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SALMA Hayek laid into Hollywood sexism on Tuesday, saying the system treats actresses like performing monkeys and wants rid of them once they realise they are smart.

The Mexican star of Frida and Desperado lambasted the “macho” attitudes of Tinseltown, where fewer than seven percent of films are made by women.

“Hollywood is not going to change and give it to women because it is all guys,” she said.

“From the beginning I realised I wasn’t being treated equally as an actress,” she said during a talk at the Cannes film festival.

“It is true that maybe if you are pretty you can get parts easier but it’s really violent to assume if you are pretty you are stupid.

“Hollywood’s particularly macho. If they realise that you are smart, their anger gets multiplied,” Hayek said.

To many movers and shakers young actresses are playthings, she claimed.

“They say ‘Get a monkey’ and then the monkey talks and they say, ‘Oh my God, maybe we are going to make money.’ Then one day they see the monkey doing algebra and they say, ‘Kill the monkey!’

“It’s very violent, this natural force to try to suppress. That is why we have a problem with women behind the camera as directors and producers,” she told one of the “Women in Motion” forums she organises each year at the festival.

Studios ‘ignorant’

Despite being a soap star in Mexico, Hayek’s climb up the Hollywood ladder was far from easy.

“Imagine, I came not only as a woman to Hollywood but as a Mexican Arab. People would laugh at me for having the dream of being able to work in Hollywood,” said the actor, whose father is Lebanese.

“I was the only Mexican or Latino in the drama school except for Benicio Del Toro, who is Puerto Rican, so kind of American, and he’s a man. And nobody laughed at him. They were laughing at me in Mexico too for having the idea of trying to break into that market. For every single agent and every single studio, it was a laughable concept.”

Hayek said Hollywood had disregarded and disrespected the female market.

“They have not realised that women are a great economic power. These people don’t understand we are a huge audience. We have been neglected for so long they don’t know what we want to watch.

“We don’t even know, because we always think of who we will be watching the movie with – the husband, the family, the children,” she told the talk, sponsored by Kering, her husband Francois-Henri Pinault’s luxury goods empire.

She blamed movie executives’ “ignorance” for failing to properly play to the female demographic.

“Today almost 80% of the decision-makers of what movie or television show to watch are female. Women work, we make money and we all want to go out and have fun much more than before, and they have not capitalised on that.”

While Hayek praised Europe, and particularly France where a quarter of films are directed by women, she did not spare Cannes from criticism.

“In the 70 years of the Cannes film festival only one female has ever won the Palme d’Or and she only got half the Palme d’Or, not even a full one – she had to share it with a Chinese man,” she declared.

New Zealander Jane Campion shared the festival’s top prize for The Piano in 1993 with Chinese director Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine.

Hayek, who is 50, also caused a stir at the festival Monday when she appeared at the Kering “Women in Motion” Prix awards dinner with pink-tinged hair. — AFP Relaxnews

KUALA LUMPUR – We cannot take our eyes off possible threats as the Islamic State (IS) has a huge network in this region, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He said the bombing attacks in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand are coordinated attacks by IS, adding that they are in retaliation of the recent death of an IS leader.

“The police anti-terror unit has been watching the movements of all those deemed to be a threat to the public. We cannot be complacent as terrorist can strike anytime and anywhere,” he said.

Citing the Manchester bombing, Zahid said there are going to be several major events in the country and we must be ready to deal with and prevent any such incident from happening.

A Suicide bombing attack outside a busy bus terminal in the Indonesian capital Jakarta has killed three police officers, the latest assault to hit the country as it struggles with a surge of terror plots.

PETALING JAYA – Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has given the nod for the three PAS executive councillors (exco) to remain in the state government until the coming general election.

The Sultan, through a statement issued by his private secretary Datuk Munir Bani, said the decision was made following a meeting with the state Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, and in the interest of the rakyat and the development of the state.

“After considering and reviewing from all aspects, especially on the aspect of administrative stability, to safeguard the interest of the rakyat, the Sultan has consented to retain the three PAS exco members until the election.

“The Sultan has also taken into account the mandate given by the rakyat to the existing state government to continue administrating to ensure development and harmony,” the statement said.

Sultan Sharafuddin’s statement came in light of a political crisis in the state following PAS’ decision to break ranks with PKR, the last party among the opposition Pakatan Harapan to have any ties with the Islamist party. – The Sun

YANGON – Myanmar released more than 250 prisoners under a presidential amnesty ahead of a fresh round of peace talks with rebel groups on Wednesday, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

The office of President Htin Kyaw said in a statement late Tuesday that it had released 259 inmates, including 73 mostly Chinese foreigners as a gesture of goodwill.

The rights monitor, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), said 10 political prisoners including two Muslim activists — Zaw Zaw Latt and Pyint Phyu Latt, who were each given four-year jail sentences last year for visiting rebels in northern Kachin state — were released under the amnesty.

Among the released was former Religious Affairs Minister San Sint, who was removed from office and sentenced to 13 years in prison for alleged misuse of around US$10,000 to build a pagoda, the association said. His was arrested after warning about the spreading of anti-Muslim hate speech by the ultra-nationalist Ma Ba Tha group.

The presidency said the amnesty was to welcome the opening of the Union Peace Conference’s second session in the capital Nay Pyi Ta.

More than 1,000 representatives from the government, military, ethnic armed groups, political parties and civil society organisations gathered in Nay Pyi Taw for talks aimed at ending the world’s longest running civil war.

Among the attendees were leaders from seven major rebel groups, including the Chinese-backed United Wa State Army, which are yet to sign a cease-fire deal with the government.

State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said in her opening address that the conference is the only way to end all armed conflicts countrywide and to establish “perpetual peace”.

“The conference will open a new historical page of political dialogue,” she said.

— BERNAMA

PETALING JAYA – Children need to be instilled with the right information on being a responsible and compassionate pet owner from the tender age in order to avoid cases of pets being abandoned, said a global pet care company .

Mars Petcare Country Director for Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines Ong Chiek Ming said that it was important to instill a sense of responsibility and the right mindset in children in taking care of pets when they are still young.

“It’s very disheartening each time you see animals being abandoned merely because the children or pet owners don’t understand the method of taking care of pets and the commitment involved. The key is to make sure education starts from young,” she told reporters at the ‘Jom Sayangi Haiwan Kita’ programme held at Sekolah Kebangsaan Seafield 3 here, recently.

The programme was held by the company in collaboration with the school to promote understanding on the importance of responsibility towards pets and was started since 2015.

This global initiative aims at raising awareness on the importance of taking care of pets, particularly cats among school children aged 10 to 12 years.

Beginning with 15 schools in the Klang Valley, the programme has been extended to Penang, Perak and Johor whereby the effort would reach more than 66,000 children by end of May.

Through such interactive session, Ong said that it also encourages little ones to be more nurturing and compassionate towards others when they grow older.

“I believe that the little nuggets of interesting facts shared with the school children included that cat’s whiskers can detect heat and obstruction in darkness, and the effects of food on their overall health.

“Once they understand the commitments, it would allow the children to provide proper care for animals and would thus able to reduce pets from being abandoned,” she said.

She also said that a being responsible pet owner would certainly strengthen family bonds and cultivate good habits since young would remain into adulthood besides creating loving and comfortable world for pets.

Meanwhile, Sekolah Kebangsaan Seafield 3 Headmistress Nik Suhaida Razak said that inculcating such knowledge and bond between children and animals also provided a stress relief therapy after going through hectic days in schools especially during the examination period.

“Not only that, it also proves to strengthen family bonding… I have seen tremendous changes in my family members,” said Nik Suhaida who owns a Persian cat.

The mother of four children said that the presence of the cat had given her family a new way to come out from depression due to her husband’s death a few years ago.

“My son was very sad and my other kids were studying in boarding school, so the bonding was not so good until we found our cat, Molly who strengthened our relationship back to normal,” she said.

As such, she also said that it was vital for children to learn to be responsible pet owners which eventually would benefit them.

–BERNAMA

BANTING – Sekolah Menengah Sains Kuala Selangor (KUSESS) has been hailed the best overall Fully Residential School (SBP) in conjunction with the 44th Fully Residential Schools Excellence Day, tonight.

The award was presented by Education deputy director-general (Operations) Datuk Ahmad Tajuddin Jab to KUSESS principal, Mohd Shahadan Abdul Rahman.

The school also received four other awards, namely the best hostel award, award for best curriculum, third place award for best Religious and Spiritual Body (BADAR) and fifth place award for the best house system.

In the meantime, Tunku Kurshiah College (TKC), Negeri Sembilan was named the best SBP for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia 2016.

For SBP Premier Award 2016, the best overall student recognition went to Ahmad Ikhwan Mohd Azali from Gombak Integrated SBP for the prince category while Anis Nur Athirah Ahmad Sukari from TKC was recognised for the princess category.

Earlier, Ahmad Tajuddin in his speech called on all parties, especially the teachers, parents and students to appreciate the objectives of the SBP to produce more qualified young people who are entrepreneurial.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The current political developments in the country, especially ahead of the 14th General Election (GE14) shows that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is a far better politician and more qualified to lead the country, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

He said this was evident when the Prime Minister in December last year cleverly stated that GE14 would be a platform for Malaysians to choose between an ‘UMNO-led government’ or ‘DAP-led government’.

“Our prime minister wisely read and analysed the gamesmanship and political moves of DAP.

“He (Najib) knows that Lim Kit Siang is afraid of the Malays knowing that DAP is the most powerful party in Pakatan Harapan and it is DAP which makes the important decisions or has the last word,” he said in a posting on his blog sskeruak.blogspot.com, last night.

According to him, the opposition now sees DAP as the main determinant of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister’s posts if Pakatan Harapan takes over Putrajaya, as it has the most number of seats in the coalition.

“The position of DAP in Pakatan is the same as UMNO in Barisan, and this is why UMNO occupies the post of prime minister and deputy prime minister (in the current government),” he said.

Salleh, who is also UMNO treasurer, said this is the factor why DAP is allowing a Malay party such as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) which has only one seat, to pronounce its ambition to have the prime minister’s post.

“It is DAP’s strategy to promote a ‘Malay face’ as a political propaganda,” he added.

PPBM only has one parliamentary seat through its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Pagoh MP.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) stay top of the table after beating PKNS 1-0 in a Super League match at Shah Alam Stadium last night.

With the win, the Southern Tigers have collected 30 points from the 13 matches played.

JDT had to labour past a stubborn PKNS side who only succumbed in the 78th minute, courtesy of a goal scored by midfielder Amirulhadi Zainal Abidin.

Meanwhile, FA Cup champions Kedah continued their winning streak by thrashing T-Team 3-0 in a Super League match at Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar.

The Red Hawks soared high with goals from their Denmark player Ken Ilso who scored a hattrick in the 11, 15 and 45 minute.

Fallen giants Selangor failed to make home ground advantage count after losing 0-2 to a revitalised Pahang team in a match at Selayang Municipal Council Stadium.

Brazil-born player Matheus Alves Leandro scored for The Elephants in the 84 and 72 minutes.

Felda United thumped Melaka United 3-0 in another match at Tun Razak Stadium, Jengka, Maran, Pahang.

The Fighters goals were scored by Lucas Matias Cano (29m), Zah Rahan Krangar (33m) and Gaston Cellerino (85m) .

Penang drew 2-2 with Kelantan in a match at Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium, Kota Bharu.

The Penang goals were scored by Sanna Nyassi (24, 9m) while the Kelantan goals were scored by S. Thinagaran (25m) and Muhd Danial Ashraf Abdullah (55m).

Meanwhile, Perak and Sarawak drew 0-0 in another match played at Perak Stadium in Ipoh.

–BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has reminded traders not to take advantage of consumers by raking in excessive profits this Ramadan.

“In a few days we will celebrate the month of Ramadan. I wish to remind traders not to take advantage of consumers, do not make excessive profits,” he said on his latest Facebook posting today.

He said traders should follow the 2017 Ramadan Price Control Scheme prepared by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

“Government agencies will monitor the prices of goods and food items,” said the Prime Minister.

A total of 10 items have been listed by the ministry under the scheme, which will take effect from May 22 to 31.

They include the main items required in preparing the meal for the breaking of the fast such as ground nuts, green peas, eggs (grade A, B and C), coconut, grated coconut, coarse white sugar, refined white sugar and wheat flour (for general purpose).

Stiff fines await those found committing offences under the scheme.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today condemned the bomb attack at a bus terminal in Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, last night.

“I am disgusted by last night’s attack in Jakarta. Malaysians stand with the Indonesian people at this time,” he said via his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Coming so soon after the appalling Manchester bombing, Najib said this new outrage shows that terrorism has no borders and knows no race or creed.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those affected. Even as the terrorists try to intimidate us, we must not fear them. Each atrocity must harden our resolve. Now more than ever is the time to be united, even as violent extremism seeks to divide us,” he added.

At least two people were killed in bomb blasts and five civilians were also reported injured in the incident which saw two blasts occurring within five minutes, suspected to be suicide bombings at about 9pm local time (10pm Malaysian time), yesterday.

— BERNAMA