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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nayati’s dad loses job


KUALA LUMPUR: The family of Dutch boy Nayati Moodliar has been dealt a fresh blow while still wrestling with the trauma of his kidnapping.
His father Shamelin has been fired from his job for refusing to move out of Malaysia after the release of his 12-year-old son.
“My employers told me Malaysia is not safe, so they are recalling the family to the Netherlands with a week's notice.
“I don't think the Malaysian people deserve that statement after what they did to bring our son back.
While still struggling to recover from the trauma of a kidnapping, Shamelin Moodliar and his family have been hit by another blow – the management consultant has been fi red from his job.
“And how can we run away? We have to be here to make sure that the prosecution goes through.
“We have an obligation to put the kidnappers behind bars so that they cannot do it again,” said the 41-year-old consultant of an international management firm, which he joined a year-and-a-half ago.
In an interview with The Star, Shamelin said he was sent to Malaysia from the Netherlands eight months ago to help the company achieve its expansion goals in Asia.
Nayati was abducted while walking to the Mont' Kiara International School on April 27, and was released six days later after a RM300,000 ransom was paid.
Three men have been charged in the magistrate's court here under the Kidnapping Act 1961. The mastermind, however, is still at large and believed to be in Europe.
Shamelin claimed the company he worked for had been “victimising” him shortly after he arrived here.
“I raised concerns about us not being customer-focused enough and too Euro-centric, not listening enough and trying to understand.
“I saw what was going on and decided to stand up for my Malaysian colleagues.”
In March, he said, his employer tried to terminate his contract but could not find a valid reason to do so.
He added: “They could not fire me because of my good work performance, so after numerous attempts to pay me off, intimidations and even trying to evict us from our home, things went quiet during the kidnapping.
“Immediately after, though, they tried to take advantage of our situation by ordering us back to the Netherlands with no prospects of a job there either.
“This is probably because it would be easier for them to end my contract there. If they really cared about me, they would not be firing me without pay or a place to live.
“They fired me because I refused to give up on my Malaysian base and the people who have shown us warmth and hospitality.”
Up to press time, several attempts have been made to contact Shamelin's employer but to no avail.
The priority for the family now, Shamelin said, was to get professional help to cope with the trauma, especially for Nayati to get “back into the normal rhythm of life”.
“We were nearly broken as a family by the ordeal. Now we just got him (Nayati) back and are trying to get on with our lives, but they (the company) are using this opportunity to drive us further into the ground by trying to kick us out of here.”
For now, added Shamelin, Nayati was trying to help missing children by setting up video logs.
“Nayati said to me, I'm really lucky to be back and everybody helped to get me back but there are so many other children who are still missing. I have the responsibility to use my voice to help the other children'.
“As parents, we want to help him do this while making sure that he is mentally and emotionally ready.
“Even though now I don't have a job and we will lose our home, we will continue to live by our principles and stand up for what is right,” he said.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More trouble for Gaga tour in Indonesia


American pop diva Lady Gaga's tour in Indonesia is plagued with more problems.
The National Police now says it will issue a concert permit for Gaga - only if the promoters achieve the monumental task of getting recommendations from the Religious Affairs Ministry and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).
Both organizations have shown strong opposition to her concert in Indonesia.
Police also demanded that concert promoter Big Daddy Entertainment get recommendations from the Tourism Ministry, the Home Affairs Ministry, the Director General of Immigration over Gaga's visa and the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry.
A permit from the management of Bung Karno Stadium, where the planned June 3 concert will be held, is also required.
"If the promoter obtains recommendations from all those institutions, then we will issue a concert permit for Lady Gaga," Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution said, as quoted by tempo.co.
Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said last week that Gaga "indulges in pornography by wearing revealing costumes" and she would have a negative influence on young Indonesians.
"Her lyrics indicate that she is also an anti-religious person. During her concerts, Lady Gaga looks like a devil worshiper," said the minister, who admitted he had never watched any of Gaga's music videos, as quoted by kompas.com.
More than 50,000 tickets, with prices ranging from Rp 465,000 (US$50.75) to Rp 2.25 million, have been sold for the Grammy Award winner's concert since they went on sale on March 10.
Saud said the police would monitor the concert and if the pop star shown something "abhorrent" they would end the performance.

Maid adds menstrual blood to coffee


An Indonesian maid was brought to Singapore court for adding menstrual blood to her employer's coffee cup.
Jumiah, 24, who goes by one name, is said to have committed mischief by adding her menstrual blood into the cup of her 38-year-old male employer at a flat in Choa Chu Kang on Aug 31 last year.
The short and small-built domestic worker, who had been working for the employer for about a year, said through an Indonesian interpreter that she was pleading guilty.
Her case will be mentioned in a week's time.
Bail of S$5,000 (RM12,000) was offered.

Chong Wei is down, but puts on brave front


KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is back home, promising to bounce back stronger after his injury setback.
Yesterday, Chong Wei was still raw with emotion and continued to shed tears over the torn tendon in his right ankle, which has put his long-cherished dream of Olympic glory in jeopardy.
When Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh told him not to lose heart despite the enforced layoff which will shorten his preparations for the London Games, tears rolled down Chong Wei's cheek.
His sole focus over the last four years has been on winning the elusive gold at the Olympics.
When he regained his composure, Chong Wei said he would emerge stronger from this painful experience.
Painful experience: Chong Wei looking at an X-ray image of his torn tendon.
“It's still quite painful,” said Chong Wei, pointing to his strapped ankle while seated in a wheelchair.
“I'm really sad that I couldn't help the team against Denmark,” he said.
Malaysia lost 2-3 after Chong Wei limped off in the first singles.
“One has to be mentally stronger when experiencing an injury like this. I know that I will have to come out of this stronger mentally as I may lose several weeks of training,” he said.
On the gravity of his injury, Chong Wei said: “I will be meeting Dr Ramlan Aziz (director-general of the National Sports Insitute) and he will look at it again.”
Chong Wei will have another Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) screening soon.
The first MRI at a hospital in Wuhan on Tuesday showed a tendon tear that would take three to four weeks to heal.
Coach Tey Seu Bock has already laid out a plan to get Chong Wei back on his feet before the London Games.
“We will wait for Dr Ramlan's assessment on Chong Wei's condition. We will give him enough rest. We will start training once he can walk without putting any pressure on his injured ankle,” he said.
“We will begin with upper body exercises, but rather than focusing too much on his physical condition, I will pay more attention to reviving his confidence.
“It isn't easy for an athlete to be back quickly after such an injury. It takes a strong mind and heart. I hope to have a good six weeks with Chong Wei before the Olympics. I think that will be enough to bring him back as a strong contender at the Games.
“I'm confident that Chong Wei's dedication and determination will see him through,” he added.
The Olympic badminton competition will begin on July 28. - thestaronline

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MAS offers no-pay leave


PETALING JAYA: To cut costs, Malaysia Airlines has offered its workforce up to two years of no-pay leave during which time they can seek employment elsewhere but not at rival companies.
Those interested have up to June 30 to apply for the voluntary leave programme announced internally on Friday via an e-mail and this option is only meant for Malaysian staff in permanent employment with the company.
“The employees are allowed to work elsewhere (subject to company approval) and still enjoy air travel benefits, (but) not at rival companies,” MAS head of human capital Zahrah Zaid said in reply to queries from The Star.
In a limbo: A file picture of Malaysia Airlines’ main ticketing office in Kuala Lumpur.
This is not the first time MAS has offered a voluntary leave programme but Zahrah could not say how many will opt for it this time round.
“The company has not targeted any specific number,” she said.
MAS has been in the red for several quarters now and it is in restructuring mode, with its workforce of 20,600 people said to be too large for its operations. The airline had in recent months shrunk its capacity by 12% but was unable to reduce its workforce due to various reasons.
However, the MAS Business Plan announced on Dec 7 last year stressed the need for a lean workforce, especially after the suspension of several passenger and cargo routes.
“Job cuts or offer of no pay leave in times of crisis is common in the aviation industry. Last week Lufthansa said it planned to slash 3,500 administrative jobs around the world, while Australia's Qantas on Monday said that it was looking at cutting 500 engineering jobs. In March, Singapore Airlines offered no-pay leave to its pilots for as long as two years.
In her e-mail on Friday, Zahrah said the voluntary leave programme allows employees to apply for further leave after the maximum two years at the discretion of the airline.
Those who accept the offer will still enjoy their sub-load or standby privilege travel on MAS, MASwings and other airlines as well as outpatient medical benefits from MAS panel clinics or government hospitals.
At the end of the leave period, “staff are welcome to return working for MAS and in this way MAS will be able to leverage on the experience of the dedicated workforce to chart its future growth,” Zahrah said.
“MAS will endeavour to assign the staff to his/her previous position subject to availability of the position or the person may be assigned to another position of the same grade/level within MAS group at the discretion of the management.” - theStaronline

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Journalists, photographers don black to show solidarity


PETALING JAYA: Hundreds of journalists and photographers showed up at press conferences and their offices dressed in black in a show of solidarity in conjunction with the World Press Freedom day Thursday.
The unprecedented move was initiated in the wake of the violence towards pressmen at Saturday's Bersih 3.0 rally.
"I am wearing black as a sign of solidarity, not just for World Press Freedom Day, but also for what happened at the rally, where many pressmen were roughed up and intimidated by the police," said Austin Camoens, a journalist at The Star.
Reporters in black attire to show solidarity during World Press Freedom Day while attending a press conference at Seri Kembangan on Thursday.
"We were on duty too," he said, adding that he hoped the police would be more understanding towards pressmen, especially those who were on duty at potentially dangerous assignments.
Vincent Boon, a journalist from a Chinese daily, donned black with a group of journalist friends although he was on vacation.
"We have never done this (wear black on World Press Freedom Day) before, but after April 28, we felt like we needed to voice out our concerns," Boon said.
"If we do not do something, there would be no pressure on the authorities," he added.
Former journalist, Asohan Aryaduray, also tweeted at @Asohan, "It's #WorldPressFreedomDay and I'm dressed in black, in mourning."
Earlier, several Chinese newspapers have printed their front pages in black in silent protest.
The editors at the papers said that they had decided to do so to remind readers and authorities of the struggles pressmen face while carrying out their duties, especially during rallies.

Nayati found safe, back with family


PETALING JAYA: Twelve-year-old Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, who was abducted while walking to his school on April 27, has been found safe and is back with the family.
He was released at a rest and recreation stop in Rawang at 7.30am Thursday.
Nayati reunited with his family
Nayati was abducted at 7.35am on April 27 while walking to his Mont Kiara International school.
Police sources said after several attempts at negotiating for the release, the boy has finally been released.
The sources said the kidnappers contacted the family shortly after he was grabbed by two men in a black car and later demanded for a ransom for his safe release.
They said after several attempts at negotiations, the kidnappers finally agreed on a substantial ransom amount which was paid to the kidnappers Thursday morning.
City police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohmad Salleh confirmed Nayati was now with his family, saying that the child was released safely and unharmed at a rest and recreation stop along the North South Expressway near Sungai Buloh at around 7.55am on Thursday.
He added that police are still investigating the kidnapping and urged the public with information on the case to call 03-2115 9999.
A dedicated Facebook page set up to find Nayati said:
To all our family/friends/supporters of Nayati.
We have got NAYATI back!!!
He is back to our arms again! Thank you all for your support! We will post soon!
Thank you - Moodliar Family

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