Monday, 12 November 2012

Real’s Ronaldo to have tests after blow to face

MADRID – Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo will undergo tests at a clinic in the Spanish capital after sustaining a nasty gash above his left eye in Sunday’s 2-1 La Liga win at Levante, coach Jose Mourinho said.
Ronaldo was caught by David Navarro’s elbow in the opening minutes of the match in Valencia and after being patched up on the side of the pitch returned to the fray to score Real’s 21st-minute opener.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after he scored against Levante during their Spanish first division soccer match at the Ciudad de Valencia stadium in Valencia November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Heino Kalis
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after he scored against Levante during their Spanish first division soccer match at the Ciudad de Valencia stadium in Valencia November 11, 2012. 
He was replaced by Raul Albiol at halftime and Mourinho said his vision in both eyes was affected by the blow, which left one side of the Portuguese international’s face covered with blood.
"It was impossible for him to play on so when we get back to Madrid he’ll go to hospital to have the necessary checks," Mourinho said.

Messi nets twice as shaky Barca beat Mallorca

MADRID  – Unbeaten leaders Barcelona extended their near-perfect start but again suffered the defensive lapses that have plagued them this season when Lionel Messi netted twice in a 4-2 La Liga win at Real Mallorca on Sunday.
Their 10th victory in 11 matches, in which Xavi and Cristian Tello also scored, maintained their three-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid, 2-0 winners at home to Getafe.
However, Barca coach Tito Vilanova will be wondering how inept defending allowed Mallorca to score twice early in the second half to get back to 3-2 before Messi struck his second of the night with 20 minutes left.
It was the World Player of the Year’s 76th goal of 2012 for club and country – 64 for Barca and 12 for Argentina – and he is closing in on the record for a calendar year of 85 set by German Gerd Mueller in 1972.
The 25-year-old has 15 in La Liga this season, four ahead of Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who has a chance to add to his tally at Levante in Sunday’s late kickoff (2030 GMT).
Real are third after a poor start to their title defence, 11 points adrift of arch rivals Barca and eight behind neighbours Atletico.
"The team is in a situation right now when any little mistake costs you a goal," Vilanova told a news conference.
"Maybe one goal against would have been a just reflection of how the match went but not two," added Pep Guardiola’s former assistant, who stepped up to take the top job at the end of last season when Guardiola quit.
Barca, whose only dropped points came in October’s 2-2 draw at home to champions Real, took a 28th-minute lead at Mallorca’s Iberostar stadium when Xavi left goalkeeper Dudu Aouate rooted to the spot with a sumptuous free kick.
Messi, who had his new-born son’s name Thiago written on his boots, made it 2-0 when Aouate let his low drive squirm past him in the 44th minute and Tello cut in from the left and curled into the far corner a minute later.
Mallorca kept plugging away and were rewarded 10 minutes into the second period when Javier Mascherano surrendered possession on the right and the ball eventually fell to Michael Pereira who smashed it past Victor Valdes.
Victor Casadesus scored from the spot two minutes later after a Sergio Busquets handball in the penalty area and the home fans sniffed an unlikely comeback.
However, substitute Alexis Sanchez chested down a Daniel Alves centre for Messi and he took a touch before sending a blistering shot into the roof of the net.
The victory equalled the best start to a league campaign of 31 points from 11 matches achieved twice by Real – in the 1968-69 and 1991-92 seasons.
"It’s not that we felt the win was in danger but I think the incident that led to the second goal was bad luck," central defender Gerard Pique, making his first start after a two-month injury layoff, said in an interview with Spanish television.
"We were tense towards the end because another similar passage of play could have brought them level," he added.
"In general we played well and we were superior although in the opening 15 minutes of the second half we suffered a bit."
Valencia’s poor away form continued when Aly Cissokho scored and was later sent off after conceding a penalty in a 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid.
Valencia had drawn one and lost four of their five away games this season and they had to hang on for the final half hour with 10 men at Valladolid’s Jose Zorrilla stadium after Cissokho was shown a straight red in the 64th minute.
The French fullback, who nodded his side ahead in the 14th minute, felled Julian Omar in the area and Victor Perez stroked the spot kick past Diego Alves to make it 1-1.
Valencia have 15 points in ninth, ahead of Valladolid thanks to a superior goal difference.
Athletic Bilbao also ended their match with 10 men but repelled intense late pressure to secure a 2-1 home win over Sevilla, only a fourth victory of the campaign that lifted the Basque club to 12th on 14 points.
Ander Herrera, who was also sent off at Valencia last month, picked up a second yellow card in the 76th minute after Oscar de Marcos and Markel Susaeta had put Bilbao 2-0 up at the break.
Alvaro Negredo pulled a goal back for the visitors, who are 10th on 15 points, from the penalty spot in the 79th minute after Andoni Iraola handled in the area.

Di Matteo rues misses as Chelsea held by Liverpool

LONDON  – Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo was left to rue his side’s missed chances as well as a potentially serious knee injury to skipper John Terry after their 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.
Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo gestures during their Champions League Group E soccer match against Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge in London November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo gestures during their Champions League Group E soccer match against Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge in London November 7, 2012. 
Despite their win over Liverpool in last season’s FA Cup final, Liverpool have had a good recent record against the European champions and are now unbeaten in their last four matches at Stamford Bridge.
They maintained that run when Luis Suarez headed an equaliser 17 minutes from time to cancel out Terry’s 20th-minute opener. The result stretched Liverpool’s unbeaten run in the league to six matches and left Chelsea without a win in three games.
"We knew that the second goal was crucial to the game," Di Matteo told reporters. "We had opportunities, their goalkeeper made some great saves. We couldn’t push on.
"We are still playing well and we are still creating chances, but we have to be clinical to take our chances and finish the game off."
Chelsea slipped to third in the table and lost two points to leaders Manchester United and second-placed Manchester City who both won over the weekend.
United lead the table with 27 points from 11 games, City have 25 and Chelsea 24.
But Di Matteo was looking on the bright side, even though Chelsea lost 3-2 at home to Manchester United in their last home match and had two players, Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, sent off.
"I think we are in much better shape than previous years," he said. "We are very close to our best as well.
"If we had won today it would have been great for us. But we are still in the mix. The United game was obviously a real blow because of the way it happened. Two players sent off and a goal that should have been disallowed."
He was also naturally concerned about Terry, who left the ground in a brace and on crutches after damaging his knee, 19 minutes after scoring Chelsea’s goal.
"We have to wait to tomorrow to understand the extent of the injury. It was great to see him lead the team out there we just have to hope it’s not a serious injury we have to see him back soon.
"He’s in pain now but we hope it’s not serious. He will go to hospital tomorrow to have a scan. It’s a real shame he had to come off. He was playing really well."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, back at the club where he worked under Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luis Felipe Scolari, was pleased with his team’s performance.
"We were a wee bit tentative in the first half and we couldn’t quite press it as we like to. When we changed the formation we got more on to the front foot.
"There was great character from all the players. I know more than anyone how difficult it is to come here and get a result. So it’s great point for us.
"It’s a difficult place to come. They are fantastic players, European champions and it’s great club so I’m delighted for our young players.
"There’s great character and resilience and survival instincts in the squad but if we can get one or two in January that can turn those draws into wins that would be great."

Malaysia edge favourites Germany in opener

What a save: Malaysia’s goalkeeper Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman palms away a shot by Germany’s German’s Moritz Trompertz in the Sultan of Johor Cup match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium Sunday night. Malaysia won 3-2. — ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG / The StarWhat a save: Malaysia’s goalkeeper Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman palms away a shot by Germany’s German’s Moritz Trompertz in the Sultan of Johor Cup match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium Sunday night. Malaysia won 3-2. 
JOHOR BARU: As promised by their coach, the Malaysians were roaring tigers against junior world champions Germany.
The defending champions showed incredible fighting spirit to come back from a two-goal deficit to upset favourites Germany 3-2 in a thrilling encounter on the opening day of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium yesterday.
It was a mixed performance from the Malaysians who were pathetic in the first half as they allowed the Germans to score twice. But they turned their game around after the breather with some breathtaking movements and stunned the European powerhouse, who are favoured to win the Junior World Cup in Delhi next year.
The players seemed to have heeded coach K. Dharmaraj’s call to keep up a winning mentality and not be nervous when facing the world champions.
“It’s an important result that puts us in the proper frame of mind for the rest of the tournament. We must try to win every match no matter who the opponents are,” said a happy Dharmaraj after the game.
“In the second-half, the players showed they have the calibre to play good hockey and take the fight to their opponents,”
The coach made a surprise decision when he played youngster Mohamed Zulhairi Hahim in the starting lineup.
Zuhairi was among the two players who did not feature in the tournament last year or the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca. The other is goalkeeper Shahrul Azaddin Auskarzie.
Still, they had enough experience in the team, including four under-21 players in Mohamed Noor Feez Ibrahim, Mohamed Ramadhan Rosli, Amir Frid and Mohamed Forhan Azhaari.
The Malaysians began on a fast note and even forced four penalty corners in a row in the fourth minute. But it was all for nothing with German goalkeeper Victor Ally in great form.
Germany then struck in the 18th minute from only their second penalty corner when Tom Grambusch scored with a drag flick.
The five-time junior world champions were on a roll and scored their second from a field attempt by Moritz Trompertz.
Dharmaraj’s hairdryer blast must have done wonders for the young Malaysians as they stormed back after the break and quickly took control. They needed a mere three minutes to get back into the game.
Mohamed Syamin Yusof took a shot at goal from the right which had the goalkeeper beaten and Amir Farid had the easy task of slotting into an empty net. The Malaysians were in command and earned their fifth penalty corner in the 50th minute. A flick from Noor Faeez hit defender Mathias Mullers and the umpire awarded a stroke for Malaysia.
Faeez strode up and converted the flick to make it 2-2. The Germans were reeling and the Malaysians continued to push hard.
With just two minutes remaining, the Malaysians whipped up a winner. It came from Mohamed Ramadhan from the left with a superb reverse hit that had the German defence beaten.

Zulfahmi grabs second career podium finish at Valencia GP

PETALING JAYA: Zulfahmi Khairuddin closed his breakthrough 2012 season in splendid fashion by clinching third place in a thrilling Moto3 race at the Valencia Grand Prix yesterday.
Zulfahmi rode brilliantly from 17th place on the starting grid to grab his second career podium finish with a stunning overtaking move on the final turn.
In collecting another 16 precious championship points, the AirAsia-SIC-Ajo team rider climbed to seventh in the Moto3 standings with a total haul of 128 points.
The 21-year-old from Banting earned his first career podium by finishing second in the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang last month.
Zulfahmi struggled to get the right set-up in qualifying and only managed 17th fastest in the final practice session.
The race began under wet conditions and Zulfahmi went for a cautious approach at the start despite keeping close to the leading group.
He then started to pull off a series of fastest laps and with three laps to go, Zulfahmi moved behind the Red Bull KTM Ajo Racing duo of Sandro Cortese and Danny Kent.
They maintained their positions until the last turn of the final lap 14 when Kent and Zulfahmi made their daring passing moves, overtaking Cortese and Binder respectively to give the Malaysian rider a well deserved podium.
Zulfahmi, in a telephone interview from Valencia, said he had to take a cautious approach due to the wet and slippery conditions.
“I’ve never liked racing on a wet track. I was very careful at the start and just followed the leaders, I saw some riders crashing out, so I was careful until the final stages of the races.
“I took a big risk to fight with the frontrunners on the final turn but it paid dividends.
“I’m so happy to get my second podium of the year, more so after starting 17th on the grid and struggling in the practice sessions earlier.
“Many thanks to the sponsors and everybody who gave me this chance,” said Zulfahmi, who was named the Most Improved Rider for Moto3 last week.
Kent won the race in 45:5.891, crossing the finishing line just 0.056 seconds ahead of world champion Cortese and 0.114 seconds in front of Zulfahmi.

FAM want coach to stop experimenting and identify his first XI

All the best: National coach Datuk K. Rajagopal with some of the 50 Felda players bound for a training stint with Cardiff City Sunday.
By NIK NAIZI HUSIN and SHAMSHUL FITRI -  KUANTAN: Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants results and has told national coach Datuk K. Rajagopal to stop experimenting with the side. 
In fact, he believes Rajagopal has had enough time to identify the best players for the AFF Suzuki Cup, which begins on Nov 24. The national side have failed to impress in recent friendly matches, losing 1-0 to Vietnam and 2-0 to Thailand.  
Rajagopal has been dismissive of the poor results, saying they were of no significance. 
But the team’s poor run has seen them drop even further in the FIFA rankings to number 163 in the world, their worst position yet. 
Tengku Abdullah said yesterday that Rajagopal must identify the actual cause for Malaysia’s defeats in the two friendly matches. 
“There is cause for concern. The tinkering must end. He should know his starting lineup by now,” he said. “Stop the experimenting and identify the first XI. The Suzuki Cup is just around the corner and we need to be at our best.” 
Tengku Abdullah has reason to be concerned as Rajagopal has spent the better part of the year specifically preparing for the Suzuki Cup, apparently without much success. The coach had called up as many as 66 players as he continues to tinker in an indecisive manner. 
“If we frequently change the players, they will never be compatible with each other,” Tengku Abdullah said at an event to mark the birthday of the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, at the Darul Makmur Stadium. Malaysia are drawn in Group B with Indonesia, Singapore and Laos while Group A comprises Vietanam, Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar. 
Malaysia open their Suzuki Cup campaign against arch-rivals Singapore on Nov 25. They play Laos three days later with the crunch match against Indonesia on Dec 1. 
However, Tengku Abdullah said failure to field the preferred first XI in friendly matches did not mean that Rajagopal had got it entirely wrong. 
“The objective is to identify new players but we need a winning momentum to lift the team ahead of the tournament. These defeats are bad for team morale. He has had more than enough time to determine his lineup,” he added. “We are the defending champions and must be able to put up a team strong enough to retain the Cup.”  
In Kuala Lumpur, Rajagopal hoped all the negativity surrounding the team would end ahead of their final preparation. 
“No coach wants to lose. The recent results come as a reality check but I know what is going on in the team,” said Rajagopal after giving a motivational talk to 50 Felda players who will be undergoing a three-week stint at the Cardiff City Football Academy in Wales. 
He added that the national team will play two more friendly matches — against Hong Kong (Nov 14) and Bangladesh (Nov 20) — before the Suzuki Cup. “I’m confident we will see an improvement this time. I know exactly who will feature in the first XI and those who will play the supporting roles,” said Rajagopal, who is expected to announce the 22-man squad a day before the tournament.

Happy Subra wants Malaysia to win big

Joy to all: S. Subramaniam (centre) and family at home in Sungai Siput, Perak, wishing Starsport readers a Happy Deepavali. 
PETALING JAYA: National footballer S. Subramaniam is in seventh heaven. 
The 27-year-old Kelantan centreback capped the finest season of his career after the Red Warriors won the treble this season. 
“It’s my best season since I turned pro in 2005 and I have won three championships medals in my seventh year as a professional,” said Subramaniam, who is back home in Sungei Siput for the Deepavali holidays. 
The only disappointment is that he had to drop out of the national team preparing for the Suzuki Cup later this month because of a nagging knee injury. 
“I was recalled to the national team after a four-year lapse but the knee injury meant I have to give it a miss. In fact, I’m due for an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) surgery on Nov 22. Malaysia will play two days later and I hope they win big,” said Subramaniam, who wished all Hindus in Malaysia a Happy Deepavali.

Lynas shares drop 6% Monday after capital raising for M'sian plant

SYDNEY: Shares in Australia's Lynas Corp dropped 6.2 percent on Monday after the company said it raised A$150 million ($156 million) to help fund the start-up of its controversial Malaysian rare earths plant through a placement to institutional investors.
A further A$50 million will be sought from retail investors.
Shares in Lynas surged 12 percent on Thursday after a court lifted a suspension on its licence to operate the processing plant. The shares were suspended on Friday after it announced the capital raising.
The stock was down 5 percent at A$0.76 at 1110 GMT. ($1 = 0.9635 Australian dollars)

CIMB Research: Plunge in telco stocks presents buying opportunity

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Equities Research describes the recent plunge in Malaysian telco stocks as an opportunity to accumulate at better values.
It said on Monday the share prices of AxiataDiGiMaxis and Telekom Malaysia plunged 9%, 6%, 3% and 6% respectively and have lagged the KLCI by 2%-8% since Oct 1.
“We know of no adverse industry developments that had triggered the sell-off, which was probably the result of investors locking in their gains for the year,” it said.
CIMB Research said its four telcos returned 31%-43% to outpace the KLCI by 20%-31% in the 10 months for 2012.
“The sector is still a Neutral while Axiata remains our top pick, followed by DiGi. We think TM may struggle to be re-rated to its former levels given earnings headwinds from competition and a likely higher retirement age,” it said.
The research house said investors should accumulate the shares as they now offer higher dividend yields of 4.3%-6.0% versus 4.0%-5.8% previously while fundamentals are mostly intact.

    Japan economy shrinks 0.9 percent in third-quarter, points to recession

    "The GDP data confirms that the economy has fallen into a recession," said Tatsushi Shikano, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo. "It is set for a second straight quarter of contraction in the current quarter." - Reuters"The GDP data confirms that the economy has fallen into a recession," said Tatsushi Shikano, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo. "It is set for a second straight quarter of contraction in the current quarter." - Reuters
    TOKYO: Japan's economy shrank in the September quarter for the first time since last year, adding to signs that slowing global growth and tensions with China are nudging the world's third-largest economy into recession.
    The 0.9 percent fall in GDP was in line with expectations, although a decline in capital expenditure was much steeper than forecast. Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp have slashed spending plans to cope with massive losses as they struggle with competitive markets and a strong yen.
    The fall in GDP translated into an annualised rate of decline of 3.5 percent, government data showed on Monday. While U.S. growth showed a modest pick up in the third quarter, Japan and the euro zone economies are shrinking.
    "The GDP data confirms that the economy has fallen into a recession," said Tatsushi Shikano, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo. "It is set for a second straight quarter of contraction in the current quarter."
    A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction.
    The data will keep the Bank of Japan under pressure to boost monetary stimulus even after it eased policy in October for the second straight month as a strong yen and a territorial row with China add to the impact on exports of the global slowdown.
    Many analysts expect the BOJ to leave policy unchanged at a review next week, but some see it boosting stimulus again at a December 19-20 meeting, shortly after the U.S. Federal Reserve is due to meet.
    External demand accounted for 0.7 percentage points of July-September GDP contraction, matching the median projection. Japan's exports fell 5.0 percent in July-September, the biggest decline since a 6.0 percent decline in April-June last year, the data showed.
    A row with China over sovereignty of some islands in the East China Sea sparked violent protests in China and the boycott of Japanese goods, which added to the slide in exports, particularly for automakers such asNissan Motor Co.
    Private consumption - which accounts for roughly 60 percent of the economy - fell 0.5 percent in the third quarter against a median forecast of a 0.6 percent drop.
    Capital expenditure tumbled 3.2 percent, the fastest pace of decline since a 5.5 percent drop in April-June 2009, as companies turned more pessimistic about earnings from domestic and overseas markets.
    Japan's ailing electronics sector is one good example of the extent to which companies are cutting back on investment.
    Sony plans to reduce capital spending by 29 percent in the year to March 2013 and Panasonic plans a 27 percent cut, after incurring huge losses in their TV manufacturing businesses.
    The companies are struggling to compete with more nimble rivals, such as South Korea Samsung Electronics and America's Apple Inc, and a steady rise in the yen, which makes exports from Japan more expensive.
    Japan's economy outperformed most of its Group of Seven peers in the first half of this year on robust private consumption and spending for reconstruction from last year's earthquake.
    But growth has stalled since then. Indeed, second-quarter growth was revised down by half to just 0.1 percent compared with an initial report. The last quarterly contraction was in the Oct-Dec period of 2011, when GDP fell 0.3 percent.
    With the economic affect of rebuilding from last year's earthquake and tsunami fading, the government acknowledged last week that its index of leading indicators gauge fell to a level suggesting the onset of a recession.
    "Judging from the coincident indicator index, the economy peaked in March and it is likely to bottom out in October or November, as the global economy is expected to pick up gradually," Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley's Shikano said.
    The BOJ set a 1 percent inflation target and eased policy in February. It followed up with further stimulus in April, September and October on mounting evidence that the economy was on the cusp of recession.
    The euro zone is expected to report on Thursday that the economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter, adding to a 0.2 percent contraction in the second quarter.

    Petronas seeks to win over Canada on Progress bid-FT

    "We've told them if you want more transparency from us we're prepared to increase the number of independent directors (on the Progress board). It's good governance," chief executive Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas was quoted as saying by the newspaper."We've told them if you want more transparency from us we're prepared to increase the number of independent directors (on the Progress board). It's good governance," chief executive Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
    KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional aims to overcome Canada's opposition to its $5.2 billion bid for Progress Energy Resources by adding more independent directors to the board of the gas producer, theFinancial Times reported.
    The newspaper cited the Malaysian state oil firm's chief executive Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas as saying in an interview that Petronas was prepared to make the move to soothe Canada's concerns about a lack of transparency after the takeover.
    Canada blocked Petronas's bid for Progress last month, with Industry Minister Christian Paradis saying it was unlikely to bring a "net benefit" to the country. Petronas and Progress are planning a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas plant on Canada's West Coast.
    Petronas has said it plans to make further submissions to win approval.
    "We've told them if you want more transparency from us we're prepared to increase the number of independent directors (on the Progress board). It's good governance," Shamsul was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
    Shamsul also said Petronas as a whole had become more transparent since he took over in 2010, even though he reported ultimately to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
    "In terms of governance and transparency we are not a publicly listed company but we behave as one. There is no interference from the government," Shamsul said.
    Petronas is Malaysia's largest single taxpayer and its biggest source of revenue, covering as much as 45 percent of the government's annual budget.
    Shamsul said Petronas has been in talks to cut special dividend payments to the government, which amounted to 28 billion ringgit last year. The dividend would be cut next year by a billion ringgit and likely fall further each year, he said. 

    LDP, Sprint, SKVE among highways offering festive discounts

    KUALA LUMPUR: Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) is offering a 60 sen discount to its users in conjunction with the Deepavali celebration Tuesday, the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) said in a statement here Monday.
    LLM said Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (Sprint Highway) would be offering a 20 sen discount.
    For both the tolled highways, the discounts are applicable to all classes of cash payment and electronic toll collection system.
    Meanwhile, the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) is also offering a 5% discount in conjunction with Deepavali.
    The three highways are among 20 highways offering discounts and rebates on toll in conjunction with Deepavali and Awal Muharram this week.

    Muhyiddin urges investors to tap into China's huge market via Malaysia's Chinese diaspora

    Muhyiddin (right) with Governor Victoria, Alex Chernov (left) at the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) in Melbourne Muhyiddin (right) with Governor Victoria, Alex Chernov (left) at the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) in Melbourne
    MELBOURNE: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is calling for investors to take advantage of Malaysia's Chinese diaspora and huge halal industry to penetrate China's huge economic market.
    "Malaysia's strength lies in its diversity. As a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, the Malaysian business community is able to capitalise on a wider range of opportunities in China," said Muhyiddin at the 4th World Chinese Economic Forum here Monday.
    He said Malaysia was blessed in the form of its substantial Chinese community, where some 24% or seven million of Malaysians are ethnic Chinese.
    "Malaysia is the only country outside China with a complete Mandarin education system available to its population from pre-school right up to university. There are also many other non-Chinese background Malaysians who study in Mandarin schools," he said.
    As such, he said besides the ability to converse and understand, there are many extensive business connections in trade and investment as a result of the substantial Chinese community.
    This, he said, translated to good links with the Chinese world of some 50 million overseas Chinese and over 1.3 billion Chinese nationals.
    Muhyiddin said the Malaysian business community could leverage on that and explore the untapped Chinese hinterland markets, especially in tourism and halal industries.
    Last year, Malaysia's export value for Halal products reached RM35.4bil or 5.1% of its total global exports.
    "I believe that the country's huge halal industry is able to cater to the 20 million Muslims in China," he said.
    He said strategic alliances with provinces such as Xinjiang, Gansu and Ningxia will also allow Malaysia to not only penetrate these big halal markets but also those in Muslim-majority countries neighbouring China.
    "We should all also look beyond China's tier one cities. Today, most of China's cosmopolises, including that of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are maturing fast,” he said.
    On the other hand, he said there are more than 80 cities in China with a population of at least a million people. With China's fiscal desentralisation and development policies, he said its second tier and third-tier cities were experiencing the spillover effects now.
    "These cities will surely present greater business opportunities with good purchasing power," he said.
    On the local front, he said Malaysia also played host to Chinese business leaders from China, Thailand, Indonesia, USA, Singapore Philippines, Australia and many other parts of the world.
    "They came to Malaysia do business not only with the Malaysian Chinese, but with all Malaysians that understand Chinese business ethics and values," he said.
    He said many of these businesses use Malaysia as a platform to launch their products and services into other English speaking markets, India and the Middle East because of Malaysia's multilingual population and cultural connections with many parts of the world.
    According to him, the government's transformation agenda has made Malaysia a much better market to trade with and invest in than ever before.
    "As we climb up the value chain and technological ladder, Malaysia invites investors from all places, especially the Chinese business community around the world, to take advantage of our transformation process as a springboard to other, bigger markets," he said.
    At the same conference, Muhyiddin was also conferred the WCEF Patron's Special Leadership Award.

    More evacuees in Selangor, situation in Malacca and Perak unchanged

    KUALA LUMPUR: The number of flood victims in Selangor rose to 1,327 people Monday morning compared to 1,273 people Sunday night.
    However, the situation in Malacca and Perak remains unchanged with 90 and 22 people still sheltered at relief centres respectively.
    According the National Security Council's floods portal, the situation was reported to be improving in Johor with the number of evacuees dropping from 160 people last night to 120 people as of 10am Monday.
    In Selangor, 340 families are being sheltered at seven relief centres, four in Kuala Langat and three in Sepang while in Malacca, only one shelter remains open, in Jasin where 19 families are being looked after.
    The portal said in Johor, 29 families were still housed at two relief centres in Batu Pahat while in Perak, only five families were being housed at a single relief centre in Manjung.
    Meanwhile, the Drainage and Irrigation Department's said in its website that in Selangor, the water levels at Sungai Langat at Bukit Changgang and Sungai Selangor at Kuala Badong were above the warning level and urged residents downstream to be on the alert.

    Perak PAS wants clarification from Nurul Izzah

    IPOH: Perak PAS has shied away from announcing its support for embattled PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, who is alleged to have uttered words perceived as advocating religious freedom for Muslims.
    State PAS commissioner Abu Bakar Hussain said they were still waiting for a clarification over the matter from the Lembah Pantai MP before issuing a statement on it.
    "We want to hear it from her first.
    "We have yet to receive any statements from Nurul Izzah and we hope to get an explanation from her soon," he told journalists during a press conference on Monday.
    Abu Bakar, however, believed that Nurul Izzah's words might have been manipulated by certain quarters out to tarnish her reputation.
    "I don't think she meant anything like that.
    "When people dislike (her), they will have different interpretation of her statement," Abu Bakar said.
    "Certain quarters want to pit the Pakatan Rakyat parties against each other and to create tension between us," he added.

    Northeast cleans up from Superstorm Sandy, death toll rises

    NEW YORK - New Yorkers took to the streets on Sunday to reinforce recovery from Superstorm Sandy, volunteering to help clean up devastated neighbourhoods and using an annual Veterans Day parade to collect donations for victims still struggling without homes or electricity.
    Evelyn Faherty surveys the damage to her home after Hurricane Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York, November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton
    Evelyn Faherty surveys the damage to her home after Hurricane Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York, November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

    Police raised the storm-related fatality toll in New York City to 43, adding the death of a 77-year-old retired custodian who was found paralyzed last week at the bottom of the steps of his apartment building in Rockaway, Queens, with head injuries. He died at a hospital on Saturday, they said.
    At least 121 people have perished in the storm, which caused an estimated $50 billion in property damage and economic losses and ranks as one of the most destructive natural disasters to hit the U.S. Northeast.
    The Rockaways peninsula of the city's Queens borough was especially hard hit when Sandy barrelled into the East Coast on October 29, unleashing a record storm surge that flooded low-lying areas and fierce winds that toppled trees and power lines.
    Many residents said they felt exhausted.
    Priscilla Perez, 30, was climbing up 11 flights of stairs in the dark, carrying clothes, jugs of water supplies and her 1-year-old daughter to an apartment at the Bay Towers in Rockaway Park. Helping carry the load was her 10-year-old son, Elijah, who she said is struggling with the impact of the storm.
    "He doesn't want to eat. He's never been through anything like this," she said. "I tell him when we go to get food, 'Take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, take a hot dog,' but he says no."
    Recovery workers, from volunteers to firefighters, National Park Service workers and thousands of National Guard members, helped clean up in Queens and the city's Staten Island borough, also badly damaged, clearing mounds of garbage, sand and debris.
    Medical teams went door to door to check on residents in high-rise buildings without power.
    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano paid a visit on Sunday to hundreds of federal recovery workers crammed into the mess hall aboard the T.S. Kennedy, a merchant marine training ship docked on Staten Island to serve as a floating hotel for government employees taking part in the effort.
    "Thank you, and thank you, and thank you," she told the workers, adding, "I hope you take some pride in what you're doing."
    Throughout the Eastern seaboard, thousands of homes were destroyed or badly damaged, millions were left without power, and commerce was brought to a virtual standstill in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
    The misery was compounded by an unseasonably early winter storm, or "Nor'easter" that lashed the region on Wednesday with more heavy winds, along with rain, sleet and snow. As many as 8.6 million utility customers lost electricity at some point in the midst of the back-to-back storms.
    On Sunday, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy first struck, thousands were still in temporary shelters, while the tally of power outages had dwindled to about 167,000, according to the U.S. Energy Department. New York accounted for most of the remaining outages, the bulk of them on Long Island.
    In what was likely to be a great relief to hundreds of thousands of commuters struggling to get to jobs without mass transit, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that some PATH trains that connect New York and New Jersey would resume service on Monday morning.
    However, service at the Hoboken, Exchange Place and World Trade Center stations was still suspended due to severe flooding and will likely remain so for several weeks, they said.
    Officials also announced the limited reopening of the Governor Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, formerly known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, for rush-hour bus service Monday morning.
    The tunnel, which connects Brooklyn with downtown Manhattan, flooded with an estimated 43 million gallons (162.8 million litres) of water that damaged electrical, lighting, communications, surveillance and ventilation systems, authorities said.
    In addition, Amtrak planned to reopen the so-called North Turbe rail tunnel under the Hudson for Amtrak passenger train and New Jersey Transit commuter service on Monday, according to a statement from U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.
    He said the tunnel, which was shut down immediately following Sandy, was expected to operate at 63 percent of normal capacity as further work continued.
    Organizers of the Veterans Day parade, New York City's first major post-Sandy event since its annual marathon race was cancelled last weekend, asked spectators lining the parade route to bring winter coats to be donated to storm victims.
    The group New York Cares was hoping to collect 50,000 coats by week's end, part of an annual drive that began two weeks early to help Sandy victims.
    "What's wonderful is that veterans came to us and felt in the spirit of service, that is so prevalent among folks in the armed forces, they wanted to make sure the veterans were not only being honoured today but also doing their bit to help," said Gary Bagley, the group's executive director.
    Lingering power outages tested the patience of many residents who had been living without lights, heat or water for extended periods. Sharp criticism was levelled in particular at the Long Island Power Authority, or LIPA, which was still trying to restore service to some 62,000 customers.
    Speaking on CNN, U.S. Representative Peter King, who represents the area, called the situation "a disgrace."
    "The LIPA has failed miserably. They are not doing a good job," he said. "It really has reached crisis proportions."
    Sunday also marked the third day of gas rationing in New York City, under a system in which cars with odd- and even-numbered license plates can fill up only on alternate days.
    President Barack Obama is to visit hard-hit areas of New York City on Thursday.
    Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a radio address that the city has distributed almost 2 million meals, 500,000 litres of water and more than 100,000 blankets as well as space heaters, baby supplies and flashlight batteries. The city also was distributing underwear, winter hats, toilet paper, bleach, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and towels.
    Bloomberg said the city was sending in teams of contractors and inspectors to help hasten the process of restoring power to thousands of utility customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island who cannot get electricity back until equipment is repaired and tested.
    In Staten Island, a fear of crime in the darkened neighbourhoods was evident in signs hanging on many houses that read "Beware of Dog" or "This home is Remington protected."
    In Queens, small cranes scooped up mounds of sand washed ashore by the storm, and firefighters used hoses to power-wash streets.
    "We're taking it one day at a time," said Jim Long, a firefighter whose home suffered water damage. "The water table is pretty high. You clean out some water and come back the next day and there's more water."

    New jersey of Malaysia National Football Team (2012-2014)

    Ketika sedang berlangsung sesi ucapan daripada pihak atasan di Majlis Pelancaran Jersi Malaysia 2012-2014 di Padang Wisma FAM. Jersi ini akan dijual di Butik Nike dengan harga RM229. Mengikut sumber, Nike hanya mengeluarkan sebanyak 8000 helai jersi orginal pada keluaran pertama kali ini.
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