretary of State show the registered agent for the business is Albert Briccetti.
The couple was flying from San Bernardino, Calif., to Colorado Springs, Colo. The woman spoke to KCNC-TV in Denver on Wednesday about the ordeal.
"I was terrified — terrified," she said.
During a routine conversation earlier in the flight, an air traffic controller in Longmont, Colo. — Charlie Rohrer — noticed that the single-engine plane's 70-year-old pilot appeared to have difficulty breathing, KCNC reported. The woman said her husband was slurring his speech and was unable to push the buttons.
"On a routine flight from California to Colorado, at 17,000 feet, I became unable to communicate and manage the flying," the pilot said in a statement released by the FAA.
The plane began to make erratic maneuvers, and as Rohrer tried to get back in touch with the small plane, the Great Lakes pilot — who was on the same radio frequency — offered assistance to Rohrer.
"As we came out under the cloud layer, the other aircraft was able to make visual contact with our plane. Knowing that was also a comfort to my wife," the pilot said.
Rohrer told the Great Lakes pilot that he believed the smaller plane's pilot was having trouble functioning because he was hypoxic, a condition that results from a lack of enough oxygen. Both the pilot and his wife were wearing oxygen masks because of the Rocky Mountain altitudes.
"I can't talk much cause I, I got to hold the oxygen to my face and the mic and the thing," the woman said. "I can't tell what's going on."
With the Great Lakes pilot's help, the woman eventually flipped on the autopilot function, though the pilot said his wife had directions for the emergency parachute in her lap, just in case.
At one point, the plane swerved away from its emergency landing route and headed toward the high terrain of the San Juan mountains in southwestern Colorado. Rohrer told the woman to turn away from the mountains.
"If you continue northbound, it's quite a bit higher," Rohrer said. "I need you to start turning southbound as soon as you can."
Eventually the plane headed toward lower terrain and began dropping in elevation. The woman said her husband was becoming more lucid.
The husband came on the radio and indicated he would continue his course to Colorado Springs. But Rohrer warned that, to do that, he would have to climb to 17,000 feet and risk becoming hypoxic again.
"OK, you're still not, uh, sounding like you're very coherent," Rohrer said. "Suggest heading (to) Farmington."
The pilot later landed the plane safely in Farmington, N.M. - AP

Utusan Melayu ordered to pay two months bonus to staff

KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd, which owns Utusan Malaysia, has been ordered to pay backdated two months' bonus to its employees for 2009.
Industrial Court president Susila Sithamparam, in her award handed down on May 24, held that the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which brought the case to the court, had proven that Utusan Melayu made a profit in 2009. She said Utusan Melayu had declared its group profit for 2009 at RM5.121mil in its Annual Report.
"The respondent (Utusan Melayu) cannot shy away from the fact that it is a holding company and has subsidiary companies.
"The court held that the word "keuntungan" or "profit" in Article 44 of the said collective agreement meant the profit which it made as a holding company in 2009.
"The union has proven that the respondent (Utusan Melayu) made a profit in 2009," she said.
Susila ordered Utusan Melayu to comply with Article 44 of the said collective agreement.
"Since the respondent has paid its employees an ex-gratia sum of one month's wages each for 2009, it may deduct the sum which had been paid from the bonus of two months' wages which is to be paid to its employees for 2009," she said.
The union brought the matter to the court on March 23, last year, after Utusan Melayu failed to pay the two months' wages for 2009, on the grounds that it had losses of RM26,169,490 as an individual company as at Dec 31, 2009.
However, the company had given its employees an ex-gratia payment of one month's wages each for 2009.
NUJ general secretary V. Anbalagan, in a statement, expressed hope that the Utusan Melayu management would carefully study the award and make all outstanding payments due to its employees in the spirit of industrial harmony. - Bernama

Teacher taken on terror ride

GEORGE TOWN: A kindergarten teacher was taken on a 160km terror ride but managed to keep calm, talk to her abductor and con him into leaving the car before escaping.
The 20-year-old woman was driving to work at about 6.30am on Wednesday when a man suddenly jumped into her car when she stopped at a traffic light junction near Kampung Malabar here.
The man, who is believed to be in his 20s, shoved her to the passenger seat and began driving south along the North-South Expressway towards Perak.
The journey became even more frightening when the man told her he wanted to rape her and inquired whether she was a virgin.
The woman, however, managed to keep from panicking and tried to distract her abductor by talking to him.
At the same time, she began plotting her escape.
After about an hour, the woman then told the man she needed to stop by the roadside to answer nature's call.
They pulled over and she managed to convince the man to pull down some fencing by the road so she could relieve herself in the bushes.
When the man was busy trying to pull the fence, the victim swiftly jumped into the driver's seat and drove off.
She stopped a patrol car on the highway and told the policemen of the incident. The officers then escorted her to the Kuala Kangsar police station to lodge a report.
They later found a pack of cigarettes and a mobile phone charger in the car, believed to belong to the suspect.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng said the police had obtained a photofit of the suspect based on the description given by the woman. - theStarOnline

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Man suffocated himself with Ziploc bag

A Frenchman in Singapore took his own life by suffocating himself with a jumbo Ziploc bag that had helium gas pumped into it, a coroner's court heard.

Prior to his death, Loic Erwan Francois Marie Martenot was a general manager of Deliciae, a restaurant and hospitality management firm on the island nation, where he had been working since May last year.

The lifeless body of the 41-year-old was found slumped over a chair in the storage room of his Duxton Hill office by his boss and close friend Olivier Henri Bendel on Nov 29 last year.

Bendel, 39, a Singapore permanent resident, suspected something amiss when he arrived at the office that morning and saw a 'Do not enter' sign on the glass door of the room.

He later found a handwritten note from Martenot addressed to him, expressing admiration, trust and regret. Three other letters were also left behind by the dead man for his wife, two children and estranged family.

Investigations showed that Martenot had been suffering from depression since he was 10 years old.

Source: The Straits Times/ANN

Primary school kids win gold awards for invention

GEORGE TOWN: Three primary school students who turned their frustration into invention won gold awards with their insulated bag that keeps their food warm until recess time.
The students, Wong Kai Wern, 10, Tan Su Fern and Jonathan Aeruthayan, both 12, from SJK (C) Shih Chung Cawangan, received the award during the 22nd Internatio­nal Invention and Technology Exhi­bition (ITEX ‘11) and Asian Young Inventors Exhibition (AYIE2011) in Kuala Lumpur held on Saturday.
Kai Wern said the idea came about after they got tired of eating food, which they brought from home, that had turned cold during break time.
“We discussed the idea during our Science Club meeting and decided to do something about it,” said the Standard Four pupil, who aspires to be a Science professor.
They then took about a month’s time to finalise the Eco-Friendly Insulated Bag by using sugar cane bagasse.
Jonathan, who aims to be a scientist, said that besides being a good insulator, the bagasse was light, non-toxic and biodegradable.
Su Fern said they had carried out several tests and were satisfied with the results of the insulator bag.
“It can keep food warm or cold and the bag is also suitable to keep milk warm for a baby.
“It can also be used for school, work and picnics,” said the girl, whose ambition is to be a doctor.
A total of 400 teams from primary and secondary schools took part in the Malaysian Young Inventors Competition.
Kai Wern, Jonathan and Su Fern emerged champions in the primary school category.
The three also won the World Intellectual Property Organisation Awards for Best Young Inventors (Primary School) and Best Asian Young Inventors Cup 2011 during the exhibition. - theStarOnline

Students turn back alley into sex den

MALACCA: A group of delinquent secondary school students have turned the back alley of a commercial centre in Jalan Gajah Berang into a pre-dawn “sin and sex” paradise.
The students converge at the area as early as 5.30am before going “wild” some explicitly engaging in sexual acts which traders in the area claim to have witnessed almost daily since the beginning of the year.
Many were spotted smoking before the school session started at 7.40am.
“These students have gone wild. We have caught them kissing at back lanes. They have no shame even if someone watches them.
Some of students loitering at the alley and smoking in Jalan Gajah Berang
“They caress, kiss and even indulge in oral sex in the semi-lit alleys,” said a trader, 45, who requested anonymity.
State Education, Youth and Sport committee chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo expressed his disappointment.
“I am startled over these students and their morally despicable activities,” he told The Star yesterday.
Gan said he had just embarked on a campaign to eliminate school gangs when notified about the students' behaviour and would now also have to focus on moral behaviour.
“I am supposed to meet a group of students with disciplinary problems at a secondary school (today) to delve on matters relating to gangsterism but it appears I have to start my inaugural campaign at Gajah Berang schools.”
The Star visited the area at 5.30am and discovered a teenage girl in school uniform fondling and kissing her peer at the back lane of a fast food outlet.
At another part of the alley, 10 students including schoolgirls were smoking even after they were aware of the media's presence in the area.
The principal of one of the schools near the alley encouraged the media to highlight the students' behaviour in the hope that police would intensify patrols in the area.
State police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye said police would dispatch school liaison officers to all three schools to meet with the principals.
“We will investigate the traders' claims and step up our patrols. We have to nip this in the bud,” he said. - theStarOnline

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