Friday, August 31, 2012

13,000-strong parade for National Day

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's 55th Merdeka Day celebrations on Friday got off to a great start with some 13,000 participants from all walks of the country's multi-ethnic society, including the younger generation taking part in a parade symbolising strong national unity and harmony.
Themed '1Malaysia Janji Ditepati' (1Malaysia Promises Fulfilled), the parade began soon after Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah arrived at Dataran Merdeka here at 8am.
Spectators enjoying the National Day parade to celebrate the 55th Merdeka Day at Dataran Merdeka on Friday. - AZLINA ABDULLAH/The StarSpectators enjoying the National Day parade to celebrate the 55th Merdeka Day at Dataran Merdeka on Friday. - AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star
Their Majesties were welcomed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong then took the salute before Negaraku was played by the Royal Malay Regiment's main band.
Malaysians proudly waving the Jalur Gemilang as they celebrate the nation's 55th Merdeka Day at Dataran Merdeka on Friday. - IBRAHIM MOHTAR/The Star - 31 August, 2012
At the same time, seven Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) helicopters made a fly-past, carrying the national flag Jalur Gemilang as well as the flags of the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysian Army, Royal Malaysian Navy, RMAF, Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) while emitting red, blue and yellow smoke.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) helicopters making a fly-past during the 55th Merdeka Day celebrations at Dataran Merdeka on Friday. - AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star - 31 August, 2012
Tuanku Abdul Halim then inspected a guard-of-honour mounted by 103 members of the regiment.
This was followed by three shouts of 'Daulat Tuanku' and the hoisting of the national flag accompanied by the singing of the Negaraku, followed by a 14-gun salute. - Bernama

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Malaysian creates history during Raya

PETALING JAYA: Missing this year’s Hari Raya celebrations at home was hard but proved worthwhile when Rizal Ashram Ramli became the first Malaysian to win two races in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia championship.
The racecar driver from Malaysia’s first homegrown team – Lambor­ghini Kuala Lumpur JH Italia – beat 18 other “raging bulls” from around Asia to win the races in Ordos, China, on Aug 18 and 19.
“This is not the first time I’ve missed Hari Raya with my family,” Rizal said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Proud moment: Rizal lifting his trophy after winning two races at the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia championship in Ordos, China.Proud moment: Rizal lifting his trophy after winning two races at the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia championship in Ordos, China.
“However, this is the first time I do not feel so bad about being away from home.”
Rizal, 36, who is married to actress Fasha Sandha, had often been away during the festivities when he was studying in England and the United States.
“I called my family from Ordos immediately after winning,” he said. “They were even more delighted than me.”
The championship, a one-make series which debuted in Asia this year, made its first round in Sepang International Circuit in May.
Despite not finishing the Sepang races, Rizal finished second in the second run at the Fuji Speedway in Japan last month.
All revved up: Rizal standing next to his specially-designed Lamborghini Super Trofeo racecar.All revved up: Rizal standing next to his specially-designed Lamborghini Super Trofeo racecar.
“Racing in Ordos was less stressful due to the cool weather.
“In Sepang, it was so hot that the temperature rose to 64°C inside the car. Luckily I had a cooling suit!”
For the championship, he drives the specially-designed Lamborghini Super Trofeo car – a lightweight version of the brand’s famed Gallardo LP560-4 model.
Rizal said Fasha “is my greatest supporter”, adding that she attended his first two races.
“She had to remain in Malaysia for Raya, but if it were on any other day she would have been there for me,” he said.
The racer is now looking to maintain his performance for the remaining three rounds in Guangdong and Shanghai, China.
The championship had a successful three-year run in Europe and its Asian debut has six runs, with the grand finale in November. - theStarOnline

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cops nab babysitter who left baby alone in flat that caught fire

GEORGE TOWN: Police have arrested a babysitter, who left a six-month-old boy alone in a flat that later caught fire and caused the baby 70% burns, has been arrested by the police.
G. Saroja, 48, was picked up by the police at about 3pm on Monday at Bagan Dalam.
North Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Abd Rahman Ibrahim said Tuesday that Saroja would be remanded until Wednesday pending investigations under Section 3 (1) of the Child Act 2001.
He said police arrested her on Monday, almost a week after Aug 15 when baby Y. Meysshvin, who was left alone in the flat in Mak Mandin, suffered burns after the flat caught fire at about 10.30am that day.
It was reported that Saroja had left the baby to go to the market.
Meysshvin was saved by a neighbour J. P. Supermaniam, 60, who risked his life by rushing into the burning flat to rescue the crying baby.
Meysshvin's mother Ranjeeta Kaur, 28, said the condition of her baby, who is currently admitted at the Penang Hospital's paediatric intensive care unit, was improving a bit with his kidneys and liver condition getting better.
“However, we're worried because some of his fingers and toes are turning black and doctors also said they will check his lungs for any inflammation,” she said.
Ranjeeta Kaur added that if Meysshvin's condition continued to improve, doctors are scheduled to conduct surgery on his skin next week. - theStarOnline

Flash floods in Klang

Flash floods hit Klang

KAPAR: A heavy downpour, which lasted for almost two hours early in the morning caused flash floods at several areas here.
The flash floods, that hit Klang frequently after rain in certain parts of the town, has caused many affected residents to fume against Klang Municipal Council (MPK).
Residents in areas such as Batu Belah, Sungai Pinang and Klang Utara said the council had done nothing to ensure their areas become free of floods.
According to a Batu Belah resident, who declined to be named, water entered his convenience store and destroyed goods worth more than RM800.
"It is just so frustrating to see this sort of things happening. I want MPK to do something about this and make sure flooding happens again," he said.
MPK councillor Lee Sack Chuan, who met the affected residents, asked them to fill a form identifying flood-prone areas and submitting them to the council for mitigation works to take place.
"MPK will take a look at the forms and decide on the next course of action," he said.
It is learnt that the areas were flooded due to the closed tidal gate in the area. - theStarOnline

A baby girl tops Siti and hubby’s wishlist

KUALA LUMPUR: A daughter is high on the wishlist of songstress Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin and her husband Datuk Seri Khalid Muhammad Jiwa.
Siti and Khalid, better known as Datuk K, have been trying to conceive a child throughout their six years of marriage, but have had no luck so far.
“Let us pray that we will have a child soon,” said Khalid, 52, in answering the perennial question on adding a new member to their family.
One for the album: Siti (left) and Khalid (second from left) greeting guests and posing for pictures with them during their Hari Raya open house.One for the album: Siti (left) and Khalid (second from left) greeting guests and posing for pictures with them during their Hari Raya open house.
“Datuk K already has four boys. If we have a choice, we would like to have a girl,” added Siti, 33, in the midst of entertaining guests at their Hari Raya open house.
The open house was held in conjunction with their sixth wedding anniversary today.
On whether the couple achieved any milestone so far, Khalid said they were just happy to be together.
“We have been very blessed in our six years of marriage, travelling and doing things together,” Siti said. “We complete each other.”
Khalid then quashed talks that he was planning to take a second wife, explaining that he had never met the purported person or spoken with her.
“People create anything they like to make some news out of it, and news sells,” said Khalid. - theStarOnline

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Norish Karman: Only God can judge me

Has she? Didn't she? These are the "birther issue" questions still surrounding Singapore-born actress Norish Karman over rumours that she had a child out of wedlock last year. But the 36-year-old mum of three is a master of keeping suspense alive—by skirting the matter and never giving a direct answer.
At a recent Astro buka puasa event, Daily Chilli ran into the gorgeous Datin and asked her point blank if she did have another kid, to which she cheekily replied, "Really? Did I?" Then all calm and matter-of-factly she added, "What I do in my personal life is between me and God."
She may have gotten use to the talk. When tales of her alleged pregnancy surfaced last year, she called the media reports "unethical" and "insensitive", owing to that she was already a mum to two boys and a girl—Haqiem Armany Muhammad, 13; Muhammad Hardy Amieran, nine; and Amanda Hany, eight.
"I consider these allegations wild, extreme, unethical and unfair to me and the children," she told MStar then. "It's sad when I need to explain to my children that the story is false. Fortunately my children are very understanding."
There was also gossip that she skipped off to Bali to have the child. But she said, "I didn't disappear. I've been at the malls. I've been making cookies and talking orders for hampers. I've been giving talks to companies about social etiquette and parenting."
Having been in the public eye since 1995, after playing a dancer in the period movieSayang Salmah, Norish has accepted that the rumour mill and gossip mongering are occupational hazards. "I'm a mother and daughter, first and foremost," she said.
Norish, who is of Arab-Indonesian descent, was married for 10 years to Datuk Hashimuddin Abdul Kadir, a former member of Negeri Sembilan's Seri Menanti Legislative Assembly. They divorced in 2008, and there's been no announcement on whether Norish has remarried.
She also released her debut music album, Terus Melangkah, last year. Watch Norish Karman address those persistent "who's the baby daddy" rumours below.
Published: 7th August 2012 - DailyChilli

Namewee threatens Lin Dan on YouTube

Chong Wei received a hero's welcome when he returned from London.
Chong Wei received a hero's welcome when he returned from London.

Passions are still riding high for Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei, so much so that two very different public personalities, a politician and a notorious filmmaker, have found themselves at both ends of a stink.
Lee Chong Wei has been forced to issue an apology to the Chinese for a video post on YouTube by controversial filmmaker Namewee. In the four-and-a-half minute clip, Namewee begins by singing a sad song sympathising with Chong Wei, but ends the video by criticising Lin Dan with a string of profanities and threatening to beat up the athlete.
Namewee's Mandarin song also made thinly veiled references to the Prime Minister's wife, who was in London for the Olympics. But bearing the brunt of his putdown was Lin Dan, who Namewee belittled with a series of vulgarities before warning him not to set foot in Malaysia unless he wanted to get whacked.
The homemade video was posted on Monday, the morning after Chong Wei was defeated by his long-time rival, the world number one and two-time Olympic gold winner Lin Dan, in the men's singles badminton final at the London Games.
Local media may have missed the video but China's press caught wind of it and, as expected, Namewee's little stunt attracted a flood of fuming comments from both the Chinese and Malaysians.
Some of the posts on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter labelled Namewee "brainless" and "a shame to the country". There were also suggestions that the video was a "cheap publicity stunt" for his latest movie, Hantu Gangster.
Namewee vs Lin Dan, who would win a fist fight? Put your money, place your bet.
Namewee vs Lin Dan, who would win a fist fight? Put your money, place your bet.
One comment said, "There must be a winner and a loser in a competition. Please respect every athlete. Lee Chong Wei is your hero. Lin Dan is our hero." Another read, "Both players are great. Do you know more than 114,000 Chinese responded to Lee's Weibo post to cheer for him after he lost?"
On Thursday, Chong Wei had to finally take to China's social networking site Weibo to send his regrets about the controversy. "I'm sorry about that song. I don't know about it. I want to say sorry to everyone. I hope the Chinese badminton fans understand," he wrote.
In the clip, Namewee begins with a dedication to Chong Wei. "Today, an incident that made the whole country sad but also proud of took place. I wish to write a song for Lee and hope he won't be too sad. And that Lin [expletive] rambu-Dan, I've had enough of you!"
The song lyrics then go: "Learned that you love my movies/ Secretly watched Nasi Lemak 2.0 alone/ Hantu Gangster is about to open/ Sincerely inviting you to the premier/ But heard you're in London now and can't attend/ Never mind, it's more important to fight for the country."
"When I turn on RTM1/ Saw you fighting hard for the motherland/ Won the first round easily/ Everyone's happy, but in the second round/ That stupid [expletive] from China was so powerful/ As though he was on dope/ Driving you off to the bottom of the ravine/ And running out of steam just like that."
"Although you have lost and tears have gone dry/ The whole of Malaysia is sad for you/ Even the fat woman is sobbing/ Although you've been defeated, don't cry anymore/ I promise to watch my movie with you/ When you come back and let you laugh to satisfaction."
"Although we don't have an extra holiday/ Or free branded ice-cream/ You're the hero of Malaysia/ No matter who win or lose/ We all love you."
At the end of the video, Namewee switches to his native Hokkien dialect for a rant aimed squarely at Lin Dan. "Tell him to go home. Don't be so cocky. You don't come to Malaysia to play. I see you one time, I beat you up one time," he yells directly into the camera.
Namewee has since put out his own apology for the song, posting a message on Facebook saying, "I'm here to openly apologise to the world for insulting Lin Dan in the video. I made the clip merely to invite Lee to watch my film, but made a big mistake by verbally attacking Lin. I'm very sorry about it."
He added, "I don't beg for forgiveness from all of you. I just hope that this incident won't affect the image of Malaysia. Malaysians are kind-hearted, generous and easy-going, totally the opposite of me. I take full responsibility for my action. Lastly I apologise again to Chinese player Lin Dan, Malaysians, the Chinese people, the world and Lee."
A snapshot of Manoharan's Twitter account.
A snapshot of Manoharan's Twitter account.
Meanwhile, DAP and Kota Alam Shah state assemblyman M. Manoharan was forced to apologise as well after he sent several tweets knocking Chong Wei for losing his second gold medal in a row at the Olympics—and promising that we would triumph at the next meet if his political party won the next election.
"If Chong Wei played better than Lin Dan, why didn't he win? We must be firm with our players so that we can see a gold one day," he wrote in one tweet. "Pakatan has a very capable sports minister in waiting. Give Pakatan to rule Putrajaya to bring in the Gold in next Olympics," he added.
Following public outrage at his comments against the national hero, even his own party took him to task for his statements, ultimately forcing him to say sorry.
Published: 10th August 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Selection not based on Pan-Asian looks, say local beauty pageant finalists

PETALING JAYA: It's about talent, confidence and ability to represent the country and not the colour of skin, say local beauty pageant finalists.
Miss World Malaysia 2011 finalist Jessica Fang, 23, said pageant selections are based on the contestants' Malaysian spirit rather than Pan-Asian looks.
“The crown goes to whoever can best portray significant knowledge of Malaysia, its culture and people.
“Contestants from white or mixed backgrounds may have a better command of English, giving them an edge over those who are less fluent and lack a Western accent.
“It is their right to take part in beauty pageants. They are capable of representing Malaysia if they can identify with local culture and are clear about their identity as Malaysians,” she said.
No one can define what a Malaysian should look like. Kimberley (Leggett) really is capable of representing the country. - Sugeeta Chandran
No one can define what a Malaysian should look like. Kimberley (Leggett) really is capable of representing the country. - Sugeeta Chandran
US-based International Business Times (IBTimes) recently carried an article titled: “The Politics Of Beauty: Is Malaysia's Miss Universe Contestant Too White?”
Among other things, the writer wrote: “Caucasians do not make up one of Malaysia's dominant ethnic groups. Not by a long shot.
“That (Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley) Leggett's heritage is 75% white raises interesting questions about Malaysian standards of beauty. Are Western norms changing the game?
Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (Mumo) national director Andrea Fonseka responded to the article on Friday by saying that the writer should have defined the “Malaysian look” mentioned to justify it, adding there was only “Malaysian beauty”.
Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 finalist Sugeeta Chandran (pic), described Penangite Legget as “a true-blue Malaysian”.
“People say the best things in Malaysia can be found in Penang, and this is true for Kimberley.
“She is a friendly local girl who often uses lah' in conversations, and even talks in Bahasa Malaysia,” she said.
Sugeeta, 23, said she did not feel intimidated in the contest with Leggett despite murmurs among her friends that an Eurasian was likely to win.
“No one can define what a Malaysian should look like. Kimberley really is capable of representing the country,” she said.
Mass communication student K.J. Ong, 20, said contestants of mixed Eurasian parentage should not have their “Malaysianness” questioned just because they had Western parentage.
“It should not be an issue if they won fair and square.
“The purpose of the pageant is to select the best candidate to represent us,” she said, adding that the essence of beauty was reflected in one's confidence.
Magazine writer Patrick Loh, 23, said a contestant was beautiful regardless of race or skin colour, adding that winners should be picked on talent.
“It is important that she has lived long enough in this country to be a Malaysian in spirit and not just in name,” he said.
Trainer Webster Ku, 27, said that while Miss Universe contestants had to meet certain physical criteria, it was important that they also balanced it with an understanding of local culture.
“It is not about having darker skin or being raised in Malaysia, it's about living the Malaysian attitude.
“For me, what defines the Malaysian beauty is how her smile makes us want to smile back,” he said. - theStarOnline

Chong Wei forced to settle for silver by Lin Dan


LONDON: Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s Olympics gold medal hopes have once again been dashed by China’s Lin Dan.
The Malaysian ace put up a brave fight but lost 21-15, 10-21, 19-21 to his arch nemesis in the men’s singles badminton final of the London Olympics at the Wembley Arena here on Sunday.
The first set was a close contest with neither player being able to pull ahead, with the score at 3-2, 5-5, and 9-8 before Chong Wei went into the first set breather 11-8 ahead.
The Malaysian then led 13-10, 16-11, and pulled ahead 19-13. Lin Dan, however, was not about to give in. He narrowed the score to 19-15 before Chong Wei sealed the set 21-15 in 26 minutes.
Chong Wei, however, was always on the back foot in the second set. Lin Dan was 11-7 ahead half way through the set before racing ahead 17-8 and 19-10 before winning 21-10 in 20 minutes to force the rubber.
The decider was a nail-biting affair. Both players gave it their all and the score line showed how evenly matched they were. Both were tied at 3-3, 5-5, 8-8 and 9-9 before Lin Dan went ahead 11-9 after 14 minutes.
It was again very close after that with Chong Wei clawing back to lead at 14-13 before Lin Dan drew level at 15-15.
Chong Wei then went ahead 17-16 and 19-18 before the Chinese ace drew level at 19-19. But this was as far as the Malaysian would go as Lin Dan sealed victory at 21-19 in 28 minutes.
This is the second time Chong Wei has lost to Lin Dan in the clash for the Olympics gold medal. In the men’s singles final in the 2008 Beijing Games, Chong Wei lost 12-21, 8-21 to the Chinese ace. - thestaronline

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