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JANUARY 6, 2015
page 02
page 23
1MDB CEO quits, ex-banker
takes over
page 15
Upset over sudden switch to
online transactions which cost
RM38 per application
[email protected]
Employers are up in
arms over the
I m m i g r a t i o n
Department’s implementation of
the new online system for
Foreign Workers Permit (PLKS)
through MyEG, for which they
have to pay RM38 per
Many who went to
immigration offices yesterday
found that counters handling
PLKS were closed with a notice
telling them to apply online
Apparently, the immigration
department had issued a
statement on Friday to announce
the closure of the counters and
the introduction of the new
In the statement, Immigration
Director-General Datuk Mustafa
Ibrahim said the online system is
aimed at reducing congestion at
immigration counters which deal
with foreign workers and to
prevent employers from using
However, many interviewed
by theSun said they were not
even aware of the switch until
they saw the notices at the
department’s offices.
“Imagine the shock we had
when we came today and saw the
counters for foreign workers
PARENTS’ ANGUISH ... Tan Chin Hin, the father of Shanghai stampede victim Tan
Wei, holds a portrait of her while being accompanied by his wife Lee Siew Yan upon arrival
yesterday at the KL International Airport from Shanghai to bring home the victim’s body. In
the New Year Eve celebration at Shanghai’s Bund tourist strip, Tan Wei, a university student in
Hangzhou, in China’s Zhejiang province, was killed while another Malaysian student was injured in
the stampede which took 36 lives. REPORT ON PAGE 09
Monk loses
cool over bad
airline service
Flood insurance
payout assured
Next Gen
No. 6201 PP 2644/12/2012 (031195)
WASHINGTON: Monks are not known
to make a fuss. But one holy man could
not keep calm when dealing with United
Airlines customer services to rebook a
While Brother Noah’s retort to an
airline employee of: “Thank you for
speaking. God bless you. I will pray for
you. But you have not been helpful” may
not sound too daring, he told the New
York Times (NYT) his tone “manifested
Brother John Baptist of the Monastery
of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico
travelled to Malawi in November to
visit his sick mother on a return ticket
bought for US$2,489 (RM8,710).
After meeting with his mother, he
asked Brother Noah at his monastery to
call the airline to change his return flight
as he needed to stay longer, the NYT
Brother Noah called United only to
be told that it would not be possible to
rebook the return flight because it was
believed the purchase was fraudulent,
even though Brother John had already
used the outbound part of his ticket.
The representative suggested he
should drive to one of the airline’s offices three hours away to resolve the issue.
At this point the monk demanded to
speak to a supervisor, but despite being
put through to “Mark”, Brother Noah
was unable to arrange a new flight.
“I really struggled to remain calm and
charitable. My monastic life is about
staying peaceful in all circumstances. I
failed during this call,” he said.
In an attempt to right the wrong,
Abbot Philip posted a letter on the
monastery’s website asking for help.
“Please help, if you can. Love and
prayers to you,” he wrote.
It seems the letter produced the desired results after being read by someone
with influence at United, the monastery
received an apology, a new return flight
and US$350 towards future travel. – The
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Waive visas for
China tourists
> Easier travel can benefit
both countries, govt told
[email protected]
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should
exempt China nationals from visa
requirement if it does not wish to lose
out in the tourism sector.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow
Tiong Lai said the government is
looking into the proposal for visa
exemption for tourists from China.
“We hope the government can study
this quickly, and (waive) visas for
businessmen and tourists from China
coming into our country,” he said at a
press conference here yesterday.
Liow, who is also transport minister,
said the government will need to look
into the global situation in exempting
visas for China nationals.
It was reported that from January
2015, Indonesia has waived visa
requirements for tourists entering into
the country from this year onwards –
including those from China – as part of
the country’s “quick-win programmes
to boost arrivals to Indonesia and
achieve 20 million arrivals by 2019”.
Last November, Tourism and
Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed
Nazri Abdul Aziz had agreed that visa
exemption should be granted to China
tourists in order to meet the target of
29.4 million tourist arrivals this year.
Malaysian Association of Tour and
Travel Agents president Hamzah
Put aside
differences, MIC
leaders told
[email protected]
KUALA LUMPUR: MIC division and
branch leaders have been told to put
aside their differences and work
together with the current leadership
or see their party de-registered by the
Registrar of Societies (ROS).
Former party treasurer-general
Senator Datuk Jaspal Singh said party
leaders and members should
seriously look into this as under the
Societies Act 1966, the ROS has the
power to serve notice to a society to
resolve its internal disputes.
The call comes in the wake of a
decision by the ROS on Dec 5 to
nullify the election of three vicepresidents and 23 members of the
central working committee at the
party elections on Nov 30, 2013.
ROS had recommended that reelections be held for the posts within
90 days, following alleged
irregularities and breach of the party’s
constitution and the Societies Act.
“Failure to comply with this notice
within the stipulated time may cause
the ROS to invoke clause 13 of the Act,
which may cancel MIC’s registration
as a political party,” Jaspal said at a
press conference at the MIC
headquarters here yesterday.
Jaspal is a member of the fivepanel special committee entrusted
with the task of resolving the internal
squabbles with regard to the position
of some of the office-bearers.
“MIC’s position as the only Indian
party in Barisan Nasional is now
under threat where it is perceived to
be weak,” he said.
Rahmat has pledged full support for
Mohamed Nazri’s call to woo back
China tourists.
“This year, many China tourists will
be heading to Vietnam, Laos,
Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand
and Indonesia where visas are not
required or fees waived,” he said in a
Hamzah added that in 2013, Thailand
leapfrogged Malaysia by increasing the
number of tourists from 22.4 million to
26.5 million, a growth of 18.8% due to
the visa waiver. Malaysia, on the other
hand, registered a 2.7% increase, from
25 million to 25.7million.
“The removal of visa will boost the
number of visitors (coming to our
country),” he said.
Hamzah added that Malaysia should
gear up for MyFest 2015 to catch up
with our neighbours.
In GEORGE TOWN, the Penang
Chinese Chambers of Commerce
chairman Datuk Seri Choot Ewe Seng
also urged the government to make it
easier for China nationals to visit
Malaysia, saying easier access could
enhance bilateral trade.
Noting that both countries had more
than 40 years of diplomatic ties, he said
Putrajaya and Beijing should come to
an agreement for easier travel
arrangement between the two nations.
“Making travel easier can benefit
both,” he told theSun.
Meanwhile, echoing Choot’s call
was Penang Tourism Development
Committee chairman Danny Law who
said Malaysia stands to benefit from
increased tourism revenue.
A group of employers waiting for their turn to renew permits for their foreign workers at
the Damansara Immigration Department in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
�Online system burden to employers’
closed and being informed
that we have to do the new
and renewal applications
online,” said a restaurant
owner, who wished to be
identified only as Ibrahim.
He said while the online
application may ease the
congestion at the department,
making employers pay RM38
per application is ridiculous.
A businessman, Rafiq,
when met at the Damansara
Immigration Department, said
he was sceptical about the
online system as not much
information has been
“I am concerned as many of
us depend on foreign labour.
The department should have
briefed employers on the new
system instead of just
implementing it,” he said.
Malaysian Employers
Federation executive director
Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan
said the online application
system is a burden to
“Doing online application
means it is done by employers
directly whereas when it is
done manually, they can seek
the assistance of various
immigration agencies.”
reports that in Butterworth,
some employers are
responding positively to
online service.
Factory owner Lee Lim
Seng, 50, lauded the move as
renewing the permits for his
workers online means he does
not have to join long queues at
immigration offices anymore.
Businesswoman Asliza
Abd Jalil, 51, was however
worried that the move might
be difficult for those who are
not internet-savvy.
Flood insurance payout assured
[email protected]
Insurance Association of Malaysia
(PIAM) has given an assurance
that insurance firms will pay
compensation for flood claims
filed even if a state of emergency is
PIAM said in a statement that
its members are ready to pay out
claims against losses caused by the
current floods if the victims have
bought flood cover as part of their
general insurance policy.
They will process all flood
claims so long as the flood was an
insured peril, regardless of
whether a state of emergency is
declared or not, it added.
“All policyholders, both
businesses and individuals, located
in flood-stricken areas are advised
to check their fire and motor
policies to determine whether
they are covered for loss or
damage resulting from floods,” the
statement said.
Bernama quoted Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul
Razak as announcing on Dec 27,
last year that it was unnecessary
for the federal government to
declare a state of emergency for
Kelantan, after taking into
consideration the implications.
“If the government announces
an emergency, the implications
that will arise include insurance
companies being absolved from
paying compensation… and
compensation arising from
damage to properties and vehicles
is enormous.”
Meanwhile, an insurance agent
Mahmud Kamarizuan said
policyholders can claim
compensation even if an
emergency is declared.
“Policyholders, especially those
living in flood-prone areas,
normally seek coverage for
disasters such as flood,” he added.
servants will get their
bonus and government
retirees their RM250 aid as
early as Jan 15 to help the
flood victims. Second
Finance Minister Datuk Seri
Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah
said in a statement the
bonus and the aid, which
was announced by Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib
Abdul Razak in Budget
2015, are scheduled to be
paid in the January payroll.
However, considering the
plight of the flood victims,
the government has
agreed to expedite the
Perak police chief
Datuk Osman
Salleh paid a
courtesy call on
Mentri Besar Datuk
Seri Dr Zambry Abd
Kadir at his office
in Ipoh yesterday.
Osman took over as
the state’s top cop
on Dec 23.
70 volunteers from the
Squad 1Malaysia and
National Anti-Drug Agency
left for Kelantan yesterday
on a mission to help victims
in their post-flood relief
programme. Agency
director-general Datuk
Suhaimi Abdullah said the
mission is to help lighten
the burden of those
affected by the floods.
“The volunteers will help
with the clean-up
operations as well as
distribute daily
necessities,” he told
reporters after flagging off
the convoy at the agency’s
Federal Territory’s office at
Menara Mara here
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
> Party’s �Crisis Relief
Squad’ collects RM710,000
in cash and kind in one day
[email protected]
Tan (centre) looking at donated school uniforms with Liow (right) while (from left) MCA vicepresident Datuk Lee Chee Leong and treasurer-general Datuk Lua Choon Hann look on.
KUALA LUMPUR: MCA has collected
RM2.26 million in cash and kind since last
year to help victims of the east coast floods.
Yesterday, the Crisis Relief Squad of
MCA (CRSM) collected RM365,000 in
funds and RM345,000 worth of goods,
including food, drinking water, school
uniforms, clothes and diapers.
The single largest donation came from
the Berjaya Group of Companies when its
chief executive officer Datuk Seri Robin
Tan presented a contribution of
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong
Lai said some 550 volunteers from the party
have come forward for the first phase of
relief efforts, which include distribution of
food and aid.
“We are expecting some 1,000
volunteers in the second phase of the relief
work, which involves rebuilding houses for
the victims,” he said.
Liow, who is also transport minister,
encouraged the public to volunteer to help
these victims rebuild their houses, and
provide assistance for students before the
school term begins.
“I would like to also thank CRSM and the
MCA divisions which have come forward
and opened up their service centres for the
flood victims,” he told a press conference
yesterday after a cheque presentation
ceremony at Wisma MCA.
Others present at the event were MCA
deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong,
secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka
Chuan, vice-president Datin Paduka Chew
Mei Fun and Youth chief Chong Sin Woon.
At the same event, Wee, who is also
minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department, told reporters that he had
instructed the Village Security and
Development Committees (JKKK) heads to
assess the damage sustained by Chinese
new villages in the flood-stricken states.
“There are some 600 new villages
affected by the floods, and I have asked the
JKKK heads to check on these villages,” he
said, adding that a plan will be drawn up
once he receives more information.
MCA raises RM2.2m for victims
Najib stricken with E. coli
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul
Razak, who has been making
visits to flood-affected areas in
the country, is down with E.coli
(Escherichia coli) infection,
according to a tweet by the
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
In the message, PMO said
doctors who diagnosed and
treated the prime minister have
advised him to rest.
“The prime minister will
resume his duties soon,” it said.
Najib said via his official
Twitter account @NajibRazak
that he would continue to
monitor the flood situation from
his residence.
E. coli can result in diarrhoea,
vomiting, fever and dehydration
while severe dehydration,
especially among children, can
result in death. Najib had
recently visited flood victims in
Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang
and Perak. – Bernama
Water supply resumes in
Kelantan, Pahang
Muhyiddin posing with post-flood relief volunteers at Dataran Masjid Putrajaya yesterday.
Rush to get schools ready for classes
[email protected]
PUTRAJAYA: The Education
Ministry aims to repair all schools
damaged in the recent floods as soon
as possible so that the new school
year can begin next week.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri
Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also
education minister, said this
yesterday after sending off 120
volunteers from the education
ministry, state education department
and a university to Gua Musang to
assist in post-flood relief operations.
A total of 3,521 volunteers have
been deployed to Gua Musang,
Kuala Krai and Pasir Mas in
Muhyiddin said the mandate for
the volunteers was to get the schools
cleaned and restored before the
schooling year starts next week.
He said the task of restoring the
schools is critical because further
delays will be detrimental to the
schooling schedule for the year.
Muhyiddin has also instructed his
ministry to hasten the replacement
of classroom furniture and
equipment that were damaged.
He also announced that the
ministry has decided to let children
attend school in normal attire until
they can procure new uniforms.
The Prime Minister’s Office Club
also sent 1,500 volunteers to
Kelantan, to clean up government
premises such as hospitals and
The Prime Minister’s Department
Strategic Planning Department
director Datuk Shahlan Ismail said
this will allow essential government
services to resume operations.
Shahlan, who is also mission
coordinator, said the group will be
cleaning up affected areas in Kota
Baru, Tumpat and Pasir Mas, while
arrangements had already been
made for the mission to go to Tanah
Merah, Gua Musang and Kuala Krai.
Meanwhile, Tanjong Wahyu Sdn
Bhd and Pan Asiatic Technology
contributed RM1 million and
RM200,000 respectively to flood
relief efforts, while the Federal
Territories Islamic Religious
Department and the Malaysian
Community Society Acheh also
contributed RM200,000 each.
Firm donates equipment for clean-up works
SUBANG JAYA: An aviation services
company yesterday donated 30 units
of water jet pumps, costing
RM70,000, to the police for
distribution to flood-hit states
including Kelantan, Terengganu,
Pahang and Perak.
“The water jet pump is very
important during the post-flood
phase due to the amount of cleaning
work that needs to be done,” said
Police Management Department
director Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi
Harun at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah
Airport in Subang Jaya.
He received the equipment from
Redland Aviation Services Sdn Bhd
executive managing director Datuk
Ismail Hassan.
Mohamad Fuzi said that as of Jan
2, 1,422 policemen were affected by
the floods.
“Some of them are still at flood
relief centres and others have gone
back to their houses,” he added.
He said 10,000 policemen have
been deployed to help flood victims
and to prevent looting of houses or
other premises that have been
Mohamad Fuzi added that 123,000
police officers, as well as civilian
staff, have decided to donate part of
their salary to help their colleagues
affected by the floods.
He said although they currently
have a welfare fund, the available
amount is insufficient to help the
flood victims.
[email protected]
PETALING JAYA: Water supply
in Kelantan and Pahang is
returning to normal as most of
the water treatment plants in
both states have resumed
In a statement yesterday, the
National Water Services
Commission (SPAN) said there
were still some plants not in
operation due to technical
issues or power supply
As of yesterday morning, it
said only nine of the 24 plants
affected in Kelantan had yet to
be fully operational.
Five of them have yet to
receive normal power supply
while the other four are having
technical problems caused by
the floods. A plant in Merbau
Condong, in the Machang
district, is currently semioperational, the statement said.
In Pahang, only five of the 21
affected plants are yet to be
fully functional.
SPAN said Tenaga Nasional
Berhad (TNB) is trying to repair
the substations that distribute
electricity to the affected plants
while TNB mobile power
generators have been sent to
some of the plants.
It also said the nine water
operators in the other states
that are not severely affected by
the floods have assisted Air
Kelantan Sdn Bhd (AKSB) in
efforts to repair the plants and
the distribution systems as well
as provide water supply to
consumers in Kelantan.
The assistance included
sending 292 personnel,
comprising engineers, assistant
engineers, technicians, drivers
and general workers to help
with the water distribution
work through water tankers,
fixing of mechanical and
electrical equipment, repair
works on building structures
and cleaning the plants that
were damaged, SPAN said.
It added that 22 water tankers
were deployed to assist the
existing eight AKSB water
tankers with distribution to
critical premises such as
hospitals and domestic users in
Risk of flood-related diseases
Ministry director-general Datuk
Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah
yesterday stressed the
importance of personal hygiene
and cleanliness of the
surrounding environment,
especially in flood-stricken
areas, to prevent infectious
diseases such as food poisoning,
diarrhoea and leptospirosis.
He advised people to wash
their hands before meals, drink
only boiled or bottled water and
not to eat raw vegetables or play
in flood waters.
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Search for bodies, wreckage expanded
teams expanded their search in the
Java Sea yesterday as they raced to
find bodies and wreckage from
AirAsia Flight QZ8501, which
authorities fear have drifted in
rough weather that has hampered
operations over the past week.
As the massive relief effort
entered its ninth day, officials were
hopeful for a break in poor
conditions to send divers down to
the area where large parts of the
crashed Airbus A320-200 have
been found.
Only 34 bodies have so far been
recovered from the disaster scene,
and there is no sign yet of the
“black box” flight data recorders,
which are key to determining the
cause of the incident on Dec 28 last
A total of 162 people were on
board when the plane crashed into
the sea during a storm, en route
from Surabaya to Singapore.
“Hopefully the weather is good
today (Monday) so that the ROVs
(remotely-operated underwater
vehicles) and other instruments
can be used and our divers can go
to the seabed again,” search and
rescue official S. B. Supriyadi said
He said he was hopeful they can
find “all the parts” of the aircraft
and get its exact coordinates
Recovery crew members,
nonetheless, made some progress
on Sunday, retrieving four more
bodies and locating a fifth large
chunk of the plane.
Supriyadi said the search
expanded eastwards yesterday on
suspicions that strong currents are
causing parts of the plane to drift. –
Plane’s tail may
have been located
> Black box housed in this part of the aircraft
objects pinpointed by search
vessels over the weekend.
Indonesia’s meteorological
agency has said seasonal tropical
storms probably contributed to the
Dec 28 crash and the weather has
persistently hampered efforts to
recover bodies and find the cockpit
voice and flight data recorders that
should explain why the plane
crashed into the sea.
The recorders are housed in the
tail section of the Airbus, making
retrieval of that part of the aircraft
crucial. “I am not saying it’s the tail
yet,” the head of Indonesia’s search
and rescue agency, Fransiskus
Bambang Soelistyo said. “Now we
are trying to confirm it.”
Meanwhile, in KUALA
reports that Malaysians have been
told to keep calm and not speculate
on whether the flight’s approval
was given to the ill-fated Flight
Transport Minister Datuk Seri
Liow Tiong Lai said Indonesian
authorities have set up a team to
investigate the matter.
[email protected]
PETALING JAYA: An aviation
safety manager yesterday said
“icing” may corrupt and disturb air
flow to engines, plane fuselage,
wings or tail and possibly lead to an
“All large aircraft that fly at high
altitudes have an ice protection
system but when it fails, �icing’ may
occur,” aviation firm ADMAL Sdn
Bhd safety manager Lokman Haikal
Shaari said when contacted by
An ice-protection system
provides anti-icing capabilities to
prevent the formation of ice or deicing to remove ice built up from
aero surfaces. The system is
designed to keep ice from amassing
on aircraft surfaces while flying.
Among reasons for the system’s
failure, he added, are bad weather
conditions and lightning strikes.
Safety briefings
JAKARTA: An Indonesian naval
patrol vessel has found what could
be the tail of a crashed AirAsia
passenger jet, the section where the
crucial black box voice and flight
data recorders are located, officials
said yesterday.
News of the possible
breakthrough came as the transport
ministry here said some officials on
duty at the time of the accident will
be moved to other roles.
Ships and aircraft scouring the
northern Java Sea for debris and
bodies from the Airbus A320-200
have widened their search after
Flight QZ8501 plunged into the
water en route from Surabaya to
Singapore with 162 people on
“We found what has a high
probability of being the tail of the
plane,” said Yayan Sofyan, captain
of the patrol vessel, reported
He was speaking after his ship
returned to the port in Surabaya
yesterday, and it was not
immediately clear if he was
referring to one of the five large
�Icing could cause
engine damage’
The body of an AirAsia QZ8501 passenger being put on a stretcher
after it was transported by a helicopter at Pangkalan Bun yesterday.
“Let us wait for the report to be
completed so that we know the real
“Do not speculate, just wait for
the outcome,” he told a press
conference here yesterday.
It was reported, while the
Indonesians did not give
permission for the AirAsia plane to
fly on Dec 28, the Singapore
authorities said approval was given
to the Singapore-Surabaya flight.
Liow added that the Department
of Civil Aviation would usually
provide approval for flights before
tickets were sold.
JAKARTA: Indonesia tightened
pre-flight safety briefings for pilots,
as bodies and wreckage continued
to be recovered from an AirAsia
plane that crashed last week, a
news report said yesterday.
Briefings from a flight
operations officer immediately
before departure are “now
mandatory for pilots in any airline”,
Djoko Murkatmodjo, acting
director-general for air transport
with the Transport Ministry, told
the Jakarta Post on Sunday.
The briefings would give pilots
updates on current conditions,
Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan
was quoted as saying in the report.
Although the briefings were part
of current policy, they “are not
being implemented”, Ruth Hanna
Simatupang, a former investigator
with the National Transportation
Safety Committee, was quoted as
saying. – dpa
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Girlfriend killer to hang
Questions in
sedition case
> Federal Court upholds
death sentence on
�tudung’ strangler
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here
yesterday upheld the conviction and death
sentence imposed by the High Court on a
storekeeper who murdered his girlfriend
by strangling her with her own tudung
A five-man panel, chaired by Chief
Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad
Makinudin, unanimously dismissed
Shahrul Nizam Mohd Shah’s final appeal
to set aside his conviction and death
Justice Zulkefli said the court had
considered the arguments submitted by
both the prosecution and defence and
found that Shahrul Nizam’s conviction
was safe.
He said the prosecution had proven its
case against Shahrul Nizam beyond
reasonable doubt and thus affirmed the
High Court decision which found Shahrul
Nizam guilty of having murdered clerk
Nurul Hazira Bharum, 26, and sentenced
him to death.
Also presiding on the panel with Justice
Zulkefli were Chief Judge of Sabah and
Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and
Federal Court Judges Tan Sri Ahmad
Maarop, Datuk Zainun Ali and Tan Sri
Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.
Shahrul Nizam was found guilty by the
High Court in Shah Alam on March 22,
2010, of having murdered Nurul Hazira,
who was his colleague, after he learnt that
she was going to marry another man.
He had committed the offence at his
rented house in Kampung Gombak in
Kuang, Rawang, between 9am and 10am
on Oct 7, 2008. He lost his appeal at the
Court of Appeal on May 9, 2012.
In his defence, Shahrul Nizam told the
High Court that he and Nurul Hazira had
planned to commit suicide by drinking
poison “like Romeo and Juliet” and
claimed that Nurul Hazira forced him to
drink the poison first and he had passed
Shahrul Nizam said that when he woke
up, Nurul Hazira was already dead and he
ran to a neighbour’s house for help.
A post-mortem report revealed that
Nurul Hazira died of suffocation due to
strangulation and that no poison was
found in her body.
Shahrul Nizam was represented by
counsel Kitson Foong while deputy public
prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah appeared for
the prosecution. – Bernama
IGP confirms cops in contact with FBI over Phua
[email protected]
KUALA LUMPUR: Inspector-General of
Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar
confirmed yesterday that police are in
contact with the US Federal Bureau of
Investigations (FBI) on matters related to a
Malaysian detained in the US allegedly for
links with a Hong Kong-based triad called
Khalid said police will not divulge
details of their communications with the
FBI on suspected triad member Paul Phua
Wei Seng as the Malaysian, who is
currently in the custody of the US
authorities, was facing trial for his alleged
“I can confirm we are in contact with
the FBI, either in 2008 and present. I will
not comment further as what we say may
affect the ongoing trial of Phua. We advise
him to focus on the charges mounted on
him,” he said.
Khalid also confirmed that the 14K triad
never existed in Malaysia but it was
possible Malaysians were part of the triad
overseas. “The 14K triad is linked to drug
activities and we have tough anti-drug
laws in the country. I do not think the 14K
would want to operate here. However, we
will not deny that Malaysians abroad may
be members of the triad.” he said.
It was reported that the FBI had raised
with a US court that Malaysia police had in
a 2008 letter to the bureau stated that Phua
was a member of the 14K triad. Khalid said
police are checking on this claim made by
the FBI.
It was reported that Home Minister
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, on the
request of Phua’s lawyer, Tan Sri
Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, had written
to FBI deputy director Mark F. Guiliano
clarifying Phua was not a 14K member.
[email protected]
SHAH ALAM: An accused in a sedition case
wants the sessions court to refer two
questions involving constitutional issues to
the High Court for determination.
Uztaz Wan Ji Wan Hussin had claimed
trial to a charge under Sedition Act 1948 for
allegedly posting seditious words on his
Facebook about the Sultan of Selangor at
about 10am on Nov 5, 2012.
Sessions judge Slamat Yahya will decide
on Jan 16 whether to refer the two questions
to the High Court.
He set the date after hearing submissions
from both parties – Wan Ji’s lawyer N.
Surendran and deputy public prosecutor
Azari Harun yesterday.
During the submission, Surendran said the
sessions court has no jurisdiction to decide on
questions involving the constitution and that
the High Court has the jurisdiction.
“The Sedition Act is a �pre-Merdeka’ law as
it was legislated by the British Legislative
Council and not an act passed by Parliament.”
Surendran said only acts passed by
Parliament could restrict right of “freedom of
speech”, which is stated under Article 10 of
the Federal Constitution.
Surendran said the second question relates
to a Court of Appeal decision in the case of
Selangor state executive councillor Nik
Nazmi Nik Ahmad in April 2014.
Surendran said the Appellate Court in its
judgment had ruled that Parliament cannot
criminalise fundamental rights under Articles
9 (freedom of movement) and 10 of the
Federal Constitution.
“There are no questions to be raised,”
declared Azari.
Feb 5 date set for graft cases
[email protected]
BUTTERWORTH: The sessions court
yesterday set Feb 5 for case management for
five policemen and a Home Ministry
enforcement officer who were all charged
with graft.
Sessions court judge Julie Lack Abdullah
fixed the date after the case was brought up
for mention.
On Oct 28, 2014, detective corporal
Nordin Kamat was charged with receiving
RM1,150 from Ng Lap Ken in return for not
taking action against Ng who allegedly
operates an illegal VCD and DVD business.
Corporal Shahirul Abdul Hamid, 41, was
charged with receiving RM500 from Ng.
Corporal Nor Roslan Che Ros, 54, was
charged with receiving RM250 from Ng.
Sergeant Muhd Pakhri Hassan, 55, was
charged with receiving RM500 from Ng.
Mohd Firdaus (left) and Nordin Kamat.
Constable Mohd Firdaus Abdullah was
charged with receiving RM50 from the
same trader on Oct 17, 2013.
Home Ministry enforcement officer
Alias Md Yusof was charged with receiving
RM1,500 from Ng.
Statements taken over bullying incident
ALOR STAR: Police have recorded the
statements of six primary school pupils to
assist in investigations into a bullying
incident last year.
Kedah CID chief ACP Mohd Nashir Ya
said all the then 12-year-old pupils had their
statements recorded.
“They were released on bail after we
took down their statements,” he said in a
brief text message, adding that one of the
pupils recorded the incident.
Police have received four reports over
the incident which was captured on video
and uploaded on the internet.
MALACCA: Police have detained a man
and a woman to facilitate investigations
into the death of a Tenaga Nasional
Berhad worker here. The deceased was
discovered with neck injuries in
Merlimau, Jasin on Friday. State CID
chief ACP Raja Shahrom Raja Abdullah
said the duo, both aged 19, were
nabbed at two separate locations here
yesterday. – Bernama
KOTA KINABALU: A lorry owner was
fined RM75,000 for forging document
particulars to avoid paying cess
amounting to RM11,607.29. Ahmad Liaw
Abdullah, who paid the fine, admitted
committing the offence at the Sindumin
inspection centre on Oct 22. Sabah
Rubber Industry Board yesterday said its
officer discovered 20.18 tonnes of crude
rubber declared falsely as animal feed.
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Old is gold drive
> Getting senior citizens to
be active and productive
fulfill that role, but also help
prevent health deterioration as
well,” said Tengku Aizan, who is
also the association’s advisor.
U3A, or University of Third Age,
[email protected]
is run by the Association of Lifelong Learning for Senior Citizens. It
SERDANG: An active senior citizenry is vital
advocates active and productive
to the country’s needs as Malaysia faces an
ageing through education and
increasingly ageing population.
training. The resultant social impact
Director of University Putra Malaysia’s
should not be underestimated, said
Gerontology Institute Prof Dr Tengku Aizan its president Datuk A. Ghani Abdullah.
Hamid (pix) expressed concern about the
“The programme’s three aims are gaining
health and well-being of golden citizens in the knowledge through short courses, learning
opportunities for new subjects, and
“Keeping them mentally and physically
contributing back to nation and society,” he
active will become more important in the
said adding that rather than lead sedentary
long run. I estimate 7% of the population will
lives after retirement, anyone can continue to
be 65 and above by 2020,” she told theSun.
be productive and acquire new skills.
Adding that this figure is set to double by
“We have members from all walks of life
2043, Tengku Aizan said, “This will put a
participating. Be it the public or private
strain on the country’s labour force, given that sector, or even home makers they can choose
a considerable part of the population is still
from over 50 courses involving the arts,
language, home improvement and physical
“Therefore we must rely on older citizens
exercises, just to name a few.”
to contribute socially in any way they are able
Ghani hopes that in time U3A will be
to. Programmes such as the U3A not only
nationwide instead of just in the Klang Valley.
Senior citizens learning to play the ukulele under the U3A programme.
Basic function handphones for students proposed
the smartphones with varied functions, he said.
“Nowadays, there are countries that allow
students to take their handphones to school but
the type of phones are basically for receiving
and making calls. There are companies offering
simple phones with just these functions.
“I feel with the current security situation and
danger lurking everywhere, the handphone
would come in handy when a student is in
need of help.
“If we take a peek at schools today, I
believe we will find that 50% take along their
handphones to school, even though it is
against the rule,” said Tajul, who issued a
statement on Sunday requesting the
Education Ministry to reconsider the use of
handphones in schools in view of the current
need and demand.
He said schools could lay down the
conditions, to ensure that the privilege is not
EPF housing loan withdrawals online
[email protected]
PETALING JAYA: Employees Provident
Fund (EPF) members who have housing
loans with RHB Bank and Maybank can opt
to submit their withdrawal applications
online via the e-Pengeluaran facility for
housing loan repayments.
The facility, which is available via iAkaun, facilitates online withdrawal
application for repayment of housing loan
monthly instalments and to reduce or
redeem housing loan balance.
EPF deputy chief executive officer for
Operations Datuk Mohd Naim Daruwish, in
a statement, said with the e-Pengeluaran
introduced with RHB Bank, it has, to date,
received more than 10,000 withdrawal
applications from members who have
housing loans with the bank.
“The e-Pengeluaran facility allows
members to submit their withdrawal
application online in a fast, accurate and
convenient way. Members only need to
come to any EPF branch for thumbprint
verification,” he said, adding that the EPF is
currently working with Maybank on this,
and will extend the service to other banks.
The EPF will then verify the housing loan
with the participating banks and ensure all
terms and conditions for withdrawal have
been met. Subsequently, members will be
informed to verify their thumbprint at any
EPF branch before disbursing the money to
members via direct credit facilities.
ALOR STAR: Students should only be allowed to
carry handphones with the basic functions to
schools, suggested state education,
transportation and works committee chairman
Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain.
Handphones should be solely for the purpose
of sending short messages and making calls, not
PANDA INVASION ... A total of 1,600 Panda replicas were on display
at Teluk Intan’s Leaning Tower which is part of Panda World Tour event here from
10am to noon. The exhibition was launched by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong, who is Teluk Intan MP, yesterday.
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
�Don’t take advantage of GST’
> Businesses urged to help
consumers instead
SEREMBAN: Businessmen should not be
taking advantage of consumers by raising the
prices of goods ahead of the implementation
of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in
April, said Negri Sembilan Consumers
Association (Nesca) chairman Khairuddin
He said on the contrary, the most
appropriate measure that each trader should
take is to help consumers deal with the
current uncertain economic situation.
“When the GST is implemented, they can
EC displays
proposals for Sarawak
KUCHING: The Election Commission (EC)
yesterday put on display for public feedback its
recommendations to increase the number of
Sarawak state constituencies by 11 to 82.
Many people, among them representatives of
political parties, gathered at the EC office on the
11th floor of the Sultan Iskandar building in Jalan
Simpang Tiga, one of the places where the
recommendations have been put up, to learn about
the proposed redelineation of electoral boundaries.
The EC has proposed the 11 new seats as N13
Batu Kitang; N17 Stakan; N18 Serembu; N23 Triboh;
N26 Gedong; N40 Kabong; N57 Telian; N63 Selirik;
N66 Murum; N70 Samalaju and N78 Long Lama.
It has proposed that the parliamentary
constituency of P198 Mambong be renamed P198
Puncak Borneo and the state constituencies of N19
Bengoh; N34 Batang Air; N41 Belawai and N68
Kidurong be renamed N19 Mambong; N34 Batang
Ai; N41 Kuala Rajang; and N68 Tanjong Batu.
EC secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh had said
that the recommendations were in accordance
with an amendment to the state constitution
enforced on Dec 5, 2014. – Bernama
no longer raise the prices of goods.
Therefore, there is the probability of them
raising the prices now.
“Moreover, the price of fuel has dropped.
The prices of goods should also go down.
“I hope business associations act
thoughtfully and advise their members on
this issue. If it is found that they are still
stubborn and raise prices, then proactive
enforcement measures must be taken.”
Khairuddin also proposed that consumers
nationwide report to consumer associations
in their respective states or the Domestic
Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism
Ministry if the prices of goods are jacked up.
– Bernama
Dad searches daughter at
4 hospitals to find her dead
Coronation of Johor
Sultan in March
KLANG: The father of Tan Wei, a
Malaysian student who was killed in a
stampede at Chen Yi Square, Shanghai
in China last Thursday had to check
four hospitals in the city before finding
out his only daughter had died in the
Tan Chin Hin sadly recalled that
upon his arrival in Shanghai from Kuala
Lumpur last Thursday, after he had
been informed by his wife Lee Siew
Yan, who was holidaying in China, that
Tan Wei was involved in the stampede,
he could not find his daughter’s name in
the initial list of victims issued by the
authorities in China.
“After enquiring several parties, I
was told the victims were sent to four
hospitals in Shanghai.
“... I went to each hospital and it was
at the fourth hospital that I found my
daughter in the hospital mortuary,” the
Jenjarom village headman told
reporters at the FGS Dong Zhen
Temple in Jenjarom, near Kuala Langat.
Tan and his wife returned to
Malaysia with the body of their
daughter, a student at one of the
universities in Hangzhou, Zhejiang,
The aircraft carrying the body
arrived at the KL International Airport
at 7pm and the body was sent to the
temple 40 minutes later.
About 300 relatives and local
residents received the arrival of Tan
Wei’s body.
Apart from Tan Wei, Tan Chin Hin
has two sons.
The body is placed at the temple
until Wednesday for relatives and
friends to pay their last respects before
burial at the Shah Alam Nirwana
Memorial Park.
In the New Year’s Eve celebration
incident, 36 people were killed and 48
were injured.
Another Malaysian who was injured
in the stampede, Ooi Hooi Yi, is still
being treated at Changzheng Hospital
and was reported to be recovering. –
JOHOR BARU: The coronation of
Sultan Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan
Iskandar as the fifth sultan of modern
Johor will be held on March 23 at
Istana Besar.
His consort DYMM Raja Zarith
Sofiah Binti Sultan Idris Shah will be
crowned together with him, and will
be conferred the title Permaisuri at
the ceremony.
Council of the Royal Court
president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli
told reporters yesterday that the
coronation day will be declared a
state public holiday.
Foreign guests include Sultan of
Brunei, president of Singapore and
Singapore prime minister. Other
guests are Yang di-Pertuan Agong,
Malay rulers, Johor royal family
members and state dignitaries.
He said the coronation will be
managed in nine distinct traditional
ceremonies from March 16 to April 8.
Some 30,000 people are expected
to witness a motorcade along the
main roads in JB town on March 23.
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Taiwan’s ex-leader Chen granted medical parole
Chen was transferred to a prison hospital
in April last year after being diagnosed with
severe depression, suspected Parkinson’s
disease and other conditions.
He attempted suicide in June, trying to
hang himself with a towel in a bathroom of
the prison hospital.
“The (independent) medical team think
Chen needs to leave his present location
where his medical treatment is not helpful
to his condition,” Ming-tang said.
Chen was brought to the jail entrance in
a wheelchair before being helped to his feet
by medical personnel and his son Chen
He walked with a stick to a sedan and
waved to more than 200 supporters at the
prison gates before being driven to his
home in the south of Taiwan. – AFP
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s ailing ex-president Chen
Shui-bian was freed from prison on medical
parole yesterday after serving six years of a
20-year sentence for graft.
The 64-year-old, who led Taiwan from
2000 to 2008, left Taichung prison
yesterday afternoon after being granted a
month’s parole due to ill-health.
His freedom will be contingent on his
medical condition, said deputy justice
minister Chen Ming-tang, and he will be
subject to monthly health check-ups.
The former Democratic Progressive
Party leader, who ended 50 years of
Kuomintang party rule when he came to
power, was sentenced to life in prison in
2009 for money-laundering and bribery
during his term in office. The sentence was
reduced to 20 years after appeals.
Chen waves as he is escorted by
Chih-chung after being freed.
LONDON: Nursery staff will be forced to
report toddlers at risk of becoming
terrorists under plans drawn up by the
British Home Office.
It is part of the department’s
consultation over ways to enhance its antiterrorism strategy, Prevent.
Critics have dismissed the proposals as
being unnecessarily draconian and turning
staff, who are meant to be caring for
youngsters, into spies.
The consultation document on the
Prevent Strategy states: “Senior
management and governors are expected
to assess the risk of pupils being drawn
into terrorism, including support for the
extremist ideas that are part of terrorist
It continues, staff are expected to
“identify children at risk of being drawn
into terrorism” and “challenge extremist
ideas which can be used to legitimise
The Home Office said it would not
expect the hypothetical situation of a
young child being taught that nonMuslims are wicked to be ignored.
Equally, anti-Semitic comments made
in front of nursery workers should be
reported, the department added.
But opponents of the plans are unsure
how they will work in practice.
“It is hard to see how this can be
implemented. It is unworkable. I have to
say I cannot understand what they (nursery
staff) are expected to do,” Davis Davis,
Conservative MP and former shadow
home secretary, told The Telegraph.
“Are they supposed to report some
toddler who comes in praising a preacher,
deemed to be extreme?
“I don’t think so. It is heavy-handed.”
Childcare providers are just one of the
sectors that will be affected by the new
rules. Schools, colleges, universities,
NEW YORK: A hedge fund founder was
found fatally shot in his plush Manhattan
apartment on Sunday, police said, with
media reporting his son pulled the trigger
after a row. Thomas Gilbert, 70, founder of
the multimillion-dollar Wainscott Capital
Partners Fund, was shot once in the head by
a 30-year-old man believed to be his son,
The Wall Street Journal said, quoting a law
enforcement official. The alleged shooter’s
mother called emergency services after she
found the body and a gun nearby. – AFP
prisons and hospitals will all be subject to
the stringent rules “to prevent people from
being drawn into terrorism”.
The plans are in a document submitted
with the government’s Counter-Terrorism
and Security Bill, which is going through
“Schools, including nurseries, have a
duty of care to their pupils and staff,” a
government spokesman told The
“The new duty in the CounterTerrorism and Security Bill, to have due
regard to the need to prevent people from
being drawn into terrorism, will be seen in
a similar way to their existing safeguarding
“We are not expecting teachers and
nursery workers to carry out unnecessary
intrusion into family life but we do expect
them to take action when they observe
behaviour of concern.
“It is important that children are taught
fundamental British values in an ageappropriate way.” – The Independent
RAMALLAH: Palestine will resubmit to the
UN Security Council a draft resolution that
would impose on Israel a three-year
deadline on ending occupation, President
Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday. The draft
was rejected last week, with eight members
of the 15-member Council voting in favour –
one short of the nine needed to pass. “We
have not failed in the Security Council,”
Abbas told a ceremony opening an
exhibition on Jerusalem in Ramallah on
Sunday evening. Instead, he charged, the
council had failed the Palestinians. – dpa
Protests as NY cops pay tribute to comrade
NEW YORK: Thousands of police officers
gathered in New York for the funeral of a
slain comrade on Sunday, but dozens
ignored an appeal not to protest against
mayor Bill de Blasio by turning their back
on the city leader.
A sea of blue uniformed officers
crowded around a Brooklyn funeral home
to honour Wenjian Liu, 32, shot in the head
with partner Rafael Ramos, 40, on Dec 20
as the pair sat in their patrol car.
The brutal double-slaying at the hands
of a black gunman claiming to be avenging
the deaths of African-Americans during
confrontations with police shocked the
nation’s largest city.
The build-up to Liu’s funeral had been
dominated by speculation over whether
officers would stage a repeat of their
protest at Ramos’s service last week, when
hundreds turned their back on de Blasio.
The vast majority of police crowded
around the Aievoli Funeral Home
appeared to respect the call not to protest
issued by New York police commissioner
Bill Bratton.
However, photos on Twitter showed
dozens of officers turning away from giant
screens erected outside the funeral home
showing de Blasio addressing mourners.
De Blasio paid tribute to Liu’s “courage,
sacrifice and kindness” as he honoured the
police officer.
“All of our city is heartbroken today.
“Det. Wenjian Liu was a good man. He
SEOUL: A North Korean believed to be a
runaway soldier killed four Chinese citizens
during a robbery after he crossed the
border into China in search of food, media
reports said yesterday. The young North
Korean soldier crossed the border in late
December and stole money and food at a
house before killing four residents in China’s
northeastern city of Helong, South Korea’s
Yonhap news agency and Dong-A Ilbo
newspaper said. The victims were either
shot dead or beaten to death, Dong-A said,
adding the soldier was later shot and
captured by Chinese authorities. – AFP
Nurseries to be forced
to spy on toddlers
> UK childminders will have
�duty’ to report those at
risk of becoming terrorists
PARIS: French officials voiced disgust
Sunday after the mayor of a Paris suburb
reportedly refused to allow a dead Roma
baby to be buried in the municipal cemetery
although the mayor later denied the claims.
Christian Leclerc, the conservative mayor of
Champlan, reportedly explained his refusal
on the grounds that the cemetery has “few
available plots”. “Priority is given to those
who pay their local taxes,” he was quoted as
saying by Le Parisien on Saturday. However,
amid uproar in France over the incident, he
said on Sunday his words had been “taken
out of context”. – AFP
THE HAGUE: Dutch police have discovered
an illegal cannabis nursery hidden in a World
War II bunker, a spokesman said on Sunday.
“Police on Friday discovered the illegal
cannabis nursery in an old bunker after
being tipped off by outdoor enthusiasts,”
Cor Spruijt said. The group was hiking near
the North Sea at Katwijk, north of The
Hague, when they discovered the hidden
hot-house. Police found 168 cannabis plants,
most of them at least 1m high, as well as
equipment and an electricity supply illegally
tapped from a nearby water pumping
station, Spruijt said. – AFP
Widow Pei Xia Chen holds a photo of Liu as his casket departs the funeral home in
the Brooklyn borough of New York on Sunday.
walked a path of courage, a path of
sacrifice, and a path of kindness. This is
who he was, and he was taken from us
much too soon,” de Blasio said.
He said Liu, who had moved to the US
from China as a child, represented an
embodiment of the fabled American dream.
“Det. Liu’s story is such a powerful
American story,” he said.
“It is such a classic New York story.
“A young man who came here from
China with his parents at the age of 12 in
search of the American dream, in search of
the dream that generations have come to
New York to find.”
Liu’s funeral had been delayed so that
relatives could arrive from China to pay
their respects. – AFP
NAIROBI: The Kenyan capital’s main
international airport was shut on Sunday
after the crash-landing of a domestic flight,
airport officials said. The Kenyan Airports
Authority said a Fokker 50 flying from Wajir
in the northeast and operated by Skyward
suffered landing gear failure and landed on
its belly at Jomo Kenyatta International
Airport, blocking the sole runway. No
casualties were reported. All inbound flights
were being diverted to Mombasa while work
was underway to clear the runway. – AFP
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Clashes in Bangladesh
on polls anniversary
> Police besiege opposition
leader in her office
DHAKA: Deadly clashes erupted on the
streets of Bangladesh yesterday on the first
anniversary of controversial elections as
police besieged the main opposition leader
in her office.
Police said two supporters of the
opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party
(BNP) were killed in clashes with ruling
party activists in the northern town of
Natore, fuelling tensions on a day which the
BNP has declared “Democracy Killing
BNP leader Khaleda Zia, despite being
confined to her Dhaka office, has urged
activists to take to the streets in their
thousands as part of a campaign to force
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to hold fresh
multi-party polls.
A local police inspector said the two BNP
activists were shot dead during clashes with
supporters of Hasina’s Awami League.
At least 15 people were injured,
Mohammad Fariduddin added.
Violence also broke out in the capital and
in around half a dozen towns as police and
Awami League followers clashed with
hundreds of BNP protesters, local TV
channels said.
Zia issued the call for mass protests from
inside her office, where she has been
confined since Saturday night after police
cordoned off the area.
Authorities stepped up their siege
yesterday by parking 11 trucks outside her
�Greek fugitive
planned attack
on prison’
Police stand
guard in
front of Zia's
house in
Dhaka on
office in a blockade designed to thwart any
attempt by her to head protests in person.
The trucks, laden with sand and bricks,
were wedged outside the gates of Zia’s
office in the upmarket Gulshan district and
at the mouth of the road leading to the
Riot police, flanked by armoured
vehicles equipped with water cannon,
prevented anyone from entering or leaving
the premises.
“The trucks have been parked in an
effort to step up her security,” Gulshan
police chief Rafiqul Islam said.
“She has urged people to join a mass rally
today. She would also try to join the protest,”
her spokesman Maruf Kamal Khan said.
Hasina, who has been in power since
2009, was re-elected on Jan 5 last year in
what was effectively a one-horse race after
the BNP and around 20 other opposition
parties boycotted the polls over rigging
Zia’s boycott was sparked by her arch
rival’s refusal to step down before the
election and allow the contest to be
organised by a neutral caretaker
administration. The caretaker system was
in place for previous polls.
The boycott by the BNP and its allies
meant a majority of members in the 300seat parliament were returned unopposed,
handing Hasina another five years in power.
ATHENS: A fugitive ex-member of a Greek
radical leftist group was planning an armed
attack on Greece’s main prison when he was
captured this weekend, police said on Sunday.
Christodoulos Xiros, 56, formerly of the
defunct November 17 movement, was
targeting the maximum-security Korydallos
jail and had amassed a collection of eight
Kalashnikov rifles, rocket propelled grenades,
explosives and bomb-making materials in
preparation for the attack, authorities said.
“Greek police prevented a major attack
against the heart of the Greek prison system,”
public safety minister Vassilis Kikilias said.
Xiros was given multiple life sentences for
his role in deadly attacks with November 17
before he was released in January 2013 for a
nine-day leave, then went on the run.
Police recaptured him on Saturday on a
bike, armed with a pistol, in a southern suburb
of Athens. He surrendered without a fight.
According to the head of Greek police,
Dimitrios Tsaknakis, officers found
“manuscripts describing plans to approach
and escape, as well as alternative routes” at
the house in which Xiros had been living.
Before its breakup in 2002, November 17
was one of Greece’s most violent far-left
organisations, claiming responsibility for 23
assassinations during its 27-year span,
including the 1975 killing of the CIA’s Athens
station chief, Richard Welch.
Shortly after he absconded last year, Xiros
appeared in an online video berating Greece’s
government over the austerity policies it
enacted at the behest of international
creditors and threatened to “fire the guerilla
shotgun against those who stole our life and
sold our dreams”. – AFP
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
fManaging Editor Freddie Ng f Chief Marketing Officer Prashun Dutt
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Here’s to a biodiversity policy watershed
HIS year is a cornerstone for
environmental and biodiversity
related goals set at the global level
which has national implications as
The United Nations Millennium
Development Goals pronounced eight key
goals including the one to ensure
environmental sustainability by 2015. The
Convention of Biological Diversity (known
as the CBD and the single largest
international environmental treaty that
forges the mission to conserve biological
diversity) has developed under its auspices
what is known as the Aichi Biodiversity
From a policy perspective, Aichi
Biodiversity Target 17 has a profound
importance for Malaysia because by 2015, all
parties to the treaty have to develop, adopt as
a policy document and begin implementation
of an effective, participatory and updated
national biodiversity strategy and action
plan. This article zooms in on Aichi Target 17
and contains my aspirations for it.
But first, some background context.
The CBD emerged from the “Earth
Summit” held in Rio in 1992. It was a euphoric
and prospective period for environmental
concerns and saw the meteoric rise of the
new buzzword in the environmental sphere –
sustainable development.
Malaysia ratified the CBD in 1994 and in
response to the requirement by parties under
Article 6 of the convention to develop
national strategies that would reflect and
implement measures set out under the CBD
at the local level, Malaysia formulated the
National Policy on Biological Diversity in
1998. It may come as a surprise to many that
we do indeed have such a national policy as
well as its more obscure counterpart, the
National Environmental Policy of 2002.
After the world failed to meet targets set
by CBD to curb biodiversity loss by 2010, the
CBD Conference of the Parties (COP) in
October 2010 adopted the “Strategic Plan for
Biodiversity 2011-2020”.
The plan also introduced the Aichi
Biodiversity Targets (the COP took place in
Nagoya, and Aichi is a prefecture in Central
Japan, hence the namesake targets).
There are 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets
(ranging from creation of well-connected
protected marine and terrestrial areas,
prevention of extinction of known
threatened species to enhancing ecosystem
Most of the targets have a deadline by
2020; save for Target 16 and 17 which seek
completion by 2015. So post the 2010 COP, all
parties are required to establish a set of
national targets and an implementation
strategy that would contribute collectively
towards realising these new targets.
This is primarily to be achieved by
developing or revising any existing
biodiversity related policies at the national
level. For Malaysia to comply, in effect,
requires the revision of the 1998 National
Policy on Biological Diversity.
The 1998 policy was never revisited post
its formulation and the opportunity to get
cracking on a revision swiftly post the 2010
COP was regrettably, missed. It was only in
the later part of 2014 that a revision exercise
commenced, led by the Ministry of Natural
Resources and Environment.
The procrastination on the revision may
not necessarily invite rebuke under the
convention per se, but may have implications
in the national context.
The issue lies at the heart of the nature
and intention of such policies. Environmental
or biodiversity policies are not intended to
act as “stand-alone” instruments. Its primary
implementation mechanism is through the
mainstreaming and integration of the
objectives and targets into broader national
development plans.
With the revision of the policy still in the
works, there is little by way of policy traction
that would ensure key environmental
priorities related to the Aichi targets are
incorporated under the 11th Malaysia Plan,
set to be unveiled in the middle of this year.
The 1998 policy, birthed by the now
defunct Ministry of Science Technology and
the Environment, for its generation was
undoubtedly a progressive one of a kind
policy. It serves as an umbrella framework
for biodiversity conservation, protection and
management but suffers from a number of
Somewhat ironically, the policy that
was meant to be directional by way of
outlining strategies, action plans and
programmes for biodiversity
conservation is fraught with open
ended narrative content that provided
very little direction, if any, at all.
Primarily, the policy did not set
institutional obligations or delineation of
various measures among institutions,
timelines and implementation phases for
action plans, a monitoring and evaluation
framework and most importantly,
accountability provisions.
I am confident that the revised policy will
be adopted within the specified 2015 timeline.
Deadlines aside, my aspirations for the
revised policy lie mainly in the following key
aspects: that it addresses the gaps that
hindered real implementation of the
previous policy, contains clear and
achievable national targets to conserve
biodiversity that consequently contributes to
the Aichi Targets, adopts indicators that
enable us to gauge whether we are effective
in our conservation efforts, prescribes a
thorough monitoring and evaluation
structure and identifies pathways towards
mobilising financial resources that enable
policy implementation activities.
Lastly, and I can’t say this with anymore
rigour and certainty, that absolute
implementation success lies in the
ownership of the revised policy by all levels
of government across all sectors.
Readers who wish to know more about
the CBD and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
can go to
Have a great year ahead everybody.
Preetha is an advocate and solicitor.
She has spent many years in the
environmental conservation arena.
Comments: [email protected]
– PAGE 21
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Penang Island
eyes city status
ENERALLY, human settlements are
called villages, towns and cities
depending on their size. In
Malaysia, following the British
tradition, the term city has a special
significance. For a settlement to be called a
city, it has to have the approval of the Yang
di-Pertuan Agong.
The Penang State Government has
appealed to the federal government and the
King for Penang Island to be made a city
about four years ago. According to Chow
Kon Yeow, the state executive council
member in charge of local government,
Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and
Local Government Datuk Abdul Rahman
Dahlan and the cabinet have supported the
state government’s application for Penang
Island to be declared a city.
Meanwhile, it is useful to spend some
time on the significance and implications of
a city status.
There is the question of pride. To many
Malaysians, there are 12 cities in the country
and none in Penang. They are Kuala
Lumpur, Ipoh, Kuching North, Kuching
South, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Shah
Alam, Malacca City, Alor Star, Miri, Petaling
Jaya and Kuala Terengganu.
Although George Town was declared a
city on Jan 1, 1957 by Queen Elizabeth II of
England, the amalgamation of George Town
with the rest of the island to form Penang
Island Municipal Council (MPPP) in 1976
has led many people to believe that the city
status of George Town had been withdrawn.
George Town is still a city. It is
administered and managed by MPPP.
It is also important to note that neither
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak nor
the minister in charge of local government,
Abdul Rahman Dahlan, suddenly decided to
upgrade Penang Island municipality to a
city. They only supported the application
submitted by the state government in 2010.
Although Penangites should be happy
with the impending elevation of the island
to a city, there is no guarantee that the
quality of life in a city is better than in a
municipality. A city council is given slightly
more power in the administration of the city
than a municipal council. For example, city
council enforcement officers have more
power to issue summonses to drivers who
break traffic laws.
It is also fair to expect the federal
government to provide larger grants to city
councils compared to that given to
municipal councils.
But being elevated to a city does not
mean that Penang Island will be cleaner and
have less traffic congestion. Unless there is
strict enforcement of the law, motorists will
continue to park their vehicles anywhere
they like, including bus stops.
Even the presence of policemen does not
make Penangites obey the law. For example,
it is common to see vehicles parked in the
no parking zone opposite the Pulau Tikus
police station.
Many Penangites still throw rubbish
indiscriminately, especially along less
travelled roads.
There is no guarantee that the residents
of a city will have a better quality of life.
George Town City Council was very
effective in the first few years when the
Labour Party was in control. It kept the city
relatively clean. It also built facilities that
other Malaysian towns did not have such as
the sports stadium. It ran a municipal bus
service. Electricity and piped water were
the responsibilities of the council. It also
built numerous wet markets. It even ran a
mother and child clinic.
Unfortunately, the good work of the city
council did not last very long. Instead of
giving their best to make the lives of the
residents better, the Labour Party
councillors began to quarrel among
Following accusations of corruption, a
Commission of Inquiry to Enquire into the
Affairs of The City Council of George Town
was established from Dec 31, 1958 to June 30,
1966. The commissioners found cases of
Unfortunately, many have forgotten the
days when George Town had an elected
council. There is a serious need for a book
on the George Town City Council and the
people who were in power.
When Penang Island is declared a city,
there will be higher expectations by the
ratepayers and visitors. At the very least, the
island should be cleaner. More specifically,
drains should not be clogged with rubbish.
There should be no heaps of rubbish along
isolated roads. There should be no illegally
parked vehicles on areas meant for
There should be more recreation
facilities. Cyclists and pedestrians should be
provided safe and pleasant bicycle paths and
walkways. One should be able to cycle or
walk around the island.
Better still, in the not too distant future,
all city councils should have elected
councillors and mayors.
Datuk Dr Goh Ban Lee is interested
in urban governance, housing
and urban planning.
Comments: [email protected]
[email protected]
Haul up errant land owner
I WAS shocked to learn that the Cameron
Highlands District Officer let off a
landowner despite the latter encroaching
into his neighbouring land illegally.
Yes, the landowner did remove all the
structures on the illegal vegetable farm but
what about the forest and greenery that he
wiped out to put up the structures.
What if there was no landslide and no
follow-up action on those responsible for
the landslide? The landowner would still be
enjoying his ill-gotten money at the expense
of the forest and environment.
The district officer cannot be the judge
and jury. As a responsible civil servant, he is
obliged to report the matter to the police
and let them investigate.
Be mindful that the landowner extended
his operations by cultivating illegally 0.35ha,
almost twice the size of land he had obtained
permit for. The landowner cannot be let off
without a penalty or fine.
This incident is akin to a shoplifter who
pays for five similar items but takes another
five without paying.
Upon being caught, he returns the stolen
items. And the matter is closed. Any right thinking management would quickly call in
the police.
A slap in the wrist will not do if we are
serious in eliminating continued illegal
farming in Cameron Highlands.
The landowner had committed a serious
crime and he should pay for it according to
the law.
S. Paul
Kuala Lumpur
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Exclusive privileges with Celcom
> Personalised internet
and call plan
ELCOM Axiata Berhad
has launched a unique
personalised internet
and call plan, set to take
customer experience to a whole
new level. It is called the new First
Plan and offers customers
exclusive VIP privileges based
on their individual needs.
The First Plan consists of two
exclusive plans –First Basic and
First Elite. “First reflects Celcom’s
commitment in delivering the best
customer experience to our
customers who are constantly
looking for the highest standard of
mobile experience to surf the
internet and stay connected with
their family and friends. The
distinctive and exclusive features
of First are created to reach out to
our premium and mobile-savvy
customers to complement their
privileged, fast-paced and
sophisticated lifestyles. With
this hassle-free plan, we are able
to provide them with greater
convenience and flexibility to
continuously utilise their mobile
phones based on their monthly
usage behaviour,” said Celcom
Axiata Berhad chief marketing
officer Zalman Aefendy
Zainal Abidin.
The First Basic plan includes
Optimiser which automatically
provides extra free monthly
internet and voice usage,
depending on a customers’
monthly usage. Use more
internet and automatically
(Above): Celcom Axiata Berhad
head of brand management
Bernard Ho Swee Keong and CMO
Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin with
local celebrities who attended the
(Left): Ho and Zalman displaying
the First Basic and First Elite mock
SIM cards.
receive more data; use more voice
and SMS and receive more voice
and SMS. The best part is that
these services come at no
additional cost.
At a subscription of RM85
per month, customers who
subscribe to this plan, who
use more voice and SMS will
receive 250 minutes of talk time,
250 SMS with 2GB internet and
2GB. Subscribers using more
internet will receive 4GB internet,
4GB, 100 minutes talk time and 100
First Basic customers will
also become a member of Club
Celcom First with privileges to
enjoy exclusive membership
rewards such as the First 1+5
supplementary plan. Under this
plan, new customers can subscribe
to five supplementary lines at
RM30 each, which comes with free
calls between the principal line
and the other supplementary lines
in the group.
The First Elite plan comprises
GAB advocates responsible drinking
IN line with Guinness Anchor
Berhad’s (GAB) Drink
Sensibly initiative, the
brewery launched a monthlong “Drink Sensibly” video
campaign. Featuring four
animated webisodes focused
on specific themes, this
endeavour was part of GAB’s
strategy in seeding sensible
drinking messages among its
consumers. The webisodes
were dispersed to consumers
facilitated by GAB brands’
social media platforms
including Tiger, Guinness,
Heineken, Kilkenny,
Strongbow, Kirin Ichiban and
Smirnoff Ice.
GAB managing director
Hans Essaadi said besides
engaging consumers, GAB is
also “exploring partnerships
with food and beverage outlets
that are interested to spread the
sensible drinking message”.
Since its launch, the initiative
has reached more than 70,000
consumers. In taking the leading
role in promoting responsible
drinking, GAB also initiated the
GAB Drink Sensibly mobile
application, a first of its kind in the
country, downloaded by more than
7,000 consumers.
Additionally, GAB’s principal
shareholders, Diageo and
Heineken, are among the
signatories of the “Beer, Wine and
Spirits Producers’ Commitments to
Reduce Harmful Drinking”. This
five-year programme was launched
in 2013 and represents the largest
industry-wide initiative to address
dangerous drinking. In just the first
year, the initiative has carried out
135 alcohol education programmes
around the globe and has reached
out to 1.5 million people.
GAB’s Drink Sensibly webisodes
can be found on YouTube. It is
based on four themes aimed at
helping consumers enjoy life in a
responsible way:
- Eat between drinks
- Drink water to rehydrate (http://
- Pace, don’t race
- Don’t drive, dial a cab
GAB’s Drink Sensibly initiative includes on-ground activation at
events and has reached out to more than 70,000 people since its
inception in 2010.
the First Elite Platinum
schedule that gives customers
the best of Celcom’s privileges.
This includes a second SIM
card offering customers an
additional number along with
their principal line.
In addition, the monthly
commitment of RM235 lets
customers choose principal lines
with either Internet Optimiser
or Calls and SMS Optimiser.
Choose principal lines with
Internet Optimiser and you get to
enjoy up to 200 minutes talk time,
200 SMS and 5GB internet, while
customers’ second SIM card
comes with a fixed talk time of
200 minutes, 200 SMS and 3GB
internet. The combined allocation
of voice and internet for both SIM
cards is 400 minutes of talk time,
400 SMS and 8GB internet.
Customers opting for principal
lines with calls and SMS Optimiser
will get 500 minutes of talk time,
500 SMS and 3GB internet, while
their second SIM card comes with
a fixed amount of 200 minutes talk
time, 200 SMS and 3GB internet.
The combined allocation for both
SIM cards is 700 minutes of talk
time, 700 SMS and 6GB internet.
First Elite customers can
further stand out from the rest by
choosing preferred VIP numbers
for both their SIM cards. They will
also get priority access to reserve
and own devices, as well as receive
personalised customer service
and privilege assistance at Blue
Cube and Celcom Centres.
Light refreshments and
personalised service for one’s
telco needs are also theirs while at
The Lounge at klia2.
For more information, log on to
Celcom website.
Business Editor Presenna Nambiar Tel (Editorial) 03-7784 6688 Fax 03-7785 2624/5 Email [email protected]
Tel (Advertising) 03-7784 8888 Fax 03-7784 4424 Email [email protected]
JANUARY 6, 2015
RM m
RM m
RM m
Preliminary stats (excluding trade amendments). For final data, please refer to
Source: Bursa Malaysia
JANUARY 5, 2015
CLSG (sen) +/- (sen)
JANUARY 5, 2015
1.468 billion
RM1.411 billion
Selling in finance stocks
SHARES closed lower on selling of finance counters
yesterday, dealers said. The FBM KLCI lost 16.15 points
to 1,736.62.
A dealer said banking stocks stole the focus in
yesterday’s trading in light of the new base rate (BR)
mechanism implementation by Bank Negara Malaysia
from Jan 2, 2015. “The new mechanism will raise
competition among banks,” he added.
The effective lending rate is based on the BR, which
is the banks’ benchmark funding cost as well as a
spread, which comprises a liquidity premium, credit
risk, overheads, statutory reserve requirements and a
profit margin.
On the scoreboard, losers thumped gainers 502 to
271, while 257 counters were unchanged, 709 untraded and nine suspended.
Of the heavyweights, Maybank lost 12 sen to RM9,
Public Bank fell 40 sen to RM17.82 and Axiata eased
2 sen to RM7. TNB gained 4 sen to RM13.84 and Sime
Darby garnered 8 sen to RM9.15.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contracts on Bursa
Malaysia Derivatives closed lower in line with the
weaker cash market.
January 2015 declined 15.5 points to 1,730. – Bernama
Hang Seng 23,721.32
S&P/ASX200 5,450.33
Ringgit expected to
face further pressure
> Economists say it could
weaken to 3.70-3.80 to
US$1 amid uncertainty
in global crude oil market
PETALING JAYA: With continued
declining global oil prices, economists
believe there is a possibility that the
ringgit could experience an accelerated
weakening to as low as 3.70 to 3.80 to the
US dollar, in the face of more external
The ringgit hit a five-year low of
3.5413 against the dollar yesterday. It
was at 3.5335 as at 5pm.
Brent crude oil, meanwhile, hit a 5ВЅyear low of below US$56 a barrel as the
oil market continued to be dragged
down by oversupply concerns.
BIMB Securities economist Imran
Nurginias Ibrahim told SunBiz he
expects the ringgit to trade between 3.45
and 3.55 in the near term given the
uncertainty in the global oil market.
He does not rule out the possibility
that the ringgit may even weaken to the
level of 3.70 to 3.80, depending on how
the market reacts to an interest rate
increase in the US, which is expected to
happen in the second half of 2015.
Hong Leong Research economist Sia
Ket Ee said given the current situation
of supply glut and weak demand
outlook for oil, the market could not
expect a recovery so soon, thereby
keeping the ringgit on a downside bias.
As oil prices continue on a downward
spiral, he said, prospects for Malaysia
appear to be weakening, with the
likelihood of a current account deficit.
“Falling oil prices means that the
government would have more challenge
of meeting the budget deficit target of
3% of gross domestic product (GDP) as
well as an expectation of lower GDP,”
he noted.
Sia said if a twin deficit were to
happen in the next two months, it will
become a sentiment dampener for the
ringgit as it could result in a downgrade
of the country rating.
“However, it has to be accompanied
by the factor that oil prices slide below
US$50 per barrel,” he stressed.
From a positive perspective, Sia
opined that world crude oil prices
should rebound in the second half of the
year, with the ringgit stabilising at 3.50
against the US dollar.
Imran noted that Malaysia’s
international reserves have been
improving since the 1997 Asian financial
crisis, thus it could provide some buffer
for the country in the event of a trade
Despite that, he believes Malaysia
will still be able to register a trade
surplus, albeit on a narrower basis.
Meanwhile, economists are of the
opinion that the central bank will not
intervene in the foreign exchange
market in a “big way”, but rather just to
ensure it is “functioning in an orderly
Sia said intervention by Bank Negara
is done more on a daily basis, but not to
change the direction of the ringgit’s
movement. “It (the ringgit’s movement)
reflects market sentiment, the risk is
real, especially as Malaysia is a net
exporter, we’re hit more,” he noted.
Sia opined that the daily intervention
is purely to lower the volatility of the
market considering that it has become
more difficult for traders to do pricing
in such a volatile currency market.
AirAsia shares take another beating
[email protected]
PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Bhd’s shares
took another beating yesterday, losing
4.73%, following Indonesian authorities’
claim that affiliate Indonesia AirAsia’s
Flight QZ8501 had been flying an
unauthorised schedule when it crashed
with some 162 people on board, and that
the route had been suspended pending
an investigation into the matter.
AirAsia’s share price fell to close at
RM2.62 with a total of 37.5 million units
traded yesterday. It was the seventh
most actively traded counter for the
Analysts contacted by SunBiz,
however, are waiting to see the results
of the Indonesian authorities into the
matter to assess any possible financial
impact from the recent news.
“The Indonesian side said they did
not have clearance for the flight but
Singapore actually contradicted the
statement, saying that they have the
rights to fly. Actually, for air rights, both
countries have to have an agreement,”
said an analyst who declined to be
“If the Singapore side said they have
the clearance, then Indonesia’s side
should also have their agreement
already. I don’t think it’s possible to fly
without authority unless there is lax
monitoring,” he told SunBiz yesterday.
A statement on the Civil Aviation
Authority of Singapore website on
Saturday explained that airlines looking
to launch a service between two points
need to obtain approval of its flight
schedules from the respective civil
aviation authorities at each end of its
flight routing separately.
It said in the Singapore end,
Indonesia AirAsia had applied to
operate a daily flight between Surabaya
and Singapore for the Northern Winter
Season from Oct 26, 2014 to March 28,
2015, arriving at Changi Airport at
8.30am and departing for Surabaya at
2.10pm (Singapore time). These daily
flights were approved as there were
available air traffic rights under the
bilateral air services agreement and the
slots at Changi Airport were available.
Indonesia AirAsia was operating the
flight four times a week on Mondays,
Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, it
Given the present situation, analysts
are holding back from assessing any
financial impact pending results of an
investigation by the Indonesian
Analysts are also awaiting more
clarity to come from the management of
AirAsia following the crash. It is
understood that AirAsia has yet to
engage with analysts since the crash.
“To gauge the impact on the
insurance claims now is also a bit
premature because Singapore side
already clarified that they did have the
clearance. It is premature to say
whether AirAsia is at fault. Singapore
said they did have the rights. So riding
on that, we’ll see how it pans out,” said
the analyst.
The analyst added that air travel
demand could be dented in the medium
term, but the appetite to travel will
return further down the road. In
addition, AirAsia’s profit and loss
should be buffeted by the low oil price.
“If you look at other low-cost carriers
in the region, Malindo is not very strong
yet, not very established and, within the
region, competitors of AirAsia, such as
Lion Air, they are actually much more
focused on their domestic market.
AirAsia is the one with a wider network
within the region.
“So if you talk about whether there
will be a big impact on AirAsia, I don’t
think so. Fundamentally, they are still
strong,” he said.
The QZ8501 incident is AirAsia’s first
fatal accident, involving 162 passengers
and crew. The airplane went missing on
Dec 28 and search and rescue
operations are currently under way.
1MDB names Arul Kanda as new head, undertakes strategic review
Development Bhd (1MDB) has
appointed former banker Arul
Kanda Kandasamy as president and
group executive director, amid
news of a strategic review,
following widespread criticism of
its operations.
In a statement released
yesterday 1MDB said Arul Kanda
succeeds Mohd Hazem Abd
Rahman, who steps down as
managing director and CEO and
member of the board of directors as
part of a transition plan.
“The board of directors also
announces that 1MDB will be
undertaking a strategic review to
explore and determine a course of
action that will allow the company
to maximise returns for all of its
stakeholders,” it said.
1MDB chairman Tan Sri Lodin
Wok Kamaruddin added that “it is
time for the company to silence its
critics and deliver against its stated
objectives, and we intend to
examine a full range of strategic
and financial alternatives to
achieve the greatest value, the
outcome of which will be
announced in due course”.
Lodin extolled Arul Kanda’s
qualifications, saying that he brings
a wealth of experience from the
financial world and a
proven track record
of transforming
“His transaction
expertise and
excellence will be
invaluable to 1MDB as it undertakes
a strategic review of the business,
the objective of which is to ensure
that 1MDB is best positioned to fully
realise value from its investment
portfolio and fulfil its broader
economic objectives,” he added.
Lodin said 1MDB will continue
to execute its ongoing initiatives,
efficiencies and
improve its
while the strategic review takes
Arul Kanda said: “I am pleased
to be joining 1MDB at this
important juncture. As the
company’s new president, my first
priority will be to undertake a
comprehensive strategic review of
its operations, whilst ensuring that
we drive value from the high
quality energy and property assets
in the company’s portfolio.
“I look forward to working with
the rest of the 1MDB team as we
begin this journey, and am
confident that we will achieve the
right outcome for the company and
its stakeholders.”
1MDB said it will update the
market on the outcome of its
strategic review in due course.
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
PETALING JAYA: Borneo Oil Bhd’s
wholly-owned subsidiary Borneo Oil
and Gas Corp Sdn Bhd (BOG) has
been appointed by Jusra Mining
Merapoh Sdn Bhd (JMM) as the
contractor to carry out prospecting
and mining of alluvial and lode gold
on an exclusive basis on an area
covering 202.8ha under a mining lease
located at Daerah Lipis, Pahang.
The scope of work under the subcontract involves prospecting, exploration and mining of alluvial and lode
gold on an exclusive basis over the
mining area.
It is estimated that the initial financial commitment of RM5 million
for preliminary exploration works and
a budget of RM10 million for plant
& equipment and initial working
capital for alluvial gold mining.
The said mining area was contracted to JMM by MMC Corp Bhd
on July 21, 2004.
The sub-contract is for five years
with a renewal for another five years
subject to a review on the tribute
payment percentage to be mutually
agreed and, if in the opinion of BOG,
there is still gold and other minerals
of commercial quantities in the mining area.
The sub-contract work is not
subject to approval of the shareholders of Borneo Oil.
Kontena Nasional
CEO resigns
Bhd said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, that Syahrul Azmir
Ahmad Zaki has resigned as CEO of
its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kontena
Nasional Bhd, effective Jan 1, 2015.
No reason was given for his resignation.
Syahrul Azmir became CEO of
Kontena Nasional in November 2013
following the departure of then CEO
Hood Osman.
Hood was recently charged in the
Sessions Court with criminal breach
of trust (CBT) of the company’s funds
amounting to RM9.9 million, to which
he pleaded not guilty.
He claimed trial to committing
CBT of the funds belonging to Kontena Nasional.
Hood was alleged to have committed the offence at Kontena Nasional’s
office in Jalan Klang Lama, Seri Setia,
Petaling Jaya, between March 24,
2011 and August 24, 2012.
Puncak Niaga yet to
fix assets handover date
> It will be soon but we
need shareholders’ approval
at EGM tomorrow,
says managing director
Borneo Oil bags
mining contract
[email protected]
SHAH ALAM: Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd’s
wholly-owned subsidiary, Puncak Niaga (M)
Sdn Bhd (PNSB), which has accepted the
Selangor government’s offer to take over its
water concession business, is yet to finalise a
date for the physical handover of the assets to
Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB).
PNSB managing director Datuk Syed
Danial Syed Ariffin said the date would only
be announced after the company’s EGM
“We need the shareholder’s mandate and
approval, so we have to wait for the EGM on
the 7th,” he told reporters at a press
conference after PNSB’s 20 Years of
Excellence celebration here yesterday.
“It (the takeover) will be soon, I would
say, but not definite,” he added, noting that
the group needs 75% approval from its
shareholders to proceed with the
Syed Danial said some 650 employees
currently managing the water treatment
plant, will move over to KDEB following the
takeover of its water treatment plant.
On Nov 11, 2014, Puncak Niaga signed the
sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with
Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air
Selangor) to dispose of its entire 100% equity
in PNSB and 70% equity in Syarikat Bekalan
Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) for RM1.56
Currently, PNSB manages more than 30
water treatment plants in Selangor that
process raw water for the residents of
Syed Danial (second from right) being briefed on an exhibit at Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd’s 20
Years of Excellence celebration at Wisma Rozali, Shah Alam, yesterday.
Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, while
Syabas manages the treated water distribution
Commenting on Puncak Niaga’s business
structure after the transaction has been
completed, he said the takeover of PNSB and
Syabas by KDEB is only in relation to its
concession businesses, while the nonconcession related businesses of PNSB will be
returned to Puncak Niaga.
“Definitely, it (Puncak Niaga) will be
without the concession. Those nonconcessions will still be under us. We are also
involved in sewerage system, treatment plant
construction and pipeline laying. Those are
still our business,” he said.
Syed Danial, however, did not say if it
would park its non-concession assets under a
newly incorporated company or if they would
be injected into an existing company under
the group.
KDEB is expected to take over the
operations and maintenance of the water
treatment plants as well as the water supply
services from Syabas, PNSB and Konsortium
ABASS Sdn Bhd.
Master developer to scale down Forest City
PETALING JAYA: Country Garden
Pacificview Sdn Bhd, the master developer of
the much discussed Forest City in Danga Bay,
Johor Baru, has refuted claims that the project
size of Forest City initially put at 5,000 acres
has been limited to 1,000 acres.
Previous reports put the gross development
value of Forest City at RM600 billion.
In a statement promising more engagement
with the public and media yesterday, Country
Garden said that discussions with the
authorities including the Department of
Environment (DoE) are ongoing and did not
imply that “the project size is to be limited or
compromised in any way.”
“When the metrics, monitoring and
assessment initiatives have been confirmed, the
company will share the details in open forum,”
its executive director Datuk Md Othman said.
He also stressed that the company ceased
the construction work at the site after DoE
requested a detailed environmental impact
assessment of the project.
“Country Garden Pacificview voluntarily
ceased all construction at the site on June 16,
2014. Any modification or change to the
landmass is not due to construction, but due
to natural displacement,” he added.
Country Garden Pacificview is a joint
venture between China’s Country Garden
Holdings Ltd and Johor state government
owned Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor
(KPRJ), with a 60% and 40% stake respectively.
Effective lending rates will be unchanged for time being: Maybank IB Research
Research sees no change in
effective lending rates for the next
few months following the
implementation of the base rate
(BR) replacing the base lending
rate (BLR) effective Jan 2, to allow
consumers to adapt to the change.
However, BLR-based loans prior
to the effective date will continue
to be referenced against the BLR,
but any adjustments to the BR will
be reflected in a corresponding
adjustment to the BLR.
Most banks have decided to
adopt the three-month Kuala
Lumpur Interbank Offered Rate
(KLibor) as their BR. Banks will
have the discretion thereafter to
adjust their BR according to their
funding costs.
Maybank IB Research said it
would monitor for any potential
upside bias to the BR, the impact of
Published base rates and indicative effective lending rates
Base rate
Indicative effective lending rate
Spreadover base rate
Equivalent to BLR minus
Public Bank
Standard Chartered
Affin Bank
Hong Leong Bank
which would be for lending rates to
increase at a time when consumer
demand is already softening, thus
dampening further consumer loan
It noted that the 60 basis points
climb in the three-month KLibor in
2014 to 3.9% does seem excessive
and some consolidation in the short
term is likely.
“Conversely, should the KLibor
decline too sharply, banks’ net
interest margins (NIMs) may
squeeze temporarily, given that
there will be a lag time between the
adjustment to lending rates and
deposit rates,” it added.
Maybank IB Research said
banks that have low funding costs
such as Maybank and Hong Leong
Bank will benefit from the BR, as
they are in a better position to
price their products more
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Malaysia the
biggest loser
> Bottom among S-E Asian bourses last year
on net sale of US$2b by foreign investors
was the biggest loser in 2014 in
terms of money flow in Asia,
having reported a net sale by
foreign investors amounting
to some US$2 billion (RM7
“It was the biggest outflow
since the 2008 crisis exodus.
Despite the selldown, the fiveyear cumulative net purchases
by foreign investors still
amounted to US$8.8 billion,
meaning that the overhang of
foreign liquidity in the system
is still very high,” MIDF
Research said in its fund flow
report yesterday.
It said the FBM KLCI, the
best performing Southeast
Asian market in 2013, received a
heavy knockdown in 2014 as it
ended the year at the bottom
“We believe this privation
was brought about by a
confluence of factors.
“Firstly, due to our earlier
outperformance, the FBM KLCI
was among the most expensive
market based on valuation-term
in early 2014.”
In January last year, it
forewarned of the possibility
“that without favourable
earnings revision going
forward, the tendency for the
market to mean revert may
result in the FBM KLCI underperforming its peers this
Unfortunately, the situation
thenceforth was less than
favourable as witnessed by the
persistent downward earnings
revisions pursuant to the past
four consecutive reporting
“Secondly, our part
dependence on oil and gas as an
important source of state
revenue was dealt a blow in
view of the falling crude
Generally, global money
flow to Asia was stronger in
2014 compared with that in
2013. However, the flow was
uneven and much of it was
influenced by country-specific
By virtue of the size of its
market, the biggest gainer in
terms of dollar in 2014 was
India, which pulled in a net
US$16.1 billion, while the
biggest gainers, in relative
terms, were Indonesia and
Taiwan recorded net
purchases by foreign
investors amounted to US$13.2
billion in 2014, 51% higher
compared with that in 2013,
and the highest in five years.
Taiwan was the biggest
attraction for technologyinclined investors.
Indonesia reported a net
inflow of US$3.8 billion, the
highest since the global
financial crisis.
Thailand reported a US$1.1
billion outflow in 2014, which
was much smaller compared
with the US$6.2 billion net
foreign sale in the year before.
The two biggest losers in
2014 were Thailand and
WZ Satu calls off
proposed acquisition
Bhd’s heads of agreement
(HOA) with vendors to
acquire the entire stake in
UBF Maintenance Sdn Bhd
for RM79 million or 1.5 million
shares of RM1 each has lapsed.
“After due deliberation, the
board of directors of WZ Satu
has resolved not to extend the
validity of the HOA as an
agreement on the terms for the
proposed acquisition between
WZ Satu and the vendors could
not be reached,” WZ Satu said
in a filing with Bursa Malaysia
WZ Satu had on Nov 6, 2014,
entered into an HOA with
Khairul Anuar Mohd Nor,
Datuk Leom Joo Deck, Cheong
Cheng Kee and Wong Ka
Tiang for the proposed
UBF principally carries on
business as a general and
maintenance contractor for
upstream and downstream oil
and gas companies, including
providing services such as
turnaround maintenance
services, surface preparation
and painting services, as well as
the engineering, procurement,
construction and
commissioning of mechanical,
piping, steel structural and civil
Eversendai wins RM44m Dubai job
Corp Bhd’s Dubai subsidiary has
won the RM44 million Nas
Arena contract for the
connection design, fabrication,
supply and erection of structural
steel works for the Nas Indoor
Futsal and Volleyball Arena.
In a filing with the stock
exchange, the specialist
engineering and construction
services provider said the new
arena, with a gross capacity of
5,000 seats, will be used to host
international tournaments.
“We are relying on our
strong reputation to bid for
upcoming projects in line with
the Dubai World Expo 2020
and simultaneously
strengthen our position as a
global player in the booming
construction market in the
Middle East region,” said its
executive chairman Tan Sri A.
K. Nathan in a statement.
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Euro dives to 9-year
low against US dollar
> Down to US$1.20
early yesterday, its
lowest level against the
US unit since early 2006
LONDON: The euro dived below
US$1.20 (RM4.22) to its lowest since
early 2006 yesterday, the dollar starting
2015 as most banks believe it intends to
go on this year – higher across the
Eurozone inflation numbers trickle
out in the first half of the week and are
expected to underline the contrast in
fortunes between the United States and
most of the rest of the developed world
that has sent the dollar soaring since
While US Federal Reserve minutes
tomorow will be picked through for
clues on how soon it will drop its pledge
to keep interest rates low for a
“considerable” time, central banks in
Europe and Japan are pondering how
and when to ease policy further.
The euro, also hurt over the
Christmas period by the launch of a
potentially destabilising election
campaign in Greece, fell to US$1.18605
in Asian trade. It had recovered to
US$1.1945 in early deals in Europe, down
0.5% on the day.
“Increasing expectation for the ECB
to deliver quantitative easing on Jan 22,
combined with rising political concerns
ahead of Greece’s general election
should maintain downward pressure on
the euro,” BNP Paribas strategist
Michael Sneyd said.
“The bullish momentum on the
dollar should persist.”
Sterling was also down 0.2%, at
US$1.5296, having fallen to a 17-month
low of US$1.5185 in Asian trading. The
yen fared somewhat better, just 0.1%
weaker on the day at ВҐ120.38 (RM3.51)
per dollar.
Dealers in London said there was
room for a pause in dollar strength after
the initial surge.
Some said US$1.1975-90 would be a
good level to sell the euro again, with
stronger support for the single currency
around US$1.1850.
“The dollar is stabilising around ¥120
for now but volatility is likely to remain
high as the euro continues to cause
turbulence,” Koji Fukaya, president of
FPJ Securities in Tokyo, said.
“The dollar will remain strong against
the yen in the medium term but a onesided rally we saw last year is unlikely to
be repeated this year,” Fukaya said.
The euro shed nearly 12% against the
dollar in 2014 and ECB chief Mario
Draghi late last week underscored the
potential for the bank to move into
outright money-printing shortly.
Some believe the Greek election on
Jan 25 will help stay the bank’s hand this
month, pushing back expectations for
QE till March, but the prospect that euro
zone-wide inflation tomorrow will hit
zero underlines the risk the bank will
make its move.
German numbers, the biggest single
component of the bloc-wide figures,
were due later yesterday and forecast at
0.3% year-on-year by Reuters polling of
economists. – Reuters
DoCoMo goes for
arbitration over
Tata Tele stake sale
Inc yesterday said it has asked a
London court to ensure Tata Sons
Ltd finds a buyer willing to pay at
least US$1.1 billion (RM3.9 billion) for
the Japanese carrier’s stake in a
struggling Indian joint venture.
DoCoMo was seeking arbitration
after Tata failed to find a buyer for its
26.5% stake in Tata Teleservices Ltd,
one of India’s smallest mobile networks
which has failed to grow its subscriber
base at the same rate as its peers.
Price wars are commonplace in
India’s highly competitive telecoms
industry, where foreign firms
including Vodafone, Singapore
Telecommunications Ltd and Russia’s
Sistema operate either through joint
ventures or as separate entities.
DoCoMo decided to exit Tata
Teleservices in July, saying the
company had not met undisclosed
performance targets, and gave Tata
90 days to find a buyer.
That deadline expired on Dec 3,
and under a pact, Tata had to sell the
stake for US$1.1 billion – about half
the price DoCoMo paid initially – or
fair market price, whichever was
higher, DoCoMo spokesman
Shunsuke Muraki told Reuters.
Tata Sons said in a statement
yesterday it was trying to resolve the
issue. Tata had tried to sell
DoCoMo’s stake, bankers with
knowledge of the matter said, but it
failed to get bidders due to concerns
about Tata Teleservices’ prospects.
Tata Teleservices’ mobile user
base increased by 2% at end-October
from a year-ago to 64.78 million,
lagging both the sector growth of 7%
and market leader Bharti Airtel Ltd’s
nearly 10% increase, according to the
latest figures from the telecom
A person with knowledge of the
matter said Tata was willing, and had
the liquidity, to buy DoCoMo’s stake
but could only do so with central
bank approval.
It was not immediately clear if the
central bank would okay the deal, as
the rules prevent foreign investors
from selling stakes in Indian firms at
a predetermined price.
Revamped US oil
hedges may test
Opec’s patience
ALL SYSTEMS GO ... A sign for the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show
is seen outside the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. �2015
International CES’, the world’s largest showcase for the latest in consumer
electronics, runs from today until Friday.
Venezuela leader seeks financial
backing from China, Opec members
CARACAS: Venezuelan President
Nicolas Maduro began a trip to China
and Opec member countries late
Sunday in search of financial support as
his country reels from falling oil prices
and a tattered economy.
The South American oil giant
confirmed last Tuesday that it has
entered recession, while annual
inflation topped 63%, exacerbating the
outlook for an economy already hit by
global crashing oil prices and import
“It’s a very important tour ... to tackle
new projects to address the
circumstances affecting our country,
including the depletion of revenues due
to plummeting oil prices,” Maduro said
in a radio and television address from
the Miraflores presidential palace.
Maduro said he would discuss
economic, financial, energy,
technological, educational and
development projects with Chinese
President Xi Jinping.
Maduro had been expected to
announce exchange measures to address
these issues. Instead, the president
announced the creation of a strategic
reserve, appointed a new board for the
entity that manages currency exchange
controls and created new agencies to
control the distribution of commodities.
The price of Venezuelan oil has
dropped more than 50% since June 2014,
trading at around US$47 (RM165) at the
end of December.
The fall in prices dramatically reduces
the income of Venezuela, which gets 96%
of its foreign currency from oil exports.
China has agreed to a US$42 billion
loan for the Caribbean country, of which
it has already paid out US$24 billion.
During his visit, Maduro will
participate in the summit between
China and the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States, or
CELAC, scheduled for Jan 8 and 9.
The Venezuelan leader will then
head to several Opec countries to
“continue making efforts at the highest
level for a strategy to recover” oil prices,
though he did not specify which
countries he would tour or when. – AFP
NEW YORK: As a war of nerves between US shale
producers and Gulf powerhouses intensifies, Opec’s
biggest members are counting down the months until
their upstart rivals lose the one thing shielding them
from crashing oil prices – hedges.
They may need much more patience than they
reckon, however, because those hedges are a moving
target. Rather than wait for their price insurance to
run out, many companies are racing to revamp their
policies, cashing in well-placed hedges to increase
the number of future barrels hedged, according to
industry consultants, bankers and analysts familiar
with the deals.
Opec officials hope that once US oil companies
get fully exposed to the impact of an over 50% slide in
crude prices since last June, they will have to drill
fewer new wells, causing US production growth to
stall and putting a floor under oil prices now testing
US$50 (RM176) a barrel.
“There are companies which are hedged until the
beginning of the year or until the end of the year, so
we need to wait at least until the first quarter to see
what is going to happen,” United Arab Emirates
Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed al-Mazroui told
Reuters and one other news agency last month.
Yet that hope is based largely on quarterly
company reports from several months ago, when
drillers last made their hedging portfolios public. In
the meantime, with the price rout showing no sign of
reversing, at least some firms have put on new
hedges that will help prevent their revenues from
falling further – and allow them to drill far longer this
year than earlier expected.
“Opec should not expect to see any impact on US
shale growth in the first half of the year and the
impact in the second half is being attenuated
significantly by producer hedging,” says Ed Morse,
global head of commodities research at Citigroup,
one of the biggest US banks involved hedging.
For the moment, it is unclear which companies are
involved in the effort. New hedging strategies are
only likely to get disclosed in quarterly earnings
reports in late January.
“It’s a hot topic of discussion that everyone is
thinking about and looking at,” said Craig Breslau,
who heads the energy derivatives marketing desk at
Societe Generale in Houston, which has been
involved in some restructuring transactions.
While the proportion of oil companies actually
executing whose deals is not that high, the deals thus far
have been large in terms of volume and dollars, he said.
According to their last filings, oil companies such
as EOG Resources Inc, Anadarko Petroleum Corp,
Devon Energy Corp and Noble Energy Inc had
hedged some of their 2015 production at prices of
US$90 a barrel or more.
The net short position of oil producers and other
non-financial companies in US crude oil futures and
options markets – used as a rough gauge of hedging
activity – has grown from 15 million barrels in August
to more than 77 million barrels last week. – Reuters
Foreign currency
JANUARY 5, 2015
Bank sell Bank buy Bank buy
98.3700 93.4900 93.2900
57.5000 55.4000
46.5800 44.2700 44.0700
99.1800 94.3400 94.1400
96.3100 91.4300 91.2300
31.2700 28.8400 28.6400
Source: Malayan Banking Berhad/Bernama
JANUARY 6, 2015
f Editor Irene Leong fTel (Editorial) 03-7784 6688 fTo advertise email [email protected]
Innovative learning
through Unitar
> 21st century teaching and
learning via UNIEC
[email protected]
NITAR International University
provides the public easier access to
learning in terms of variety of
programmes offered as well as
method of delivery.
Unitar vice chancellor, Assoc Prof Dr
Sakina Sofia Baharom said the university is
the only one around that does conventional,
distance and blended learning.
“It is difficult what we intend to do but at
the end of the day, our focus is the students.
We want to ensure that the students’ learning
experience, whether at the main campus or at
our learning centres, have the same
“We provide tablets to our students which
a lot of universities do, but for us, the tablet is
a learning device because in it is our learning
management system and most importantly,
our e-books.
“We have done an e-book deployment
with Pearson Malaysia Sdn Bhd where 60%
of our books are e-books. We did it because
everything is going online, and we are about
the only university that is doing this
worldwide. I am proud to say that we got
visitors coming to ask how we deploy this,”
Sakina said.
“We have relooked into our direction and
we want to be a leading, innovative social
science university. We know our strength is
teaching and learning, and our focus is on a
concept we call UNIEC (Unitar Education
Core). This is our 21st century teaching and
“UNIEC encompasses UNIEC Face where
we insist on face-to-face learning, UNIEC
Virtual where all our learning materials are
online, and MyUNIEC where we are going
into personalisation of study.
“All of us learn differently so we want to
understand our students by personalising
learning. Learning doesn’t only happen in the
classroom. We believe students need to be
involved in activities inside and outside of
the classroom.
“For us, the most important thing is
engagement of learning. When you do it and
are involved, you learn. We are changing our
curriculum; students in the п¬Ѓrst year are
introduced to industry by working with
“In the second year, the students do their
internship and how the industry evaluates
their staff is the same way we evaluate their
internship. In their third year, students do
research and it is not about producing a
Chee (left) receives the award
from World Branding Forum
chairman Richard Rowles.
ELS named
Brand of the
Sakina said
Unitar aims to
produce holistic
and wholesome
students who
are equipped
with 21st century
thesis. It is about what they have learned
during their internship.
“They say universities are divorced from
industry but we are changing that. For
example, we are very close to KidZania. Our
students who did their internship there did a
review and presented it to their management,
and they were very happy with it.
“This is what we want. We want holistic
and wholesome students who can work on
the very п¬Ѓrst day.
“The industry is looking for
communication skills, critical thinking,
information searching skills and
collaboration skills in graduates. These are
the main 21st century skills which we are
striving to ensure that students have. We
want to keep abreast with the industry so we
produce students for the industry,” Sakina
“We are working on spreading our wings
into Asean countries. We have international
students and academicians, and that provides
a world view to students. You must have
different perspectives to grow and this comes
from collaborations with international
“We have collaborations with universities
from Japan, Australia, the UK and the US
where we have done exchange of staff and
students. I would want Unitar to grow
internationally, and to do that we have to be
out there.
“It is good to have international exposure
as then your mindset changes, you see things
differently, and you come back with better
“There are a few challenges and the first is
changing mindsets. You have academicians
who are good in their п¬Ѓeld but they have not
thought about how to incorporate values into
that. Secondly, we are highly regulated; we
adhere to all the requirements but we go the
extra bit.
“For me, students’ learning and
engagement is most important. All
investment, training and policies have to
revolve around that,” Sakina said.
“Our aim is to boost the Malaysian
education system. Right now we are
designing programmes that produce students
to help the country grow.
“Malaysia wants to become an education
hub and that is good for the country. In order
for society to progress, we need to be a
knowledge-based society.
“The government has provided a lot of
incentives for branch campuses. We are
attractive for people to come and study, and
from there we can pick the best brains but the
problem as usual is the management of it.
We need to get the regulation and
management right to get the right people in,”
Sakina said.
ELS Language Centres was named
Brand of the Year in the English
Education - Malaysia category at
the 2014 World Branding Awards.
A total of 68 brands from 25
countries were honoured at an
awards ceremony at One
Whitehall Place in London
“It is truly an honour for ELS to
receive recognition for its brand in
Malaysia. Being part of a network
of 90 ELS centres in 13 countries,
ELS Malaysia is a strong advocate
for international education and
promotes this actively,” said ELS
Language Centres, Malaysia
director Sean Chee.
“Having won this award
signifies that we have a lot to do to
develop the English language
proficiency in Malaysia—and we
are excited of our nation’s
potential,” Chee added.
The awards was organised by
the World Branding Forum, a
global non-profit organisation
which produces, manages and
supports a wide range of
programmes covering research,
development, education,
recognition, networking and
The awards recognised some of
the best global and national brands
for their work and achievements.
Uniquely, winners were judged
through four streams: brand
valuation, consumer market
research, public online voting, as
well as voting by the World
Branding Forum Advisory
Council, made up of luminaries
from the world of branding.
GEMS arrives in Malaysia
SEBERANG Prai is a rapidly progressing
district that is home to up-and-coming
townships and top-notch higher
education. However, what was lacking
was an international school.
GEMS Education has stepped in with
Little GEMS, a learning centre for threeto seven-year-olds set up in Pearl City,
Simpang Ampat last year. This will be
closely followed by GEMS International
School @ Pearl City (GIP) that is
scheduled to open in September and
caters to children aged three to 18.
“We saw a need and we filled it,” said
GIP director of Parent Engagement, Jesse
Rinkenberger. “As the first international
school on Penang’s mainland, the school
not only caters to the growing population
there, but is also highly accessible to the
entire northern region, encompassing
Kedah, Perlis and northern Perak.”
“Parents really appreciate the
convenience of having an international
school within their vicinity. We have
even received enrolments from Taiping,
Perak,” he added.
Little GEMS and GIP will be located in
a purpose-built campus that sits on eight
acres of land,. This marks GEMS
Education’s maiden foray into Malaysia,
with plans to open in KL and Johor.
As the largest K-12 private education
provider in the world, GEMS Education
already has an established presence in 19
countries and offers six different
curricula. Their network spans across
Europe, Africa, Asia and North America,
with more than 140,000 students from 151
GIP offers a UK-based curriculum that
has been adapted to suit Malaysian needs.
It prepares students for the International
General Certificate of Secondary
Education (IGCSE) and A-Level
“Our curriculum emphasises a truly
holistic education, focusing not just on
academics, but also on developing
students’ skills to ensure they are futureready,” Rinkenberger said.
“What’s more, our teachers come from
diverse backgrounds from the UK,
Australia and Malaysia. They are given
opportunities to go through a dedicated
teacher training programme, ensuring
students obtain superior international
The purpose-built campus provides a vibrant
learning environment.
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Avenged Sevenfold
> The American heavy metal band will perform
at Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach on Jan 23
around for more than a decade,
prevailing through the everchanging music scene over the
years. Yet, the American heavy metal
band has stayed true to its roots,
delivering six studio albums to date and
winning a number of awards along the
Formed in 1999 in California, its
name (thought out by frontman Matt
Shadows) is inspired by the story of
Cain and Abel in the Bible.
Over the years, Avenged Sevenfold
(sometimes called A7X) saw the
coming and going of several bassists as
well as the unfortunate passing of its
drummer, James �The Rev’ Sullivan, in
Today, besides lead vocalist and
frontman Shadows, the band consists
of lead guitarist Synyster Gates, rhythm
guitarist Zacky Vengeance, bassist
Johnny Christ and drummer Arin Ilejay.
No stranger in Malaysia, the band
returns once more to perform on Jan 23
at Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach.
In a tele-interview arranged by PR
Worldwide, Shadows chats about the
band as well as their future plans.
There were talks of Avenged
Sevenfold disbanding. How
did that go?
“After The Rev passed away,
we just simply had to
ask ourselves if we
wanted to
the band
… (from left)
Christ, Ilejay,
Gates and
Shadows in
“And we thought, after all, we have
been best friends and it’d be silly not to
continue. But any other rumours of us
disbanding are only just things online
and purely just people blowing things
out of proportion.
“We are here to say. Whether some
like it or not, we’re gonna be here.”
It’s really out of the box. I can’t believe
we even reached it.
“In terms of music, I think three
of the best songs we’ve ever written
are on that record. That would be the
Nightmare song, Buried Alive and Save
Me. I think those are three best songs
that we’ve ever done.”
How do you guys carry on together
with that thought lingering in the air?
“When we lose somebody like The Rev,
you never get over that. It’s something
that you will live with for the rest of your
life. Of course, I’d love to write music
with Jimmy again or perform with him
or just hang out have a beer. But
that’s never going to happen.
“But as far as the rest of
us are concerned, we are
still very excited to still be
together … it’s one of those
things where you don’t
know how long it’s going to
last or how long your friends
are going to be here.
“So, instead
of really be
depressed about
Jimmy, we just
try to be
there are
four of us
and we can still make music
together ... I’d say that we’ve
moved on and we are doing the
best that we can.”
What can Malaysian fans expect
when you come to perform on Jan 23?
“Looking at the set that we did the last
time, we didn’t play very long. So I want
to give them a long show because they
don’t get that very often.
“So, they should expect a much
longer show than the last time. We
have a lot more materials as well. They
should expect different songs than
what we played last time.
“And I mean we’ve been sitting
at home for four months, so we are
ready to get out there, so there’s a lot
of energy as well. We are excited to be
doing this whole tour and I think they
should expect a good, solid night out.”
Among all the singles, which is your
personal favourite and why?
“There are always phases, when I haven’t
listened to something for a while and I
listen to it again, and I’m like: �Oh that’s
pretty cool!’ and I’ll get over it.
“But I think if I have
to say our most
solid album
would be
So what’s next after the tour?
“We are still dealing with it. We’re
getting offers to do some shows but we
don’t know if we’re going to stay home all
summer and just write or if we’re going
to write and do a couple of shows here
and there.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you because
if I told you, I’d probably be wrong and
then everyone will be mad at me, so
yeah, I really don’t know what we’re
going to do.
“But I do know that we’ve already
started writing, just putting ideas
together for a new material [that we
will continue in the summer].
“The new album is going to sound
like Avenged Sevenfold but not like any
of our previous records.”
For concert ticketing details, visit the
Ticketpro website
Banshee back for a third season on Jan 10
POPULAR drama series Banshee returns
for its 10-episode third season less than
a day after its US premiere this Saturday
at 11pm on Cinemax (Astro channel
Executive-produced by Jonathan
Tropper, Peter Macdissi, Alan Ball and
Greg Yaitanes, Banshee stars Antony Starr
as Lucas Hood (right), an ex-con and master
thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff
of a small town called Banshee where he
continues his criminal pursuits while
enforcing his own code of justice.
The returning cast includes Ivana
Milicevic as Anastasia, Lucas’ former lover
and a notorious jewel thief who lives in
Banshee with her new family under the
assumed identity of Carrie Hopewell.
Others in the series are Ulrich Thomsen
as Kai Proctor, an intimidating, wealthy
businessman who believes he is above the
law; Frankie Faison as Sugar Bates, a
powerful and wise former boxer and ex-con
who is now the owner of the local watering
hole; and Hoon Lee as Job, a dangerous
transvestite computer hacker who assists
Lucas and Carrie in their criminal
In the first episode of the season, Lucas
and his deputies, Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto)
and Siobhan Kelly (Trieste Kelly Dunn),
exact payback on a skinhead responsible
for the death of their fellow deputy, Emmett
(Demetrius Grosse).
Meanwhile, Carrie, now waitressing at
a local diner, faces new challenges in the
wake of her revelation about her criminal
past to her husband, Gordon (Rus
Blackwell), who is also Banshee’s district
attorney, and their daughter, Deva (Ryann
A new menacing threat looms on the
horizon for Lucas, not to mention Kai and
Kai’s niece Rebecca (Lili Simmons).
While Investigating the murder of four
Marines, Lucas eyes the possibility of a
huge, if dangerous, heist, and attempts to
reenlist Job to help him and Sugar pull it
Catch new episodes of the series every
Saturday at 11pm on Cinemax.
63, who used to manage
Solange, reportedly held a
yard sale outside his home in
Houston recently to offload
a number of items from their
early years including a huge
poster of Beyonce and tour
According to gossip website
TMZ, as well as other souvenirs, the businessman
– who was fired as the singer’s manager in 2011
– was also said to be selling other non-celebrity
items such as office furniture.
ADELE, 26, who has twoyear-old son Angelo with her
charity worker partner Simon
Konecki, 40, has blasted
rumours that their relationship
is on the rocks.
The extremely private star
took to Twitter to address the
speculation: “Just wanted to
wish everyone happy holidays
& all the best for 2015! PS Simon
& I are still very much together, don’t believe what
you readx (sic).”
29, is all praise for her
husband, Ryan Sweeting, for
taking amazing care of her
while she recovers from sinus
The star, who underwent an
operation on her nose to treat
a long-time congestion problem
on Dec 26, shared a number of
photographs of herself and
Ryan from her hospital bed on Instagram.
She later wrote: “Sinus surgery sucks. My
husband does not (can’t wait to breathe again)!!!
reportedly in a long-term
relationship with his 39-yearold production assistant.
The director, who recently
announced his split from Helena
Bonham Carter after 13 years
together, has been romancing
Berenice Percival who has been
working for him for three years,
according to a report in The
Mail on Sunday newspaper.
Meanwhile, Helena’s friends think Tim is having
a classic mid-life crisis.
still considered to be among
the most attractive women
in Hollywood, but she freely
admits to having worries
– and how she will age, in
The Colombian beauty says:
“I don’t want to age! If you said
applying cement around my
eyes would stop wrinkles, I would do it.”
She shared in the January issue of New Beauty
magazine that she longs to relive her 20s. “Youth
makes everyone look good. I used to have to take
care of fewer things.”
JAMIE OLIVER, 39, once
hours of sleep a night.
The celebrity chef admits
that he lived an unhealthy
lifestyle for a decade, causing
him to put on weight and
stopping him from functioning
like a regular person.
He said: “It got to a point this
summer where I had to do
something. I knew there was something wrong
with me. On a fundamental level, I wasn’t
functioning like a normal person. I’d sit down in
the office, fall asleep and start dribbling.
“Not pretty. Not good.” – Bang Media
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
A rite of passage
> A camp is a great place for children
to learn to socialise, be a better person
and earn their badges of honour
Teh Time
F YOU want to be an
awesome parent, you must
send your kids to a children’s
camp. You will receive their
undying gratitude and a trophy
with The World’s Coolest Parent
emblazoned on it.
When my kids were
younger, they attended the
Sunday School holiday Bible
school and as teenagers,
they joined the annual Youth
Development Programme
(YDP), which is a rite of
passage that our church youths
look forward to every year.
If you have never sent
your children to camp before,
whether religious or secular, I
urge you to do so.
Why send them to a camp?
For starters, you get to enjoy
a few days of peace and quiet
while they’re away.
But here’s the real deal:
X Your children will develop
social skills
The relaxing environment of a
camp is ripe for forming
friendships. It is the place for
them to make their best friends
ever when they are
spending three to
four days together
learning, singing,
laughing, playing
and throwing
water balloons at
each other.
At the camp,
participants are
divided into
different teams.
activities and
games are conducted
in groups.
In this
environment, new
friends are made,
and old bonds
X Camp trains
them to be
They might have been
mollycoddled from young, with
mum or a maid waiting on them
hand and foot at home.
At camp, they must go get
their own meals, serve others,
clean up after themselves, and
sometimes even bury their own
X They get to embark on a
real adventure
Most camps involve some sort of
Ward off illness
with hugs
in your child.
activities such as
hiking, running or
outdoor games
where they actually
have to get out and
move, not one where they
sit on their butt and shoot
aliens on their iPad.
Also at camp, they
willingly subject
themselves to strenuous
X They will learn positive
All camps, whether religious or
secular, strive to impart positive
Your child may act like King
Royal but after a camp, he minds
his manners and he never
complains any more about your
You might also want to
kowtow to the organiser for
inculcating such good values and
X Camp builds self-esteem
Participation is a key element in
most camps.
At our YDP, the talent-time
presentations on the last night of
the camp is a highlight. Every
camper has to participate.
Each group would then put
together a skit according to a
chosen theme. Even the shyest
wallflower has to venture out to
the stage.
As icing on the cake, your
children might even meet their
soul mate during the camp.
When that happens, you
deserve another accolade: The
Greatest Parent in the Whole
Lydia Teh is a mother
of four and author of eight
books, including the latest, Still
Honking – More Scenes from
Malaysian Life. Send comments
to [email protected]
HUGS can protect stressed individuals
from getting sick, said researchers at
Carnegie Mellon University.
“We know that people experiencing
ongoing conflicts with others are less
able to fight off cold viruses,” says lead
study author Sheldon Cohen, who adds
that people who report having social
support are also partly protected from
the effects of stress on psychological
states such as depression and anxiety.
Working with 404 healthy adults,
whose perception of social support were
first determined by means of a
questionnaire, researchers held nightly
phone interviews with each participant
for two weeks to assess the frequencies
of interpersonal conflicts in their lives
and how often they received hugs.
Next, participants are exposed to the
common cold virus and quarantined.
“We tested whether perceptions of
social support are equally effective in
protecting us from stress-induced
susceptibility to infection,” says Cohen.
“And also whether receiving hugs might
partially account for those feelings of
support and themselves protect a
person against infection.”
According to results, perceived social
support did, indeed, reduce the risk of
infection that arises due to interpersonal
conflicts. – AFP-Relaxnews
Audit Bureau of Circulation (January - June 2014)
Chinese New Year
Thursday, 5 February 2015
The lucky Sheep, or it’s cousin
the Goat, ranks eighth in
the Chinese zodiac calender.
The number “8” for the
Chinese is an auspicious one,
symbolizing prosperity. With
its strong forehead and horns
representing strength and
fortitude, in addition to its kind
and protective nature, it is no
wonder we will see the Green
Wood Sheep persevering
through the challenges in the
coming year.
theSun ushers in the Year of
the Green Wood Sheep with an
unravelling of celebration. The
treasure chest of theSun’s 2015
Chinese New Year supplement
will have an abundance of
exciting features:
• Predictions for the Year of
the Green Wood Sheep for
the 12 animal signs
• Best the best shopping deals
in town
• CNY Celebrations in shopping
Malls for everyone
• New Year’s fashion, tips and
• Reunion dinners – Featuring
traditional CNY dishes and
interesting places to dine
during the celebration
• Feng Shui tips for homes and
offices for happiness, luck &
February 5, 2015
Edition: National
January 23, 2015
January 30, 2015
Contact theSun’s Marketing team to book your advertising space.
Petaling Jaya Office: 03-7784 6688
Penang Office: 04-262 7598
Email: [email protected]
305,000 COPIES DAILY | KLANG VALLEY 227,923 | PENANG 37,178 | JOHOR BARU 16,122 | OTHER AREAS 23,777*
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
(left) Celebrating
the 90th birthday
of Nek (at far right),
the man who built
the Rock Garden of
Chandigarh (below,
bottom and far left)
with his own hands
from discarded
materials and
broken household
In his
secret garden
> The Rock Garden of Chandigarh in India is
Nek Chaud’s 18-year labour of love creating a
8ha wonderland of waterfalls and sculptures
EEP inside his massive
garden of handmade
waterfalls and sculptures,
Nek Chand recalls toiling
away secretly in the dead of night
for a staggering 18 years to create
his wonderland in north India.
Riding his bicycle after dark to a
state-owned forest, Nek spent night
after night clearing patches of
ground and transforming the
landscape into a majestic garden
that would cover 20 acres (8ha).
“I started building this garden as
a hobby in the 1950s,” Nek told AFP
in an interview on the eve of his
90th birthday recently.
“For 18 years, nobody came to
know. There was a forest here, who
would come here and what for?
There were no roads to come and
go,” Nek said nostalgically, seated
in the garden that has become a
major tourist attraction, drawing
thousands of visitors a day.
After the deadly violence and
upheaval of partition in 1947, India
set about building a capital for
Punjab state, carved out of a region
that stretched across the border
into newly-formed Pakistan.
From the tonnes of building
materials and rubbish that
followed, Nek carefully collected
what he considered gems while
working as a lowly roads inspector
in the upcoming Chandigarh city.
Pottery pieces, glass, tiles and
even broken bathroom sinks were
used to make sculptures of men and
women, fairies and demons,
elephants, monkeys and gods.
“I had many ideas, I was thinking
all the time. I began carrying all the
material on my bicycle and
collecting it here,” Nek said of his
garden of mosaic pathways, hidden
chambers and courtyards.
“I did three to four rounds on my
cycle each day. I saw beauty and art
in what people said was junk.”
When his secret was finally
discovered in 1976, authorities
threatened demolition, claiming
Nek had violated strict land laws.
But an amazed public rallied
behind him, leading to his
appointment as head of the newlyopened Rock Garden of
Nek stepped up his creation of
hundreds of sculptures – mostly
made from broken household
material and discarded personal
items including electric sockets,
switches, bangles and bicycle
Some made of broken glass
bangles show girls dancing; others
of ceramic pieces depict men at a
party pouring glasses of whiskey.
Ticket sales grew as word of the
secret garden spread, with some
3,000 people from across the
country and overseas now
wandering through it daily.
“It’s so amazing. It’s something
like reliving Willy Wonka and the
Chocolate Factory,” Jasmine Paul, a
resident of Vancouver who was
holidaying in India, told AFP. “It is
just like the fairy tales that you
grow up reading.”
With no formal education in art
or sculpture, Nek drew inspiration
from his childhood when he played
near a river flowing through his
village in what is now Muslimmajority Pakistan.
Nek and his family were forced
to flee across the border during
partition because they were
Hindus, finally settling in
Chandigarh, the shared capital of
Punjab and Haryana states.
“That is why there is a childlike
quality to the sculptures,” said Alan
Cesarno, a British volunteer with
the Nek Chand Foundation that
was set up in 1997 to raise funds for
the garden’s upkeep.
“When you look around you
realise that it is actually a child’s
version of a fantasy kingdom,” he
told AFP standing next to one of the
several waterfalls.
Nek’s statues have found their
way into museums across the
world, including at the National
Children’s Museum in Washington,
the American Folk Art Museum in
New York and the RIBA gallery in
Liverpool in 2007.
Back home, the garden is facing
conservation challenges, including
a lack of funds from the state
government which takes the ticket
sales, according to volunteers.
Vandalism has been reported
more than once and enthusiastic
visitors often climb or lean on the
structures, damaging their fragile
“In a country known more for
slums and garbage dumps, the rock
garden stands as an exceptional
example,” said Mani Dhillon, a
volunteer involved in the garden’s
“It is perhaps the only place of
its kind in the entire world. The
administration and the people must
realise its importance, they must
come forward and save it before it’s
too late,” she told AFP.
While Nek still oversees the
garden as its founding head with
near daily visits, his age and failing
eyesight mean he can no longer
spend the long hours needed to
create new sculptures.
He is, however, undaunted by
the challenges facing his more than
half a century’s work, saying he has
faith in God from which he draws
his strength.
“I am not scared of anything.
Had I been scared, how would I
have worked in the dead of the
night in the jungle?” - AFP
Dollhouse and chair in one
YOU’RE not alone in having
children who hate tidying up their
But a new innovative dollhouse
provides extra encouragement, by
doubling up as a chair and storage
unit when tidied away.
Combining functionality and
play, Dollhouse chair splits open
down the middle via a hinge to
reveal the shape of a house with a
red gable roof.
Once playtime is over, children
can tidy away their toys and
dollhouse accessories such as
miniature furniture and close the
house shut with a latch.
The unit has enough space for
additional toys and small objects
to be stored inside it also.
Made of white birch plywood, it is
the brainchild of Japanese studio
Torafu Architects, which designs
buildings, interior spaces and
products through an approach
“based on architectural thinking”.
– AFP-Relaxnews
Staying gold
> Watch out world, this style-maker
is determined to leave a �mak’
out in
On his biz
Photographer, CEO of The List, parttime fitness coach and model
Also known as: Winner, CLEO’s Most
Eligible Bachelor 2013 and GLAM
Lelaki’s Most Stylish 2013, second
runner-up, Esquire Malaysia’s Best
Dressed Men 2013
Greatest fear: Heights
Favourite comfort food: Ikan bakar in
Kampung Baru and Italian
Guilty pleasure: Watching romantic
you want to do
after that. I can’t
be paid just for
clothes, so
from there I
started doing
my own thing
and made
work out of
it,” explained
the Petaling
Jaya native.
towering at 5’10”
(1.77m), the downto-earth lad discusses
his prismatic
portfolio, the
aftermath to fame,
and the tattoos which
define him.
I collect tattoos when I travel or meet
a new artist that’s good with a certain
style. The �scissors and two needles’
on my arm, for instance, is to
commemorate my late mum who was
a fashion designer. I want to do a
huge, badass, beat-up ship next (on
the calf and ankle area), and I want it
to say, �Sailed through hell and back’.
When I get married, I’m going to put a
rope and anchor there, which pretty
much means I’m done sailing.
He enjoys
sports and the
How did your personal style
evolve throughout the years?
I’ve always been a street guy because
You’ve come a
long way in a very
brief time. How do
you stay
Being with the people
I’ve always been with.
Those who knew me
before I became
famous or successful,
friends who stuck
around when I was a
�nobody’ – they don’t
treat me differently. I
also have a tattoo that
says �Stay Gold’
(inspired by the 1983
film The Outsiders),
which means stay
And what does
your family think
about your
Deep down I know
they’re proud of me,
because they keep my
magazine covers and newspapers
articles. My dad doesn’t show a lot of
emotions but his friends would always
come up to me and say, �You know,
your father likes to show you off to us
on his phone.’
Speaking of tattoos, what
inspire yours and what’s the
next one going to be?
Relating the story behind his �scissors and
needles’ tattoo.
when I was young I used to skate and
listen to a lot of hip hop. As I grew
older, I watched my dad dress up in
suits for his formal events and that got
me curious about suits. He took me to
tailor make my first suit, for my
graduation. That was when I started
learning about bespoke suits.
These days I try to mix street and
Would you rather be in front
of or behind the camera?
That’s a tough question because
both feel different. When you’re
in front of the camera, all the
attention is on you and there’s a
certain glam to it. It feels good. But
when you’re behind the camera, you
get to control the set and direction,
how the photograph turns out and
everything. In a way, they’re both
masters of the shoot.
ORN with a face that
has arrogance spelt
all over it (which he’s
admittedly aware of),
the 14 ink designs
emblazoned on Nicholas
Mak’s well-maintained,
chiselled body may
have further
weakened some
people in the knees –
perhaps in fear,
adoration or both. The
good news is looks
can be deceiving and
this rings
exceptionally true, in
Mak’s case at least.
The 26-year-old
photographer has a
heart of gold that
juxtaposes his cold
facade, one that
burns for all
things art,
fashion and
fitness. When he
isn’t in the
limelight, he gets
behind the camera
for his own set-up
(Stay Gold
Images) and
manages The List,
an online high
fashion magazine
he co-founded.
The fitness
junkie, who
works out for at
least eight hours a
week, also coaches on
a part-time basis.
As his many hats
would indicate, Mak is
adamant to grow out of
being a one-hit wonder, or
rather a three-time
winner. “It’s not always
about winning
(contests) but what
Next Gen
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Tattoos play
a significant
part of
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Dec 21 – Jan 19
behind recent complex situations
could take time. Triggered by the encounter
between the Sun and secretive Pluto, in
Capricorn, everybody’s unspoken concerns were
highlighted, including yours. Much as you dislike
the idea, be the first to tell all. It will force others
to do the same.
Jan 20 – Feb 17
OVER the past week or so,
there’ve been power struggles
over certain crucial decisions. While you have
no choice but to go along with others, this week,
the mood will be considerably more easygoing.
So much so that, as long as you’re tactful, the
individuals in question will consider your
Feb 18 – March 19
ALTHOUGH the emotionallyunsettled mood triggered by the
Full Moon is over, you’re still
feeling unsettled about a number of matters.
While this will soon pass, invest time in
considering whether you can do something
about these. Tackling these head on will boost
your spirits considerably.
March 20 – April 19
THE Full Moon may have already
taken place. However, because
it accented long overdue
changes in your work or lifestyle, you’ll be
dealing with the process of making the necessary
decisions and putting them into action for some
time to come. If any decisions are urgent, make
them. Just ensure they’re flexible.
April 20 – May 20
ALTHOUGH you may not have
thought of it in these terms, some
of the ideas or offers you’re
consistently avoiding could prove far more
rewarding than you conceive possible. This is
the issue. Not until you learn more will you
recognise their promise. Knowing that, the
sooner you begin exploring them, the better.
May 21 – June 20
SINCE mid-December you’ve
accomplished a lot. This is the
influence of both your ruler
Mercury and Venus having been in the hyperpractical Capricorn. You need a break. You’ll
get it. In fact, now that they’re both in the most
inquisitive portion of your chart, you’ll make up
for lost time.
June 21 – July 21
FOR ages, you’ve known a serious
increasingly important practical, financial or
business matters was necessary, but not
everybody agreed. Now events force those
who’ve been ignoring them to acknowledge
not only the need to talk these over in depth,
but that it should be done soon.
July 22 – Aug 22
THERE’S a fine line between
fighting for what you believe in
and refusing to recognise when
it’s time to let go. That’s exactly the dilemma
you’re facing, and possibly, in several very
different situations. Simply considering the
possibility that you could bring these to an end
is a vital first step.
Aug 23 – Sept 22
are no problem. In fact, if they’ve
thought things through, you’re
always interested to hear what they have to say.
But those who object for no reason are another
matter. This is exactly what you’re facing. Forget
about logical discussion. It’s a battle of your will
versus theirs, nothing more.
The piano
> Eccentric French musician Jean Jude
has turned his home into an orphanage
for this stately instrument
EAN JUDE (above, centre),
glasses perched on the end
of his nose, is practising
scales when his visitor
“Sorry, there isn’t much room
in here,” Jude says, getting up
from one piano before wending
his way among countless others
filling his living room, part of a
unique collection totalling
around 150.
Jude and his cat live among
the pianos in a four-bedroom
house at the end of a cul-de-sac
in Saint Pierre des Corps, a
suburb of the central French city
of Tours.
A wooden gate opens into a
yard cluttered with pianos stored
in crates and protected from the
elements with blue tarpaulins.
These are overflow
instruments that the 63-year-old
music teacher cannot manage to
squeeze inside or in the garage.
His passion for the stately
instruments has driven Jude to
rescue scores of them from
oblivion, sniffing out hidden
treasures at charity shops and
auctions, then restoring them
when necessary.
“You’re in a sort of orphanage
here,” Jude smiles. “In the 70s
Flying McCoy
and 80s, it was fashionable to
turn pianos into furniture. Many
of those that I bought for a
pittance would no doubt have
ended up as bars, bookcases or
writing desks.”
People often are unaware of
the value of the pianos they give
away or sell for a song.
Five of Jude’s pianos have
been recognised as national
heritage: an upright Clementi
from 1820, a 1836 Pape grand and
three Pleyels including the first
grand built by the iconic French
piano maker in 1820, a concert
grand from 1843 and an 1825
square piano. The oldest piece in
the collection dates to 1782.
But it was an 1855 Pleyel
model, built specially for that
year’s Universal Exhibition in
Paris, that Jude loaned to the
city’s Grand Palais museum for a
recent forum on French
“The press spoke of it in
glowing terms (in 1855). It still
has a very good sound,” Jude
remarks, playing a few notes on
the elegant instrument made of
rosewood with bronze trim.
At the Grand Palais event, it
was juxtaposed with Pleyel’s
latest model, a futuristic creation
with lid and legs made of carbon
fibre – underscoring the
venerable company’s evolution
from its beginnings as piano
maker to Frederic Chopin.
For Jude, the journey has been
in the collecting. “My family
couldn’t afford to buy a piano. I
grew up with the idea that
obtaining such an instrument
was taboo,” he says.
His first piano lesson from an
elderly teacher in 1968 blew the
taboo to pieces.
Determined to equal her
mastery of Mozart’s Turkish
March, the aspiring musician
saved up his own money to buy a
piano – unbeknownst to his
“I was seriously chewed out
when the delivery men arrived,
but that consuming passion has
stuck with me to this day.”
Jude is generous with his
collection, willingly lending
instruments to record companies
or musicians who want to record
pieces on period pianos.
Among his gems is a piano
that once belonged to French
president Sadi Carnot, who
governed from 1887 to 1894.
Another is a rosewood Pleyel
upright that once belonged to the
writer Honore de Balzac’s sister,
Laure Surville.
Rare pieces like this could
fetch small fortunes, but while
admitting to having received
some tempting offers, Jude
confesses to more than a shade
of separation anxiety.
“I’m not psychologically
prepared to let go of my pianos,”
he says.
He does, however, dream of
founding a museum to house his
collection. – AFP
Kembara Backpackers
Mahligai Kaca
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Coming Home
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Sungai X-Trem
Jom 1
Zorro Generation Z
Anda Musykil?
Santai Bersama ...
Semarak Bahasa 3
Pasanggarahan Senawi
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Hawaii Five-O
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Pahiram Ng Sandali
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Emy Emyliana
Bang Bang Boom
Istikharah Cinta
Transformers Prime
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Arbiter of Loyalty Unto
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Planet’s Funniest Animals
Man vs Food Nation
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LIfe of Night market
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Eve’s Diary 2015
8 E-News 2015
The Journey: A Voyage
Heart of a Woman
Divas in Distress
Good Doctor
The Goldbergs
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Got to Believe
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5.35pm Puteri Nomer Satu
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10.30pm Hot TV
Real Life Adventures
Sept 23 – Oct 22
LONG ago, you learned that
while a tactful approach to
difficult situations isn’t swift, it
doesn’t ruffle as many feathers as being more
direct. The problem is, one particular individual
is simply refusing to face facts. This gives you
no choice but to be forthright, if not just plain
Oct 23 – Nov 21
IT’S not that you dislike talking
about your feelings, as certain
individuals suggest. Because
you’re sensitive, you prefer to do it when there’s
plenty of time and the mood is right. Still, sudden
as recent discussions were, they cleared up
confusion and, better yet, led to a touching
exchange of ideas.
Nov 22 – Dec 20
FEW things annoy you more than
those who’re unable to forget
minor misunderstandings. Yet, in one particular
case, their concerns are merited. Actually,
they’re trying to warn you about arrangements
that were organised in haste. They were fine at
the time, but minor errors could soon turn into
major problems.
The Kitchen
new series has food experts Sunny
Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro,
Marcela Valladolid and Geoffrey
Zakarian playing host in the
conversations with fun nuggets of
information and delicious recipes
every week. So, pull up a stool at
the counter and join them.
theSun | TUESDAY JANUARY 6 2015
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theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Kohli vows positive India
> New captain plans to lead fight against Australians till the very end
EW India skipper Virat
Kohli (pix) says he will
encourage his team to
play positively and not back
down against Australia in the
final Test in Sydney, which
begins today.
Kohli has been thrust into
the captaincy following the
shock Test retirement of
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
following last week’s drawn
third Test in Melbourne.
India’s premier batsman
said India will continue to
stand up to the Australians,
who have already reclaimed
the Border-Gavaskar Trophy
with an unassailable 2-0 lead
in the four-match series.
“It’s important for the
players to know that we need
to be in a positive frame of
mind, a line doesn’t need to be
crossed,” Kohli told reporters
“But we are not here to
back down from any sort of
confrontation or any sort of
“You will still see positive
cricket and the same
aggressive intent.”
Kohli, who led India in the
first Test in Adelaide while
Dhoni was recovering from a
fractured thumb, has been his
side’s leading batsman in the
series, averaging 83.16 with
three centuries and a fifty.
Kohli has been at the
forefront of on-field
confrontations with
Australian players, notably
Mitchell Johnson, Brad
Haddin and David Warner
and his style of leadership will
be under scrutiny in the wake
of Dhoni’s sudden exit.
“We were all taken aback
by his decision because it was
so sudden,” Kohli said of
“We had no clue. We never
saw it coming, so it was pretty
“There’s so much to learn
from him, especially in tough
situations: his composure, his
decision-making at important
“These are the things
which are priceless. Any
captain would love to have
them. I hope I can be as calm
as him, but everyone has
different styles.”
Kohli said since the
Melbourne Test he has been
thinking about areas to
improve the India team, who
have won only one of their
last 22 Tests overseas and
have been successful in only
one of their 10 Tests at the
Sydney Cricket Ground.
“There were quite a few
things that I sat down and
analysed in Adelaide that can
be improved on and I’ve
thought about them in the past
few days,” Kohli said.
“What are the things that I
can correct from Adelaide, the
mistakes I made in that game?
“Hopefully, I’ll get those
right and try to make the right
decisions in every situation
out there in the middle.” –
KANE WILLIAMSON and BJ Watling produced
an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 94 to keep
New Zealand alive on the third day of the second
Test against Sri Lanka in Wellington yesterday.
New Zealand were 253-5 at stumps, a 118-run
advantage with five wickets in hand, after the
stubborn Williamson-Watling partnership recovered the innings from a perilous 159-5
Williamson was on 80, in sight of his ninth Test
century, and Watling was on 48, nearing his ninth
half century.
However, despite their dogged fight, the odds
remained in favour of Sri Lanka pulling off a serieslevelling win after losing the first Test in Christchurch by eight wickets.
For New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum,
returning to the Basin Reserve for the first time
since his match-saving 302 against India a year
ago, there were to be no heroics this time.
He was out for 22 while Jimmy Neesham, who
scored a century in the India Test, was out for
After McCullum’s departure it fell to Williamson to shoulder responsibility for keeping
New Zealand afloat.
He was dropped on 29 and again on 60 in an
otherwise cautious innings in which the partnership has seen off the second new ball and ensured
the Test should extend deep into the fourth day
at least.
New Zealand had ended the first day of the
Test in charge after making 221 on a bowler’s
wicket and reducing Sri Lanka to 78-5 in reply.
Kumar Sangakkara’s imperious 203 on the
second day led Sri Lanka to a 135-run first innings
lead and gave the tourists the advantage.
Openers Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford
started the New Zealand second innings positively, reaching 75 before their reply was ripped
apart in a 30-ball burst that claimed three wickets.
Radwanska aims for Grand
Slams with Navratilova
Hughes plaque a reminder
for Aussies at Sydney Test
THE memory of batsman Phillip
Hughes will linger over the
Australian cricketers in this
week’s poignant final Test
against India at the Sydney
Cricket Ground (SCG) where he
A plaque honouring
Hughes was installed
outside the home
dressing room at the
SCG yesterday.
It means skipper
Steve Smith (pix) and
his team will be faced
with a reminder of
Hughes’s shock death at
the famous venue every
time they take the field in
the Test that begins
“Particularly this week,
it’s going to be great to be
able to walk past that and
see the little fella there and
give us a bit of inspiration
as we’re going out on the
field,” Smith said yesterday,
eve of the fourth Test.
“Hughesy was one of us,
he was one of our good
mates. We’ve just got to
take care of each other this week.”
Smith said it will be important
for the players to keep each of
their teammates in good spirits.
“It’s going to be another
emotional Test match and
hopefully we can do the Hughes
family proud by playing well this
week,” he said.
The occasion will be
challenging for the entire team
Gritty Williamson
fights to keep
New Zealand alive
and their support staff.
But it will be especially taxing
for Shane Watson, Nathan Lyon,
Mitchell Starc, Brad Haddin and
David Warner, who were all
fielding on November 25 at the
SCG when
Hughes, 25, was fatally struck by a
“Coming back to the place
where it happened, I thought it
was going to be extremely tough
for the boys,” Smith said.
“Particularly the ones that
were out there on the day.
“It’s going to be a tough Test
match ... hopefully we can hold
our emotions together well and
end this series well.”
Hughes’s family are expected
to attend.
“We’ve just got to make sure
we’re very respectful to the
Hughes family who are going to
be down here for this Test
match,” Smith said
Warner, who was fielding
close to Hughes and then held
his mate’s hand as he was
carried off in a critical
condition, says he won’t
know how he will react until
he walks out on to the field
for the pre-match anthems.
“It’s going to be tough
but I’ve got to try and hold
back the emotions and do
what I do for the team and
try and score runs,”
Warner said this week.
“But every time I come
here, every time I walk
out on the field, every
time I’ve got nothing on
my mind I’m going to
be thinking about it.”
India skipper Virat
Kohli, who was also
close to Hughes, said
he “couldn’t really imagine what
the family must feel like coming
to this Test match”.
“It is going to be a strange
feeling, stepping on to the field
knowing that the incident
happened on this very ground,”
Kohli said.
“As the game starts, hopefully
we can not think about it and get
on with the sport which the two
teams have done really well in
this series.” – AFP
POLISH world No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska said
yesterday she hopes her new partnership with
women’s tennis great Martina Navratilova can
finally bring the maiden Grand Slam title she
Radwanska (caricature) recently joined
forces with the 18-time Grand Slam singles
winner to prepare for 2015 in a bid to end her
frustrating run in the majors.
Although the 25-year-old has been ranked
as high as second in the world, she has only
reached one Grand Slam final, at Wimbledon
in 2012 when she was beaten by Serena Williams.
Last year she appeared to be on target to
break through when she reached the semifinals
at the Australian Open as leading contenders
fell by the wayside, only to be upset by Dominika Cibulkova.
Speaking in Perth as she opened her preparation for the upcoming Australian Open with
an impressive win over world No. 29 Casey
Dellacqua at the Hopman Cup, Radwanska said
the union was already paying dividends after a
week on the practice court together in Miami.
Although Navratilova is not in Perth, Radwanska said she would arrive in Australia next
week, with the Pole rounding out her Australian
Open preparation in Sydney.
“I am very happy she is a
member of the team and I
was in Miami before here
so we practise together,” Radwanska said.
“She is coming to
Sydney and Melbourne
of course, so far so good
and we will see how it is
going to be.
“Grand Slams – I
didn’t make it yet – so
I’m trying everything to
win those slams....
With that I think
she can help
me out a
“We are
going to try
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
moments from
previous editions
of the Asian Cup
Wide-open Asian Cup
> No clear cut favourite but Australia, Japan
and South Korea still the top contenders
ITH hosts Australia in a
state of flux and holders
Japan engulfed by
scandal, the Asian Cup looks to
be the most wide open in years.
Redemption for a humiliating
2014 World Cup beckons should
Australia, Japan, South Korea or
Iran win Asia’s showcase
tournament, which begins on
Friday when the Socceroos face
Kuwait in Melbourne.
The quartet flopped badly in
Brazil as Asia failed to register a
single victory for the first time
since 1990, a new-look Australia
arguably emerging with the most
But coach Ange Postecoglou
must find an alchemist’s touch to
replace a golden generation of
players who qualified for three
successive World Cups – or at
the very least, a quick fix with his
side short on firepower in attack.
Much of the responsibility
will fall on talisman Tim Cahill,
who lit up the World Cup with a
stunning volley against the
Netherlands but will need his
supporting cast to step up.
“We have to be ruthless,” the
former Everton forward told the
Sydney Morning Herald. “If we
are ruthless, teams are not going
to know what’s hit them.”
Australia have added
incentive after being upset by
Japan in the 2011 final in Doha, but
the defending champions will be
a tough nut to crack, while 2002
World Cup semifinalists South
Korea lurk for the hosts in Group
However, pressure will also
be on Japan, whose Mexican
coach Javier Aguirre is under
investigation following claims of
match-fixing while he was
manager of Spanish club
Zaragoza in 2011.
To what extent the furore
unsettles the Blue Samurai
remains to be seen but Aguirre,
who is scheduled to appear in
court in Valencia next month, has
raised eyebrows with his team
selection since taking over after
the World Cup.
“All my attention is focused
on winning the Asian Cup,”
Aguirre told reporters before
flying to Australia. “I have
nothing to hide and understand
the media have a job to do, but
that is my sole objective.”
Failure at the Asian Cup
could end in the termination of
his contract, however, although
the four-time champions will be
expected to comfortably
negotiate their first-round
group, which also features
Jordan, Iraq and war-torn
Iraq overcame conflict and
turmoil to win the Asian Cup in
2007 but Uzbekistan could
prove the best of the rest this
time around, with the United
Arab Emirates and Qatar also
potentially dangerous to the top
But with no outright
tournament favourite, the title
could come down to which team
has the courage to abandon
caution and take risks.
South Korea last lifted the
trophy in 1960 – the year
Muhammad Ali, then Cassius
Clay, won Olympic boxing gold
– and will be hoping that the
success of their Under-23 side in
AUSTRALIA, January 9-31
Japan: Champions in 2011
South Korea
Saudi Arabia
North Korea
Australia - Kuwait
South Korea - Oman
Saudi Arabia - China
UAE - Qatar
Japan - Palestine
Kuwait - South Korea
North Korea - S. Arabia
Bahrain - UAE
Palestine - Jordan
Australia - South Korea
Uzbekistan - S. Arabia
Iran - UAE
Japan - Jordan
1 Jan 22 Melbourne
A1 - B2
3 Jan 23
C1 - D2
Uzbekistan - North Korea
B1 - A2
4 Jan 23
D1 - C2
Jan 30
Jan 31
Source: AFC
Picture: Getty Images
winning last year’s Asian Games
rubs off on the senior team,
despite their own lack of cutting
Iran, led by former Portugal
and Real Madrid coach Carlos
Queiroz, will also be looking to
Iran - Bahrain
Jordan - Iraq
Oman - Australia
China - Uzbekistan
Qatar - Iran
Iraq - Japan
Oman - Kuwait
China - North Korea
Qatar - Bahrain
Iraq - Palestine
2 Jan 22
Jan 26
Winners 1 - 3
Jan 27
Winners 2 - 4
make an impact after a
disappointing World Cup, but
the three-time Asian champions
have struggled to fill the void left
by the likes of Ali Karimi, Mehdi
Mahdavikia and record
goalscorer Ali Daei. – AFP
Aussies seek alchemist’s touch to replace lost gold
WITH their “golden generation” having
vanished into the sunset, Asian Cup hosts
Australia need a sharp reversal of fortunes if
they are to win their first Asian Cup.
The Socceroos, once feared for their
potent mixture of raw grit and attacking flair,
won just once in 11 matches last year and
coach Ange Postecoglou, who has largely
ditched the old guard, will be under intense
pressure to stop the rot with a convincing
win over Kuwait in their Melbourne opener
on Friday.
He must also find an alchemist’s touch – or
at least a quick fix – as a team once blessed
with gifted performers such as Harry Kewell,
Mark Viduka, Mark Schwarzer and Lucas
Neill lacks the explosive creativity of former
incarnations, despite being the most
physically imposing team at the Asian Cup.
Australia, who also face Oman and Asian
powerhouse South Korea in Group A, were
unfortunate to lose 1-0 to Japan in the 2011
final in Doha, their team of superstars left
shattered by Tadanari Lee’s extra-time
Luck deserted the Aussies again at last
year’s World Cup, when their new-look side
crashed out with three defeats, despite the
odd flash of magic, Tim Cahill’s stunning
volley against the Netherlands in particular.
But Cahill, for so long Australia’s talisman,
will need his supporting cast to step up – and
for the tinkering Postecoglou to plug the
team’s leaky defence.
Captain Mile Jedinak has consistently
shown his quality for English Premier
League club Crystal Palace, but with the side
in a period of transition, the danger exists
they could come unstuck at the business end
of the tournament.
Australia’s lack of cutting edge was
exposed in a 2-1 defeat by Japan in an away
friendly last November, when a late Cahill
header failed to paper over the cracks.
A far cry from their heyday under
Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who steered them
past Japan and into the last 16 of the 2006
World Cup in Germany, the Socceroos will
bank on fervent home support to give them
the edge in Asia’s showpiece competition.
Australia defected from the Oceania
region to join the Asian Football
Confederation nine years ago in search of
more challenging competition and the
opportunity to qualify directly for World
Cups, a move that has paid dividends.
Now they will hope to join Western
Sydney Wanderers, surprise winners of last
year’s AFC Champions League, by being
crowned kings of their adopted continent. –
Scandal clouds Japan’s Cup defence
JAPAN’S quest to retain the Asian Cup
title they won four years ago has been
severely undermined by a match-fixing
scandal engulfing coach Javier Aguirre.
The storm clouds swirling around the
56-year-old Mexican, who will appear in
court in Valencia this year following an investigation into a match played in 2011
when he was manager of Spanish club
Zaragoza, has caused major embarrassment
to the Japan Football Association (JFA) and
threatens to unsettle the Blue Samurai at
this month’s tournament in Australia.
Aguirre has vehemently denied any
wrongdoing, but JFA officials are furious
about the disruption caused to Japan’s
Asian Cup defence and potentially the
team’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers, which
begin in June.
Japan, who beat Australia 1-0 in the
2011 final to capture the Asian Cup for a
record fourth time, should still emerge from
Group D, where they face Jordan, Palestine
and 2007 champions Iraq. But Aguirre’s
summons by Spanish prosecutors has
complicated their task.
Knives were already out for Aguirre, who
led Mexico to the last 16 of the 2002 and
2010 World Cups, when an alarming start in the job brought an
abrupt end to his honeymoon
period after taking over from
Italian Alberto Zaccheroni following Japan’s World Cup flop last
But a 6-0 thrashing of Honduras and,
more significantly, a 2-1 home victory over
fierce rivals Australia in November gave
Aguirre – whose incessant tinkering
has done little to inspire confidence
in his side – a welcome boost ahead
of the Asian Cup. – AFP
X 2007: Iraq’s dramatic triumph
Iraq overcame extreme turmoil at home
to lift the 2007 Asian Cup in dramatic
circumstances, bringing a measure of
solace to their war-torn country by beating Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the final in Jakarta.
Having stunned heavyweights South
Korea on penalties in the semifinals – triggering wild celebrations on the streets of
Baghdad, marred by bomb attacks which
killed at least 50 people – Younis Mahmoud’s headed winner completed a remarkable triumph for Iraq, just four years
after the US-led invasion.
X 2004: Hand of Koji sparks riot
Japan won the 2004 Asian Cup by beating
hosts China 3-1 in a controversial final in
Beijing after defender Koji Nakata scored
his team’s second goal with his hand.
There had already been a suspicion of
a foul in the build-up to Japan’s opener
before Nakata clearly used his hand to
scoop the ball over the line, prompting a
furious reaction from the Chinese players
and fans.
Angry scenes erupted at the final
whistle, with Chinese fans hurling missiles
and clashing with armed police outside
the stadium.
X 2011: Japan break Aussie hearts
The Blue Samurai captured a record fourth
Asian Cup in 2011 with a smash-and-grab
victory after being largely outplayed by
Australia in the final in Doha.
Substitute Tadanari Lee lashed home
a superb left-foot volley in the 109th
minute, cruelly dashing Australian hopes
of a first title and effectively bringing the
curtain down on a golden generation for
the Socceroos, many of whom were appearing at their last major international
On another day, Lee’s volley could have
ended up in the carpark, but such was his
technique that he left Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer rooted to the
spot, gaping in disbelief.
X 1956: South Korea’s only triumph
It is an odd anomaly that South Korea, who
regularly punch above their weight at
World Cups, famously reaching the semifinals in 2002, have achieved relatively
little success in Asia’s showcase competition.
The Koreans did, however, win the
inaugural Asian Cup in 1956, winning two
and drawing one of their three matches
in a round-robin format to finish a point
clear of Israel – the same teams finishing
first and second again four years later.
Astonishingly, the Taeguk Warriors have
not won the title since.
X 2000: Japan victorious in Lebanon
Japan held their nerve to win a politically
charged 2000 tournament thrown into
disarray following a Palestinian uprising
against Israeli occupation.
Israeli warplanes roared overhead in
Beirut, often
during training sessions,
but Frenchman
Philippe Troussier kept his Japan
players focused
on the task as
they progressed
from the group
stages unbeaten.
They showed tremendous resilience in
a hugely hostile environment to beat Saudi
Arabia 1-0 in the final in
Beirut, Shigeyoshi
Mochizuki sweeping home the winner from a Shunsuke
Na- kamura (caricature) freekick.
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Reds need mindset change
> Post- Gerrard, Liverpool need bold approach to transfers, not a committee
IVERPOOL’S PR department
emailed a link to Steven
Gerrard’s valedictory
interview late on Saturday, but it
was nothing the club should have
wanted to promote. The last link
to a glorious past has gone: that is
the most unsettling part.
Though it is no slight on
Raheem Sterling to say that he
was too busy cycling his bike
around north London to watch
one of Gerrard’s most legendary
feats against Olympiakos a decade
ago – he was only 10 at the time –
the anecdote only goes to show
that Anfield and Melwood will be
desperately short of perspective
from May.
Don’t bet against the last
springtime of Gerrard’s Liverpool
career being a quite extraordinary
one. His football will be viewed
through a different lens, now that
he is going.
The old aura will be refreshed
and the noises from those who
have said he is finished, these past
few months, will fade away into
the background.
“Leave with them wanting
more”: that’s what Jamie
Carragher will have told his old
friend, having announced his own
departure, three months before he
left, a couple of winters back.
Gerrard will also want to leave
his Liverpool as a Champions
League club. What we are about to
see could be special.
But that is immaterial against
the wider perspective of what
happens beyond May and how
Liverpool fill the vast space
Gerrard vacates.
If nothing else, the barrenlooking landscape must force the
club to address the scandal of
their transfer committee, whose
decisions, taken with Brendan
Rodgers and chief executive
officer Ian Ayre, have allowed
Liverpool to fall so far away from
competing for the Premier League
title, just one season after they
came so close.
It has been the collective
judgement of Dave Fallows, head
of recruitment, Michael Edwards,
Liverpool must address the
scandal of their transfer
committee, whose decisions
have allowed the club to fall so
far away from competing for
the Premier League title, just
one season after they came so
the director of technical
performance, and Barry Hunter,
chief scout, that replacing Pepe
Reina, Daniel Agger and Luis
Suarez with Simon Mignolet, Kolo
Toure, Dejan Lovren and Mario
Balotelli was wise.
There are extenuating
circumstances, here and there. It
was not Liverpool’s fault that the
representatives of Alexis Sanchez
– their first choice to replace
Suarez – are notorious flirts.
Liverpool were strung along by
them last summer, just as
Manchester City had been three
years earlier, before things cooled.
Some of those involved in City’s
pursuit of Sanchez testify to how
the mood changed and phone calls
were suddenly not returned.
There were unconvincing
explanations – “Sorry, mobile on
the blink”. The truth was that
Sanchez only ever wanted to sign
for Barcelona back then, just like
he only had eyes for London – and
Arsenal – last year.
Fortunately, the other plate
City had spinning at the time was
Sergio Aguero, a 23-year-old keen
to leave Atletico Madrid, whose
agent happened to be with City’s
people at the Marriott hotel in
Juventus wanted Aguero too,
so City pounced, closing the
Aguero deal immediately and
telling their senior man in Spain to
quit trying to call the Sanchez
What City displayed back then
was a real decisiveness about who
they were after and the
knowledge that money talked –
because, at ВЈ38 million (RM209m),
Aguero did not come cheap.
It was not Liverpool’s fault that
the back-up option to Sanchez –
Loic Remy – presented concerns
about a heart condition when he
underwent a Liverpool medical
last summer.
But the very fact that an ВЈ8.5
million (RM47m) striker like
Remy should have been the
alternative reveals the flawed
conviction of the club and its
owners, Fenway Sports Group,
that they can locate the bargains
who have evaded everyone else’s
attention and make them into
winners. Remy went to Chelsea,
where he has sunk without trace.
Liverpool may seek to do more
business this month. They could
bring in as many as four players
during the transfer window –
including a striker, a midfielder
and a goalkeeper to replace
Mignolet, who has been so
dreadful even the journeyman
Brad Jones is deemed his superior.
But the usual principles seem
likely to apply.
The preference would be those
players whose contracts are
running out in six to 18 months,
allowing them to be signed on the
Sensible, prudent signings who
will not deliver Liverpool to a
level which reflects their status as
the 12th-biggest revenue earners
in world football.
It is why the club need a
technical director to match
Rodgers’ football intelligence –
not a transfer committee.
An individual with the
experience, dynamism, boldness
and connections to persuade the
world’s best players that
Liverpool should be their choice –
because powers of persuasion
play a big part in bringing players
to Anfield, rather than London or
Old Trafford – but also the
authority to challenge the owners’
reluctance about splashes in the
transfer market.
They needed that individual
when Victor Valdes’ uncertainties
about the Melwood set-up
allowed him to leave for
Manchester United to continue
his recovery from injury and be in
place to play.
They needed him to push for
an activation of the ВЈ20 million
(RM110m) buyout clause in
Wilfried Bony’s Swansea City
contract last summer, when the
acquisition would have brought
ВЈ100,000-a-week (RM550,000)
wages. They will need him to
supervise Liverpool’s most
important signing of all next
summer – a centre-back of the
calibre of Borussia Dortmund’s
Mats Hummels.
Money always talks in the end.
City were made to feel very smalltime when their then technical
director knocked on the hotel
room door of Yaya Toure’s agent,
Dimitry Seluk, in Rome five years
“Manchester City?” Seluk
scoffed. “Why should he leave
Barcelona for you?”
City, well acquainted with the
Wild West top end of the transfer
market by then, knew the answer.
“Because we will pay him what
you ask,” their man replied.
Liverpool, awaiting a UEFA
statement on their Financial Fair
Play status, have more limitations
than City had then. But why
shouldn’t this great club be
audacious too?
It’s the kind of mindset they
now need more than ever. – The
I will get the best out of Berahino, says Pulis
NEW West Brom boss Tony Pulis
will try and deal this week with
the simmering problem of Saido
The sulky way Berahino reacted by not celebrating any of
his four goals in the FA Cup
demolition of Gateshead is believed to be a protest at contract
talks being shelved and the renewed speculation that he will
be sold.
It brought into public view the
problem West Brom have with
The new contract was abandoned by chairman Jeremy Peace
when Berahino was arrested on
suspicion of drink driving two
months ago.
No charges have yet been
brought, but Pulis, having just
arrived , has to deal with the
escalating problem of Berahino’s
He will meet it head on and
how Berahino reacts will determine whether he is still at Albion
by the end of the transfer window.
Berahino’s form and talented
goal-taking took the shock-ofthe-round off Gateshead, who
were in control for 42 minutes.
He could develop into an exceptional player, but what he
gets up to off the field, and his
general attitude, has alarmed
West Brom for a while.
Berahino did not fully explain
why he did not celebrate the
goals but said: “I was just handling business and acting professionally and that’s it.
“There’s no need for me to
explain myself on not celebrating
goals.It is what it is.
“It wasn’t out of respect to
Gateshead, no. I just didn’t want
to celebrate.”
Pulis doesn’t know Berahino
and has not had time to speak to
him to make any judgements, but
that process will start today.
Former manager Alan Irvine
had concerns about Berahino, his
lifestyle and his attitude, and
dropped him from the team.
Pulis has vast experience of
problem players, from Matthew
Etherington’s gambling, Jermaine Pennant’s drinking, the
pig’s head in Kenwyne Jones’
locker and the bust up with
James Beattie over a Christmas
“I have not looked into Berahino’s problems off the pitch,”
said Pulis.
“If he has some, he won’t be
the first. I have signed players
who have had massive problems
and worked with them and got
the best out of them.
“I have had players turn up
late and had players not turn up
at all. I have had players do things
that would make your hair curl.
But I have dealt with it and that
is what management is about.
“I don’t think the club has had
an offer for Berahino... If a top
club comes in then we will talk
about it, ” added Pulis.
“ We don’t need to sell. Financially the club has been run very
well and there is not a need to
get the money in. We could buy
and keep Berahino or we could
sell him and buy a lot more.
“The important thing is he is
our player and we hope that he
is going to remain our player.”
Berahino’s goals in 42,46 ,53
and 90 minutes were a mixture
of quality, skill and adventure.
He announced himself as an
exciting prospect with a hattrick
against League Two Newport in
a 3-0 League Cup win 17 months
ago and Gateshead were more
lambs to his slaughter.
Victor Anichebe got another,
set-up by Berahino, James Morrison and Chris Brunt the others,
in West Brom’s biggest Cup win
in 23 years. – Daily express
arrested on
of drink
driving two
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
CHELSEA and Manchester United have been
told they will have to pay ВЈ20m (RM110m) if
they want to sign Real Madrid defender
Raphael Varane, 21.
LIVERPOOL are set to pay Lille ВЈ3m (RM16.5m)
to bring striker Divock Origi back to Anfield
this month. The 19-year-old Belgium international is currently on a season-long loan at the
French club from Brendan Rodgers’s side.
MANCHESTER CITY manager Manuel Pellegrini wants to sign Schalke midfielder Julian
Draxler, although the German side want ВЈ25m
(RM137m) for the 21-year-old.
LIVERPOOL midfielder Steven Gerrard, 34, has
turned down an offer worth ВЈ18m (RM99m) to
play in Qatar when he leaves the Reds at the
end of the season.
BARCELONA midfielder Sergio Busquets,
26, is set to disappoint Arsenal, Chelsea and
Manchester United by signing a new deal
with the Spanish side.
TOTTENHAM are prepared to sell goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, 28,
for ВЈ25m.
RANGERS manager Harry Redknapp (caricature)
says his club
miracle” if
they are to
striker in the
January transfer window.
goalkeeper Keiren
Westwood, 30, has dismissed reports linking him
with a move to Liverpool and
has said he is happy at the
Championship club.
CARDIFF CITY have decided to not sign
Chelsea forward Islam Feruz on loan. The
19-year-old had been scheduled to talk to
Bluebirds boss Russell Slade today.
EX-ENGLAND boss Glenn Hoddle is a candidate for the vacant manager’s job at Newcastle
OLDHAM ATHLETIC may sign striker Ched
Evans, despite the club’s manager Lee Johnson not wanting the deal to go ahead. Evans,
26, was released from prison in October after
serving half of a five-year sentence following
his conviction for rape.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER commissioner Don
Garber has accused Manchester City of an
“error in judgement” after they extended 36year-old midfielder Frank Lampard’s loan until
the end of the season. It meant his move to MLS
side New York City will be delayed.
THE Newcastle United Supporters Trust has
written to the Football Association and the
Premier League questioning the role and
future of club owner Mike Ashley.
ASTON VILLA manager Paul Lambert has
warned the fans who booed him during their
FA Cup win over Blackpool that it will not help
the team’s performances.
BIRMINGHAM CITY players have expressed
their satisfaction at beating Blyth Spartans
3-2 in the third round of the FA Cup after
accusing the Northern Premier League side
of being “disrespectful”.
FORMER Liverpool winger John Barnes has
dismissed the notion that his side lost the 1988
FA Cup final because they were intimidated by
THE Professional Footballers Association are
trying to end “initiation ceremonies”, which
include players having to sing in front of their
teammates when joining a new club.
Juve get New Year rally
AUL POGBA has called
for Juventus to emulate
the success of last year’s
return to Serie A action
following the festive period
when they host an ambitious
Inter Milan today.
Juve beat title rivals Roma 30 in their first league outing of
2014 as they charged towards a
third consecutive title under
former coach Antonio Conte.
With Roma in second place
at three points adrift in the
current campaign, Juventus
can ill afford to make further
slip-ups in the title race.
Inter travel to Turin looking
for only their second win
under new coach Roberto
Mancini, but buoyed by the
signing of former Arsenal
forward Lukas Podolski who
could start on the bench at
Juventus Stadium if the
paperwork on his loan deal is
finalised in time.
Pogba admits that on a
personal level he can “still
improve at everything”.
But the 21-year-old believes
the “difficult” clash with Inter
is one of several steps on his
quest for more glory with the
Turin giants.
“We have to start 2015 with a
win, that’s the most important
thing. Last year we beat Roma
in our first game back and we
hope we can start the same
way,” Pogba told Sky Sport.
“The Inter game is like a
derby – it’s always a difficult
one and we want to win it.”
It is Juventus’s first official
game since losing the Italian
Super Cup final to Napoli in
Doha three days before
Christmas, but Pogba said
> Pogba calls for
winning Juve start
to 2015
Juve’s resolve remains
“In 2015 I hope to win the
scudetto again, and we’ll need
to give all we’ve got to do it, as
well as going further in the
Champions League than we
managed two years ago.”
Little has been changed
from the largely successful
formation used pre-Christmas
by Juve coach Massimiliano
Allegri, but the same cannot be
said about Inter.
Mancini, who has only one
win from five games since his
return to the club following a
six-year absence, is still
Inter had to fight back from
a two-goal deficit on their last
league outing to level 2-2 with
Lazio, with the San Siro’s
blushes saved by late goals
from Mateo Kovacic and
Rodrigo Palacio.
Mancini is currently
building his team around the
creative midfield skills of
Kovacic but the Croatian
admitted: “It will be a hard
game, but we’re looking
forward to it.
“Juve are strong and they
have a great stadium but we’re
going there to play our game
and hopefully bring back a
A Juve setback would give
closest challengers Roma, who
face Udinese a chance to make
amends for two draws in their
last three games.
Yet Rudi Garcia’s men
travel north wary of the danger
of Andrea Stramaccioni’s
Udinese, especially with
doubts over defender Mapou
Yanga-Mbiwa (flu), captain
Francesco Totti and forward
Mattia Destro.
The battle for a hold on
third continues with only goal
difference separating Lazio,
Napoli and Sampdoria and
Genoa, in sixth, a further point
off the pace. – AFP
Torres in line for Atletico return in Madrid derby
son Fernando Torres could
make his return in a heated
derby with Real Madrid
tomorrow in the last 16 of the
King’s Cup if he looks sharp in
training, coach Diego Simeone
has said.
The former Atletico
captain, who played 244
games for his hometown club where he
debuted aged 17, has
signed an 18-month loan
deal from AC Milan
which became effective
when the Italian
transfer market opened
“He will train with us, play a
bit of football and we will see
how he is,” Simeone told a
news conference.
Torres, nicknamed El Nino
(The Kid), was an Atletico
emblem who left the stuttering
club in 2007 to seek his fortune
at Liverpool and Chelsea and
has now returned to a side that
broke the monopoly of Real
and Barcelona by winning La
Liga last season.
The success under Simeone
has brought a new perspective
to the Madrid derby which
Real had become used to
winning at a canter.
Last season Atletico
suffered an excruciating extratime defeat in the Champions
League final against Real but
beat their city rivals in the
Spanish Super Cup, this
season’s curtain raiser.
Atletico have reacted well
to the loss of key personnel
ahead of this season and lie
third in La Liga but face a stern
test of their mettle this week.
First they have the first-leg
visit of Real, whose Spanish
record 22-match winning
streak was ended in a La Liga
defeat at Valencia on Sunday,
followed by a trip to Barcelona
in the league next weekend.
“We are calm having got the
victory and now we will
prepare for the cup game
which is very important for
us,” Simeone said after
Saturday’s 3-1 victory over
Levante in La Liga.
“Then we will
start thinking
Barcelona but
with the same
mentality as
Real also
have a
testing run
of games
started with
the Valencia
reverse but coach
Carlo Ancelotti has
said he will give equal
importance to the league and
“We don’t have a priority.
We will concentrate on the
next game and we will put out
the best team possible,”
Ancelotti told a news
conference, while
acknowledging there might
still be rotation.
“It will be necessary to rest
players so as to avoid injuries
and have the squad more
Elsewhere, Barcelona have a
seemingly easier passage into
the next round of the cup
against La Liga bottom side
Elche, with the first leg on
Thursday. – Reuters
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Fourth-division Grenoble knock Marseille out of French Cup
LIGUE 1 leaders Marseille were sensationally
knocked out of the French Cup yesterday as
fourth-tier Grenoble prevailed in a penalty
shootout after the sides finished 3-3 after
The last-64 tie went to an extra 30 minutes
when Grenoble came back twice to level at
2-2 before Ghana’s Andre Ayew appeared to
score the winner with his strike in the first half
of extra-time for Marseille.
However a superb header from Grenoble’s
Selim Bengriba in the dying seconds set up
the penalty finale and former Grenoble midfielder Florian Thauvin missed the only kick of
the shootout to hand the home side a famous
“We didn’t do what we had to do and to
lose this match is unacceptable,” said Ayew.
“We were leading three times but we now
have to concentrate on the second half of the
league season which is very important. Grenoble showed a lot of desire and determination
but we’re very disappointed.”
Elsewhere, there were few surprises as
seven Ligue 1 sides including Monaco, Lyon
and Saint-Etienne all marched into the next
Holders Guingamp began their defence in
style as they dispatched lower tier outfit Dinan-
Lehon 3-2 while Bordeaux edged Toulouse 2-1 in
an all top flight affair in the south.
“For our first match after the break, we can be
satisfied with our performance,” said Bordeaux
coach Willy Sagnol.
“We showed something today that was lacking
during the last ten days in December and this victory allows us to start the year well and now go to
Monaco with some confidence,” he added looking
ahead to their league match next Sunday at the
Louis II stadium.
Three goals inside the opening 30 minutes was
enough for Lyon to hold off Lens 3-2 in Calais while
Monaco were too strong for second division Nimes
running out 2-0 victors.
“To score three goals away from home in the
French Cup is a great performance,” said Lyon coach
Hubert Fournier.
“We had to be conscious of the mental capacities of Lens who never gave up and it is good
Moyes lauded
> Sociedad’s newly appointed manager hails Barca conquest his �happiest night’
EAL SOCIEDAD’S David Moyes lauded the
heroic efforts of his players who beat
Barcelona 1-0 yesterday thanks to a Jordi
Alba own goal in a day of shocks in La Liga.
Earlier, Real Madrid’s 22-game winning
streak was ended by a 2-1 defeat to Valencia
meaning both giants of the Spanish game were
beaten on the same day for the first time since
April 30, 2011.
However, despite their lowly league position
of 13th, Sociedad have shown themselves well
capable of upsetting the odds having now
defeated Barca, Real and champions Atletico
Madrid at home under three different coaches.
And Moyes believes his challenge now is to
draw that level of performance out of his players
on a more consistent basis.
“It is the happiest night since I arrived in San
Sebastian. We worked very hard. The players
showed courage and defended incredibly,” said
FA CUP 3rd round
Arsenal 2 (Mertesacker 20, Sanchez
82) Hull City 0, Aston Villa 1 (Benteke 88) Blackpool 0, Chelsea 3
(Willian 58, Remy 70, Zouma 72)
Watford 0, Dover Athletic 0 Crystal
Palace 4 (Dann 10, 34, Gayle 68,
Doyle 87), Manchester City 2 (Milner
66, 90+1) Sheffield Wednesday 1
(Nuhiu 14), Queens Park Rangers 0
Sheffield United 3 (McNulty 36,
Campbell-Ryce 49, 90+4), Southampton 1 (Schneiderlin 33) Ipswich
Town 1 (Ambrose 19), Stoke City 3
(Arnautovic 80, Ireland 88, 90+4)
Wrexham 1 (Carrington 73), Sunderland 1 (Van Aanholt 33) Leeds
United 0, Yeovil Town 0 Manchester United 2 (Herrera 64, Di Maria
Dundee 1 Ross County 1, Inverness
1 St Mirren 0, Motherwell 0 Aberdeen
2, Partick 2 Dundee Utd 2, St Johnstone 0 Hamilton 1.
FRENCH CUP Round of 64
Grenoble 3 Marseille 3 – after extra
time (Grenoble win 5-4 on penalties),
Epinal 1 Metz 2, Bordeaux 2 Toulouse
1, Lens 2 Lyon 3, Saint-Etienne 1
Nancy 0 – aet, Nimes 0 Monaco 2,
Dinan-Lehon 0 Guingamp 3, Dunkirk
1 Rennes 2.
Getafe 1 (Vazquez 3) Rayo Vallecano 2 (Jozabed 39, Baena 64),
Valencia 2 (Barragan 52, Otamendi
65) Real Madrid 1 (Ronaldo 14-pen),
Espanyol 1 (Caicedo 80) Eibar 2 (Del
Moral 34, Boveda 38), Real Sociedad
1 (Alba 2-og) Barcelona 0.
Real Madrid
Celta Vigo
16 13
17 12
17 12
17 10
16 10
17 9
17 9
17 6
17 5
17 5
17 6
17 5
17 4
17 4
17 4
17 4
17 3
16 2
16 1
17 2
0 3 56
2 3 41
2 3 34
4 3 31
3 3 26
4 4 29
3 5 21
5 6 21
5 7 17
5 7 21
2 9 19
4 8 14
6 7 18
5 8 13
4 9 15
4 9 14
6 8 13
7 7 10
8 7 11
5 10 15
A Pts
15 39
8 38
15 38
14 34
17 33
16 31
17 30
23 23
19 20
26 20
32 20
21 19
22 18
22 17
25 16
27 16
33 15
26 13
27 11
34 11
preparation for when we face them in the league
in the coming weeks.”
Franck Tabanou starred for Saint-Etienne when
his extra-time volley on 97 minutes was the difference in a 1-0 victory over second division Nancy.
Last year’s finalists Rennes, took their place in
the next round with a 2-1 win at Dunkirk.
Bastia knocked out Lille on Saturday when Ligue
1 sides Evian, Reims and Nantes all won against
sixth division opposition. – AFP
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (C) fights
for the ball with Real Sociedad’s
Inigo Martinez (L) and Esteban
Granero during their La Liga
match at Anoeta stadium in San
Sebastian yesterday. – REUTERSPIX
the Scot.
“This team has shown it is capable in the big
games against the best teams in the league and
now we must show the same capability to win
the other games. At home, for example, we have
let a lot of points slip away.
“We defended well tonight and that is what
we have to do in all the games, but in other
games when we don’t have to defend so much
we also have to pass the ball and attack better.”
Barca boss Luis Enrique paid a heavy price
for leaving both Lionel Messi and Neymar
amongst nearly €300 million (RM1.35 billion) of
talent on the bench.
Both South American stars only arrived back
in Spain on Friday after an extended Christmas
break and Moyes defended his counterpart’s
decision to only introduce them after the break.
“The best players can’t always play at their
best level in every match. The biggest games for
Barcelona are still to come and in that sense I
think Luis Enrique made the right decision.
“I was hoping this would happen, that some
of their most important players wouldn’t start
and we were prepared for that.”
Enrique also refused to accept that he had
made an error with his starting line-up as Barca
had more than 70% of possession and 17 efforts
on goal, but failed to take their chances.
“To feel sorry afterwards doesn’t help
anyone. I took the decision to avoid risks with
players that made a long journey only a few days
“I thought it was better not to risk it and we
will never know if things would have been
different if I had made a
different decision.
“I can only
remember the goal and
then us dominating.
There weren’t that
many chances, but I
think we deserved
more. We didn’t have
the luck or the clarity
we needed in front of
A third league
defeat of the season
means Barca remain
a point behind
leaders Real Madrid
having also played a
game more than the
champions. – AFP
Real not affected by Valencia shock: Ancelotti
REAL MADRID boss Carlo Ancelotti insists his
side’s confidence will not be shaken after Valencia came from behind to end the European
champions’ 22-game winning streak yesterday
with a 2-1 win at Mestalla.
Defeat leaves Los Blancos just a point ahead
of title rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid with
a visit to Atletico in the Copa del Rey to come
Cristiano Ronaldo had fired the visitors into
an early lead from the penalty spot, but Ancelotti was left to bemoan key missed chances by
the Portuguese and Gareth Bale either side of
Antonio Barragan’s equaliser for Valencia as
Nicolas Otamendi headed home the winner 25
minutes from time.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose because
we just didn’t have the luck to score when we
had the chances to make it 2-0, then to go ahead
2-1 and finally at the end when we had many
chances to make it 2-2,” said the Italian.
“There were important points of the match
where we didn’t take our chances, but as I’ve
said in football this happens. You can’t always
be efficient up front.
“I think we worked hard and had chances. We
were always dangerous but we didn’t score.
“I don’t think it will affect the team. As I said
it has happened after 22 victories. The season is
very long and we are well-positioned in La Liga
and have a lot of competitions. This won’t affect
us because we know all the things we have done
well until now.”
Ancelotti surprisingly withdrew the star trio
of Bale, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema
in the search for an equaliser in the secondhalf.
However, the 55-year-old denied he is concerned about the physical condition of his squad
ahead of a demanding January schedule which
could see Real face Atletico and Barca four times
in the Cup, as well as Liga encounters with Espanyol, Getafe, Cordoba and Real Sociedad.
“We knew what the schedule would be and
that Valencia are a strong team, above all this
year. We prepared well for the game and we
played well. We congratulate Valencia, who
played well, and now we have to prepare for the
next game.
“For the game on Wednesday we need to
think how to play better to win the game. I think
physically the team showed it is in good shape,
especially in the final part of the game.”
Sergio Ramos also pleaded for calm after a
glorious run and end to 2014 which saw Madrid
win four trophies in the same year for the first
“I’m hurt by the loss of three points and the
end of the run, but there is a long way to go in
the league. We didn’t brag about our victories
before the match nor will we throw the towel in
on La Liga now.
“If anything has characterised this group it is
the humility and work and this will not change
that. It will make us stronger. We will continue to
grow as a team for sure.” – AFP
theSun ON TUESDAY | JANUARY 6, 2015
Poyet up for Cup
after Sunderland
SUNDERLAND manager Gus Poyet
vowed to continue to respect the cup
competitions after his side beat Leeds
United in the FA Cup in their latest
knockout success under the Uruguayan.
Sunderland booked a place in yesterday’s fourth-round draw as Patrick van
Aanholt’s first-half goal produced a repeat
of the 1-0 scoreline from their celebrated
Wembley victory over Leeds in the 1973
Last season, Sunderland reached the
final of the League Cup, where they lost
to Manchester City, and the quarterfinals
of the FA Cup, and Poyet is determined
to maintain his policy of sending out his
strongest available side, despite rival
top-flight managers doing otherwise.
The Wearside club are just three points
above the bottom three in the Premier
League, but Poyet – who spent 12 months
as assistant to former Leeds manager
Dennis Wise in 2006 and 2007 – insists
that will not deflect him from taking the
cup seriously.
“We made a few changes from the
other day, but we put a good team out,”
he said.
“We needed to win at home. It’s been
quite embarrassing that we’ve played at
home for four months this season, but
won only once before this, so it helps with
confidence for our next game against
“I love this competition, and if you can
progress to the later stages, then it can
bring you together and be a real benefit.
I don’t think it’s a distraction, playing
“If someone thinks it’s a distraction,
playing football mid-week or whenever,
then he should go to the casino, or to the
cinema instead.”
Leeds, who are without a win in six
games, did almost enough to reward their
5,200 travelling fans with a replay after
a much-improved second-half display,
with defender Liam Cooper’s last-minute
header hitting the woodwork.
The reign of manager Neil Redfearn’s
predecessor, Darko Milanic, ended after
only 32 says due to a run of six winless
games, but Redfearn said he does not
feel under pressure despite having
overseen only two victories in 11
matches since stepping up from his
caretaker role in November.
“I thought we played really well and
were the better side by quite a stretch in
the second half,” said the 49-year-old.
“We should have had a second-half
penalty and if we’d scored we’d have
gone on to win it.”
The Championship strugglers face an
uncertain future, with the club’s owner,
Massimo Cellino, set to have his appeal
against his disqualification by the Football
League heard on Jan 15.
The League claimed the 58-year-old
breached its �fit and proper’ ownership
test after being found guilty of tax evasion
in his native Italy.
Cellino would have been banned until
March 18 if he had not appealed, but that
date will be pushed back if he fails
to overturn his disqualification.
English champions, are
currently under a transfer embargo under Financial Fair Play regulations, but they are able
to add free transfer
acquisitions to their
“I’d like to think
we’ll have some new
faces in soon,” said
Redfearn, whose side
are currently a point
above the Championship relegation zone.
“We need two or
three, so hopefully
we’ll bring the right
type of players in.”
Milner to
stay at City
> Pellegrini keen to keep matchwinner English midfielder
Manuel Pellegrini said he
wanted James Milner’s
contract situation to be resolved
quickly after the England
midfielder’s brace took the club into
the FA Cup fourth round.
Milner ended a run of over two
years without a goal at the Etihad
Stadium by scoring both goals in
Sunday’s 2-1 third-round victory over
Sheffield Wednesday, including a
91st-minute winner.
The former Leeds United,
Newcastle United and Aston Villa
player, who turned 29 on Sunday,
will be out of contract at the end of
the season, but Pellegrini hopes a
new deal will prove a formality.
“There is no news on the contract
for the moment. But I hope we will
find an arrangement,” Pellegrini said.
“I’ve said already what I think
about James Milner. He’s a very
useful player. I brought him on in our
last game as a substitute and I think
he made more chances than a lot of
players, three or four clear chances.
“But he always plays at 100
percent commitment and intensity
for the team so I am happy with
Pellegrini named a strong team
for the tie and ended up with an even
stronger one after bringing on David
Silva and Samir Nasri, who
combined for Milner’s 66th-minute
equaliser and helped turned the
game on its head.
As his use of personnel proved, it
is a competition that Pellegrini says
his club take seriously, with City
having won the FA Cup in 2011 and
lost in the final to Wigan Athletic
two years later.
“The FA Cup means a lot for all
the English teams,” said the Chilean.
“It is the most traditional cup, the
cup you are only going to play one
game each month from now until
May, so of course we want to be
involved until the last stage.
“I’m relieved because I think we
didn’t play well. We played very
badly, except the last 20 minutes,
when maybe we found another gear
and tried to create space against a
team that defended very well.”
One senior player who was rested
for the entire 90 minutes was
England goalkeeper Joe Hart, with
Willy Caballero starting in goal for
the second consecutive match.
But Pellegrini confirmed that
Hart will return for City’s next
league outing, at Everton on
“It’s not a difficult decision,” said
the City manager.
“Joe knows what I think about his
performance. Willy played the last
two games, but against Everton. Joe
will return to his position because he
is doing very well.”
Considering the previous
meeting between the two clubs had
ended in a 7-0 win for City in the
League Cup in September, it was a
fantastic effort by Wednesday, who
delighted their large contingent of
travelling supporters by going ahead
in the 14th minute through Atdhe
“The last time we were here, we
got beat 7-0,” said manager Stuart
“It was 0-0 at half-time and
second half they went up a gear and
put seven past us so it was nice to go
in at half-time one-up. We
thoroughly deserved it.
“We frustrated them and, in the
end, they showed us total respect
putting on David Silva, Nasri and
(Gael) Clichy and, in the end, tired
minds caught us out. They kept the
ball better than us the last 15
minutes.” – AFP
Squad depth pleases Mourinho after Cup stroll
CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho said that his
squad were capable of challenging for four different trophies after their 3-0 victory over second-tier
Watford in the FA Cup third round.
Three goals in 14 second-half minutes from
Willian, Loic Remy and Kurt Zouma were
enough to see Chelsea comfortably
through in yesterday’s game at
Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho was even afforded
the luxury of resting some of
his jaded first-team players.
Winning four trophies in
a season remains a tall order,
particularly as Chelsea have
seen their eight-point
advantage at the top of
the Premier League
eroded away by Manchester City in the last
The next month could
decide their fate, with six
games still looming, but
Mourinho believes his
side can manage the
workload after backing his second-string to help
maintain their challenge on four different fronts.
“I had to play with some of my fundamental
players because we don’t want to throw away any
competition,” he said.
“We want to play every competition trying always
to go to the next step. We have to do what we did
today (Sunday): make some changes, keep some
players on the bench.
“This time it was (Cesc) Fabregas and (Eden)
Hazard I didn’t include. Maybe in the next match
Fabregas and Eden have to play, like they did
against Derby (in the League Cup quarter-finals),
and leave somebody else out.
“But we are doing fine. Today I could give total
rest to some. I could leave on the bench Nemanja
Matic and Branislav Ivanovic without playing one.
“I will do the same with the others. Maybe next
time Diego (Costa) is not one who is not selected,
or Gary Cahill. So no problem. We are fine. No
injuries. Everyone is good.”
Mourinho had feared the demanding mid-season fixture schedule could have left his side vulnerable to an FA Cup giant-killing.
But there was never the slightest hint of an
upset against Watford, which served to underline
the strength in depth at his disposal.
A welcome rest now awaits before Chelsea
return to Premier League action against Newcastle
United and Mourinho is not looking too far
“I’m confident we can win against Newcastle
next week,” said the Portuguese, whose side had
gone down 5-3 at Tottenham Hotspur in their
previous game.
“That is the only thing I’m fully confident over.
We don’t go for four competitions, we go for the
next match. And Newcastle is the next match.
“After that Swansea and we will be very confident there. After that, match by match.”
Mourinho confirmed that veteran Australian
goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is leaving, amid reports
linking him to Leicester City, meaning that Petr
Cech will remain at Stamford Bridge in January.
“There is no chance he will go,” Mourinho said
of Cech. “I will bring Jamal Blackman back from
Middlesbrough. He can stay with Thibaut Courtois
and Petr, which is a good experience for him.”
Watford bowed out of the competition, but
manager Slavisa Jokanovic has bigger fish to fry as
he aims for promotion to the Premier League.
“If we want to come back to a stadium like this,
arrive at Stamford Bridge again, we have a chance
in front of us and we must do everything to make
those steps,” said Jokanovic.
“The FA Cup is over for us. We must focus on
what is important now: the Championship.” –
theSun is published and printed by Sun Media Corporation Sdn Bhd (221220-K) of Lot 6, Jalan 51/217, 46050 Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-7784 6688 Fax: 03-7783 7435
> We have regained ground
on Chelsea and we are in the
fourth round of the FA Cup.
What more can a manager
wish for? says Van Gaal
ANCHESTER UNITED manager Louis van
Gaal said the Christmas period had been
a triumph for his team after they beat
Yeovil Town to reach the FA Cup fourth round.
While yesterday’s 2-0 win against third-tier
opponents who sat 65 places below them in the
league ladder was to be expected, Van Gaal was
pleased to achieve it, despite picking up two more
injured defenders along the way.
Right-back Rafael da Silva suffered a possible
fractured cheekbone, while leftback Luke Shaw
picked up an ankle problem. Both were
substituted at halftime.
“I’m very happy that we have survived this
festive period because I don’t have a big squad
because of all the injuries. I had a small squad,”
Van Gaal said after the match.
“I could not change much and in spite of that
we have regained ground on Chelsea by one point
(in the Premier League) after the festive period
and we are in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
What more can a manager wish for?
“I have heard from my fantastic assistant
manager (Ryan Giggs) that Man United have not
won the FA Cup for 10 years and maybe we can do
that this year. But it is a very long way.”
Rafael left Yeovil’s Huish Park stadium early to
have his injury assessed and Van Gaal praised the
Brazilian for his commitment while sympathising
with his misfortune in getting injured.
“He played through (the pain) because the last
few weeks he didn’t play and now he is injured,”
said the Dutchman. “He has a fantastic mentality,
it’s unbelievable.”
Ander Herrera’s superb 64th-minute strike
from outside the penalty area put United ahead
before a calm finish from substitute Angel di
Maria sealed United’s progress in the final minute
of the match.
On Herrera’s strike, Van Gaal said: “It’s his
class. It’s not his first goal from outside the box
and it was a fantastic goal. There was a little bit of
luck, but you need that and I was very happy with
Robin van Persie was rested for the game so
James Wilson came into the side to start in attack
alongside Radamel Falcao, with Wayne Rooney
playing in midfield.
United failed to create a decent chance in the
first half, but improved after the break.
Van Gaal was ultimately pleased with how his
side went about their business, and that Di Maria
got some time on the pitch after missing the last
two weeks with hamstring and pelvic problems.
“We didn’t have the patience in the first half,”
he said. “We wanted to make the first goal too
relieved as
sets pace
“It is the
happiest night
since I arrived
in San
Sebastian. We
worked very
hard. The
players showed
courage and
David Moyes after
Real Sociedad upset
Barcelona 1-0.
> Reds need
mindset change
X pg28
> Moyes lauded
X pg30
> Milner to stay
in City
X pg31
ARSENE WENGER believes Alexis
Sanchez’s tireless display in
Arsenal’s FA Cup win against Hull
proves the Chile forward has the
stamina to lead the Gunners’
challenge for silverware.
Despite playing three times in
seven days over the festive period,
Sanchez looked remarkably fresh
as he helped the holders kick off
their defence of the Cup with a 2-0
third round success at the Emirates
Stadium yesterday.
Wenger had considered resting
Sanchez against the Tigers but,
with a victory essential after last
week’s lacklustre defeat at
Southampton, he felt the former
Barcelona star would be a vital
Sanchez repaid Wenger’s faith
by delivering the corner that set up
Per Mertesacker’s first half opener
and he capped a lively
performance with a fine finish
from the edge of the penalty area in
the closing stages.
The 26-year-old has now scored
16 times in his debut season with
the Gunners and Wenger is
confident that, unlike many foreign
stars who struggle to adapt to the
gruelling demands of English
football, Sanchez will still be going
strong when the trophies are
handed out in May.
“He always looked dangerous,”
Wenger said. “He is incisive,
penetrating and has a good change
of direction. He is interesting to
watch because he has a good
fighting spirit as well.
“I was tempted to rest him but I
knew it was an important game for
us and he seemed ready.
“I hope we can keep this level of
energy for the whole season. When
a player is confident it is important
to keep them playing.
much and I changed the shape. We had a man
more in midfield then and we kept the ball better.
“We have a lot of pace in our attack and that is
why I selected Wilson and later I gave Di Maria 30
minutes, because he needs to build up his match
“It’s not a matter of how far below us they
were because when you see the performance of
Yeovil Town and how they press the ball, the ball
was always under pressure and you can do that
with an amateur team also.”
Gary Johnson, the Yeovil manager, had
warned his players not to ask for “selfies” with
Rooney and his illustrious teammates before the
match, but he was proud of their performance on
the day.
“I wanted to make sure we gave them a fright
and we did that,” Johnson said.
“When the boys get home, they’ll realise what
they’ve done here. I don’t think there was £159
million (RM875m) between the sides.” – AFP
Per Mertersacker (C) of Arsenal watches as his header
passes Hull City goal keeper Steve Harper during
their FA Cup third round match at the Emirates
Stadium in London yesterday. – REUTERSPIX
“He has the physical potential to
recover very quickly and our tests
show he doesn’t seem to have any
fatigue problems.”
After a frustratingly
inconsistent first half of the season,
Wenger knew Arsenal could illafford another setback yesterday
and he took heart from the clinical
way his players stuck to the task of
killing off lacklustre Hull.
“I believe we had a serious
performance. We were in control.
It is a positive game because we
created many chances,” Wenger
“It took us a while to get the
second goal so you never know
what can happen but overall we
had a good performance.”
Hull manager Steve Bruce made
10 changes after deciding the fight
to avoid relegation from the
Premier League was more
important than another cup run.
“It is a fair result, we huffed and
puffed but didn’t have any cutting
edge to make the cup tie come
alive,” Bruce said.
“It was a big ask to come to the
Emirates after three games in six
“It wasn’t a case of disrespecting
the cup because we had one of the
best days of our lives in the
competition last year.” – AFP
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