Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Dyana Sofya lebih baik daripada kebanyakan ahli politik - Marina Mahathir

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir (Gambar fail)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia perlu mempunyai lebih ramai ahli politik muda kerana mereka membawa idea segar, kata Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

Dalam komen di laman Facebooknya, Marina berpendapat calon DAP di Pilihan Raya Kecil Teluk Intan, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud lebih baik daripada kebanyakan ahli politik dengan kebolehan yang dimiliknya.

Katanya, beliau tidak faham kenapa banyak pihak menentang Dyana Sofya dan menganggap gadis itu sebagai terlalu mentah dan tidak berpengalaman hanya kerana calon DAP itu masih muda.

"Gadis ini sangat bijak. Beliau boleh berfikir, petah berkata-kata, dan beliau juga boleh menulis.

"Itu sudah tiga perkara, lebih baik daripada kebanyakan ahli politik," kata Marina melalui Facebook.

"Saya tidak faham mengapa ramai yang menentangnya hanya kerana beliau muda? Najib Razak (Perdana Menteri) menjadi menteri ketika berusia 26 tahun. Dyana hanya 27 tahun dan bertanding kerusi Parlimen. Kita perlu lebih ramai orang muda kerana mereka bawa idea segar," katanya.

Dyana Sofya menjadi tumpuan selepas DAP menamakannya sebagai calon untuk bertanding dalam Pilihan Raya Kecil P.046 Teluk Intan menentang calon Barisan Nasional (BN) yang juga Presiden Gerakan, Datuk Mah Siew Keong.

Ada pihak yang mengkritik tindakan DAP meletakkan graduan lulusan ijazah Sarjana Muda Undang-Undang dari Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

Dyana Sofya dianggap sebagai pengkhianat dan tidak mengenang budi kerana memilih DAP sebagai parti pilihannya.

Sementara itu The Malaysian Inisder melaporkan Marina mempersoalkan kegagalan BN melahirkan calon muda seperti yang diketengahkan oleh Pakatan Rakyat.

"Saya tidak kisah apa parti beliau (Dyana), beliau muda, perempuan dan kita jarang lihat ia berlaku. Beritahu saya siapa yang sama tarafnya dalam BN?

"Adakah kita memilikinya, atau seseorang. Saya sokong perempuan muda," Marina dipetik sebagai berkata oleh The Malaysian Insider.

- Astro Awani 

Tunku Bendahara Kedah passes away

Filepic of the late Tunku Annuar Alhaj with his wife Toh Puan Noor Suzanna Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR: His Royal Highness Dato’ Seri Utama Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, Tunku Bendahara Kedah and chairman of the Regency Council of Kedah passed away at the Pantai Hospital Ipoh at 12.20am today.

He was the younger brother of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah.

This was confirmed by a statement by Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir Wednesday morning.

The statement also announced a three-day mourning period from May 21 where all state, federal and other flags will be flown at half mast.

All forms of entertainment, gatherings and celebration are also cancelled during the mourning period.

The remains of the deceased will be buried at the Royal Mausoleum located in Langgar, Kedah after Asar prayers. - Astro Awani

Father beat daughter to death for copying

11-year-old girl in China was beaten to death by her father for copying a classmate's homework.

BEIJING: An 11-year-old girl in China was beaten to death by her father for copying a classmate's homework, state-run media said Wednesday.

The man "ordered the girl to kneel down, tied her hands and beat her", the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The father took her to hospital after she stopped breathing but she died the next day, Xinhua said.

Doctors at the hospital in Hangzhou found bruises and injuries on the girl's neck and back and signs she had been choked for as long as five minutes, the Xiandai Jinbao said.

The incident is the latest in a series of child abuse incidents in China that have drawn widespread outrage.

Earlier this month, graphic photos of a 10-year-old boy in Guangdong province who had allegedly been beaten by his step-mother went viral on Chinese social media, with many users calling for stricter laws against child abuse.

Last year, a six-year-old boy in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi was found near his home covered in blood and with his eyes removed. The boy's aunt, who was a suspect in the case, killed herself days later.

Chinese parents often put heavy pressure on their children over their schooling, and a study last week blamed the country's exam-driven education system -- where progress depends on key tests -- for the vast majority of pupil suicides.

In January last year, a student in Inner Mongolia jumped from the top of a building after learning that his test scores had dropped, the China Daily said.

Earlier this month a 13-year-old boy in Jiangsu province hanged himself after he failed to finish his homework, the newspaper added. - AFP 

Waters recede in Serbia to reveal a ghost town

Signs of near-apocalyptic devastation were everywhere. -AFP Photo

OBRENOVAC: The roar of an armoured vehicle ploughing through muddy water was the only sound on the deserted streets of Obrenovac, a Serbian town hit by some of the worst flooding of the past week.

The trucks, carrying journalists and foreign envoys, made their way past smashed and overturned cars floating along the central streets, where waters had receded but were still a metre high.

Signs of near-apocalyptic devastation were everywhere.

On the outskirts of town, teams of health experts in olive-green protective clothing were carrying out the grim task of dragging dead animals out of abandoned farmyards in a bid to prevent outbreaks of disease.

On the main street, doors forced open by the rushing tide had left whole shops drowned in dirt. The mannequins of one fashion boutique were totally submerged in grey mud.

An open-air market, its stalls underwater, had become a make-shift marina for rescue teams.

A football pitch had become a swimming pool. At its worst, the water had reached "above the goals and up to the higher rows of seats," a local policeman told AFP.

In some areas, the tops of lampposts were the only indication that a street lay somewhere beneath the stinking waters.

Obrenovac was a town of 20,000. More than half were evacuated during the four days of torrential rains.

It could be weeks before they are allowed to return. Debris must first be cleared and the town declared disease-free, health experts have warned.

'My heart broke'

Veselin Rankovic, a 78-year old farmer from a nearby village, first knew about the floods when his cows started mooing.

He fled with his family to seek shelter in Obrenovac before being evacuated to a shelter in Belgrade later that day.

"My heart broke. I left everything, my cows, pigs, dogs, chickens. But I am blessed that my family is alive," he told AFP.

The town was mostly home to working class families, and many face an anxious wait to discover how much they have lost to the rampaging waters.

Marko Obojcic, a 44-year-old carpenter, was evacuated to the capital, but has applied to return with clean-up teams soon.

"Nights were the worst. All you could hear was the howling of dogs unable to swim across the water," he said.

With temperatures rising suddenly after the worst rains in 120 years, a few dry patches had started to appear. A group of men were trying to dry their vehicles, stuck in a mud after the water receded.

"Have you brought us some food?" a shoeless woman in her 40s wearing muddy jeans shouted at reporters and foreign envoys touring the town.

But most houses and buildings were completely abandoned. Some were quit in a rush -- garage doors left open to reveal half-submerged cars inside.

In one garden, a pink tricycle awaited its young owner, probably sheltered in one of many evacuation centres hastily set up in Belgrade.

Just a few metres away, a small flock of sheep who had somehow survived the disaster, quietly and calmly grazed a patch of ground where the waters had finally drawn back. - AFP 

Robbery victim Sister Juliana Lim dies in hospital

Visitation Church on Jalan Yam Tuan in Seremban.

SEREMBAN: Sister Juliana Lim, one of the two nuns who were hurt after being attacked in a robbery at the front entrance of the Visitation Church on Jalan Yam Tuan here on Wednesday, died at 3.25pm today.

Seremban District Deputy Police Chief Supt Baharuddin Mustapha who confirmed this said Sister Juliana Lim, 69, died while being treated at the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital in Seremban.

In the 6am incident, Sister Juliana and her friend, Sister Marie Rose Teng, 79, was hurt after she was attacked with a helmet and robbed by a man at the front door of the church.

Sister Juliana suffered serious head injuries and went into a coma while Sister Marie Rose sustained minor injuries on the head.

- Bernama

'Godfather' cinematographer Willis dies at 82

In this Nov. 14, 2009 file photo, cinematographer Gordon Willis poses with his honorary Oscar in Los Angeles. - AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File

NEW YORK: Celebrated American cinematographer Gordon Willis, best known for his work on "The Godfather" trilogy and his collaboration with legendary director Woody Allen, has died. He was 82.

Nicknamed "The Prince of Darkness" for his shadowy lighting technique and nominated twice for an Oscar, he first made his reputation on Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" in 1972.

He later made eight films with Allen including "Annie Hall," "Interiors," "Manhattan," "Stardust Memories," "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy," "Zelig" and "Broadway Danny Rose."

Born in New York, Willis died in North Falmouth in Massachusetts on Sunday, said funeral home Chapman Cole and Gleason. His funeral will be held on Friday. - AFP 

World Cup: Nuns fight human trafficking during the tournament

The nuns will use social media, billboards and rallies in host cities to draw attention to the heightened risk of exploitation of sex workers and job-seekers in general.
VATICAN CITY: An international association of Catholic nuns on Tuesday launched a public awareness campaign to combat human trafficking and prostitution during the World Cup in Brazil.

The nuns will use social media, billboards and rallies in host cities to draw attention to the heightened risk of exploitation of sex workers and job-seekers in general.

"The World Cup is a unique occasion to invite everyone to reflect on the value of life," Sister Gabriella Bottani said at a press conference in the Vatican.

Bottani said her association, Talitha Kum -- a Biblical phrase meaning "Little girl, get up!" -- was also conducting training courses to spot signs of trafficking.

The clergywoman said that for previous World Cups in Germany and South Africa, the level of "exploitation" had gone up by 30 percent and 40 percent respectively.

"The majority of trafficked people in Brazil are young women from poor families with low education," she said.

The campaign "aims to inform and raise awareness among the population on possible risks and how to intervene to report possible cases," she said.

Among past and upcoming initiatives will be ads posted on the sides of buses in Manaus, a torch-lit procession in Brasilia, talks in schools in Sao Paulo and handing out pamphlets at tourist hotspots in beach resorts.

Sister Estrella Castalone said that the World Cup was bringing in many workers from neighbouring countries and from rural areas to work in bars or for delivery services.

"People who accept job offers can be tricked and become victims of different forms of exploitation," she said. - AFP 

A teacher's surprise

Suhaimi Sulaiman with his former teacher Goh Suan Poi

KUALA LUMPUR: Teachers’ Day on 16 May this year was out of the ordinary for Astro Awani Editor in Chief, Suhaimi Sulaiman, a notable Malay College Kuala Kangsar alumni with his former English teacher, Goh Suan Poi.

The last time Suhaimi met his favourite teacher was on the last day before he left the school 35 years ago.

The two were reunited, after Goh agreed to come to Kuala Lumpur to give him a surprise on the set of the Agenda Awani studio for a live telecast which formed the highlight of its Teachers’ Day celebration coverage.

Ever the thoughtful and concerned teacher, Goh dropped by a fruit stall in Tambun, Ipoh to pick up four luscious pomelos, which happened to be Suhaimi’s favourite fruit.

She must have thought that it would make for an appropriate fruity present for her star pupil - all those years ago - on the second day of his 52nd birthday, which was celebrated with great gusto by the whole Awani office the day before.

“We kept in touch on Facebook. She always gives me words of encouragement and provides feedback on Astro Awani’s output,” said Suhaimi referring to Goh who was a great mentor to the school’s debating team of which he was a key member.

“Until now I still receive lots of advice from her.”

“I just want to tell the world it was not easy to teach a class of very cheeky teenangers of Malay College, you managed them, you managed to transform them to come on in life, make something of themselves and be a power of good unto others,” said Suhaimi during the live interview at Awani.

“One thing I liked about you was your story-telling, that is why I am in the media (industry), we are storytellers. One way you controlled the class was by telling stories and the way you weaved in the subject in the syllabus. We learnt from that and we enjoyed your class, thank you so much.” he added.

“Every time I watched Astro and I see your happy face, (I would say) that’s my student, Suhaimi Sulaiman,” said Goh.

Goh,62, used to teach in Malay College Kuala Kangsar. Later she was posted to SMK Raja Chulan and St. Michael Institute, both in Ipoh.

She retired as a teacher at the age of 50, and later studied law. She is now a practising lawyer, residing in Ipoh with her family.

“Yes I am a lawyer now but I do miss teaching and being a teacher. I think having students remembering you long after, who later become your life-long friend after a while. It is very rewarding, it has nothing to do with pecuniary gain.”

“The reward in becoming a teacher is to see the boy you nurtured to be the man Suhaimi has become," she added.

- Astro Awani 

Lightning-struck MAS plane lands safely in Langkawi

MAS' aircraft were designed to withstand lightning strikes and dissipate the electrical charges through a specific system. -File Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane which experienced a lightning strike during a Kuala Lumpur-to-Langkawi flight, landed normally at the Langkawi International Airport shortly before noon on Tuesday.

MAS said the plane for flight MH1348 was then immediately inspected and was subsequently released for service.

The aircraft had taken off from the KL International Airport in Sepang at 10.55 am.

"The aircraft has arrived in Kuala Lumpur and continued its series of scheduled services without any problems," the carrier said in a statement.

It said MAS' aircraft were designed to withstand lightning strikes and dissipate the electrical charges through a specific system.

- Bernama

Why are there no big concerts in Malaysia?

One Direction will be performing in Singapore in 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR: The current ‘it’ group of the entertainment industry One Direction will once again visit the region for their Asian tour next year.

For those from a different generation, One Direction is The Beatles for teenage children of this age.

The young boys - Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan - have millions of followers all over the world. Their fans helped place 61 of their songs to the top of the popular music charts within three years.

One Direction is formed by music maestro, Simon Cowell after the group got third place in the reality TV show in Britain, The X Factor, in 2010.

This is the second time One Direction will be coming to Asia and Australia in the past two years.

In 2013, the group performed 25 concerts in major cities of Australia and New Zealand including seven nights in Melbourne on three differing dates during the first, the second and last week of October.

As the ticket were immediately sold out, the organisers had to add more dates to the concert due to its demand.

In their Take Me Home tour, One Direction had two performances in Tokyo which was their only stop in Asia. Therefore, this concert is highly anticipated by their fans.

But the story now is not on One Direction and their concert. The story is: why are international singers or groups not coming to Malaysia?

Why is Eric Clapton, Sting and Santana (to name a few) willing to fly to Singapore and other cities in Southeast Asia but not to Kuala Lumpur? Why?

What are the possible economic opportunities for hosting events like this and is the country missing out on it? 

We want to hear your views. Are you willing to travel overseas to watch your favourite artist in concert? Why?

We also want to hear how this issue can be resolved? What can the authorities do?

Share your thoughts and views in less than 200 words to Selected entries will be published online. 

- Astro Awani