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PETALING JAYA – A Malaysian pilot, who raped a woman at knifepoint after breaking into her Perth home 21 years ago, has been jailed for 13 years.

Alfred Gerard Eravelly, 50, was convicted of rape on April 11. With the sentence announced today, he must serve a minimum of 11 years behind bars.

The court heard that Eravelly broke into the victim’s Scarborough home in the early hours of March 9, 1996 by cutting the fly screen on her en suite bathroom window.

Wearing a stocking over his head, he tied her up and sexually assaulted her, leaving behind DNA that was later analysed and led to his arrest.

He was charged with five counts of aggravated sexual penetration without consent and one count each of burglary, unlawful detention and unlawful wounding after he flew back to Australia from Malaysia in February last year. – The Sun

 

KUALA LUMPUR – The most exciting prospect for Proton Holdings Bhd moving forward lies in the rights it secured from its new foreign strategic partner to manufacture sport utility vehicles (SUVs), a car analyst said today.

The deal with China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (Geely) will enable Proton to produce immediate result in refreshing its model line-up by adding a missing segment in its model range, said Hezeri Samsuri.

The SUV is taking the international car market by storm and is the world’s largest growing market segment.

DRB-Hicom Bhd, which fully owns Proton, and Geely are expected to sign the Definite Agreement to seal the deal tomorrow under which Geely will acquire a 49.9 per cent stake in the national carmaker.

With it, Proton is given access to Geely’s best-selling Boyue SUV and is expected to roll out its first SUV as early as the second half of 2018.

Proton will manufacture, sell, market and distribute the Boyue SUV under the Proton brand name in the South-East Asian market.

“Proton needs to reclaim its lost market share and this is no easy task given the fierce competition from foreign brands.

“And to manufacture its own SUV will be an impetus for Proton to enter into an entirely new segment,” Hezeri said.

He said the Malaysian consumers were hungry for SUVs as could be seen by the resilient and high growth SUV sales this year amid declining passenger vehicle sales.

The Boyue, which was launched in March last year, was designd by former Volvo designer, Peter Horbury, who now heads Geely’s design studios located in Gothenburg, Shanghai, Barcelona and Los Angeles.

Geely has some 300 designers from various backgrounds, reflecting its seriousness in grabbing a share of the global market.

Hezeri said leveraging on an already best-selling model would fast track Proton’s growth coupled with reducing its massive research and development (R&D) expenditure apart from providing Proton the quality the Boyce is known for globally.

“As an Asean born car company, Proton also knows the wants and needs of the local market. Proton will be infusing all the features to make Boyue more attractive and relevant to Asean countries,” he added.

Hezeri said he expected 2018 to a busy year at Proton’s plant in Tanjung Malim with its preparation to produce the SUVs.

” And most importantly, this partnership with Geely will give Proton the long overdue economies of scale.
“Previously when producing the Iriz model, the R&D cost alone was RM600 million and to recoup this amount, more than 400,000 Iriz cars need to be sold, an impossible feat should we only market locally,” he said.

In addition, with Geely, Proton will soon be able to ride on its partner’s vast network in the China market while Geely will use Malaysia as the platform to enter the 600 million population South-East Asian market.

— BERNAMA

 

GEORGE TOWN – Music genres like boria, ronggeng, dondang sayang, inang, joget and keroncong, which were once popular, are seldom heard now and may sound alien to some of the young generation.

Realising this, the Penang House of Music (PHOM), set up in November last year at Komtar here, is making efforts to preserve the art and musical heritage.

“Music is one of the important elements in the development of the state’s history and culture and it is because of that the House of Music is set up, to document and preserve the musical heritage before it becomes extinct or disappear.

“It is important for the future generation to know what happened in the world of music in the past and to appreciate it because it is also a history of the cultural development of the various races in the state, ” PHOM director Paul Augustin told Bernama here.

He said PHOM was set up with the objective of giving recognition to the musical greats, apart from the legendary Tan Sri P. Ramlee, who originated from Penang.

“People only know P. Ramlee from Penang, but there are actually many more musicians such as Ahmad Nawab, Ahmad Daud, Jimmy Boyle, as well as several popular music group,” he added.

He said PHOM, which showcased the rich music history and stories since as early as the 1940s, would also serve as a platform for present music lovers to obtain information, as well as inspire the young generation to venture into the music world.

“This place is opened to the public everyday for them to express their love for music. For those who do not have musical instrument, we have piano, bass, drum and many more which they can use,” he said.

Augustin said among the attractions at PHOM were its resource centre which had a collection of music from various countries, and the ‘Black Box’ which served as a stage for music lovers to sing or play musical instruments.

“Normally, in the afternoon on weekends, we have performance at the Black Box and sometimes, we have popular musicians dropping by,” he added.

He said visitors also had the opportunity to be a radio dee jay at a recording studio which highlighted the history and development of the broadcast medium.

Here, visitors can get hands-on experience being announcers and presenting songs on the airwaves, as well as download recording of their voice to their telephone or computer keeps, he added.

He said the house also had a collection of vintage radios, newspaper cuttings and magazines, photographs and old vinyl records.

“More interesting is, there are old songs sang by local singers who were popular overseas,” he said, adding that most of the items showcased were donated or leased by the musicians or their family members.

— BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Former Felda Global Venture Holdings Bhd (FGV) chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad and his wife were at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC headquarters here today to give their statement in connection with the commission’s investigation against FGV.

Members of the media had been waiting for the couple at the MACC compound since 8 am and the former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar and his wife, Puan Sri Bibi Sharliza Mohd Khalid , arrived at about 9.40 am.

Last June 9, MACC confirmed that it had initiated investigation against FGV and its Chief Commissioner, Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad was quoted as saying that all witnesses, including Isa, would be called to record their statements.

This followed reports by the media a day earlier that MACC went to FGV office at Menara Felda building and took eight hours to collect documentson FGV.

It was reported that until yesterday, MACC had recorded the statements of 60 witnesses in connection with its investigation against FGV.

Two days ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Isa voluntarily relinquished his position as FGV chairman with immediate effect and that Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob had been appointed Acting FGV Chairman .

The crisis in FGV made headlines on June 6 after Isa and its board of directors ordered FGV chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Zakaria Arshad, as well as FGV Group chief financial officer Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha, Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd senior general manager Kamarzaman Karim, and FGV Trading CEO Ahmad Salman Omar to go on leave with immediate effect.

Isa was reported to have said that the move was taken to enable an internal inquiry to be conducted over late payment involving Afghan company Safitex for palm oil products supplied by FGV subsidiary, Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd.

On June 7, Zakaria, armed with several documents in connection with FGV, turned up at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya to give a statement on several business transactions by the company’s subsidiary, Delima Oil Products Sdn.

In a move to resolve the boardroom crisis in FGV, the government has appointed former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala as an independent party to establish the facts of the case behind (FGV) tussle. – BERNAMA

PARIS – AirAsia Group has again been named as the ‘World’s Best Low-Cost Airline 2017′ for nine years in a row at the 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards held at Musee de l’Air et de l’ Espace Le Bourget Airport, France.

The group also bagged the ‘Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia 2017’ award, while its long-haul sister airline, AirAsia X (AAX) Bhd, took home the ‘World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Premium Cabin’ and ‘World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Premium Seat’ awards for the fifth year in a row.

The Skytrax Awards, held in conjunction with the 52nd International Paris Air Show, are the global benchmark of airline excellence with over 19.9 million customers from 105 nationalities surveyed worldwide, measuring standards across 49 key performance indicators of an airline’s frontline products and services.

AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, said the company was honoured to receive the awards and it reflected the company’s commitment to deliver only the best for the valued guests.

“We must have done something right that makes us deserve to win the award for nine years in a row,” he said in a press conference in conjunction with the Paris Airshow on Tuesday.

AAX Chairman, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, was present to receive the coveted awards, along with AirAsia Bhd Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Aireen Omar, and AirAsia X Thailand CEO Nadda Buranasiri.

AirAsia and AAX have won a combined 25 Skytrax World Airline Awards since the awards were introduced in 2001.

AirAsia is Asia’s largest low-cost carrier by passengers carried, with an extensive network covering more than 120 destinations in 26 countries across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East and the US.

A pioneer in travel and technology, AirAsia offers a wide range of innovative products such as Santan hot meals, T&Co premium coffee, ROKKI inflight entertainment and connectivity, BIG Duty Free featuring online shopping and Premium Flex for business travellers.

The guests can also seamlessly connect to any point in AirAsia’s network with just one stop at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Asia’s low-cost carrier hub – or other transit hubs in Thailand and Indonesia using the Fly-Thru service.

Skytrax are specialist research and quality advisors to the air transport industry are focusing into evaluating airlines and airport of which it has programmes namely – the world airline awards (Skytrax World Airline Awards), the world airline audit, among others. – BERNAMA

PASIR SALAK – The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry has stressed that it will not compromise and hide the results of laboratory tests on rice that were reportedly made of plastic.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said there was no reason for the ministry to hide the results and stern action would be taken should evidence show involvement of rice milling companies.

“We do not want the public to wonder if the rice is made of plastic. We have to be transparent and announce the results of the chemistry tests,” he said at a press conference after a Cahaya Ramadan programme and break-of-fast event here tonight.

Also present at the event organised by Felcra Berhad Seberang Perak at Changkat Lada were Institut Peserta Felcra general manager Zainul Anzaid Seman and Felcra Berhad Seberang Perak regional deputy manager Zulkanain Zainal Abidin.

Yesterday, the Perak Padi and Rice Monitoring Division took samples of rice from the wholesaler of the Cap Rambutan rice produced by OEL Distribution (Perak) Sdn Bhd for laboratory tests.

Results of the chemistry tests are expected to be released in a week and would be referred to the ministry. – BERNAMA

 

WASHINGTON – Otto Warmbier, a US college student who was released by North Korea less than a week ago, died on Monday, his parents said, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

“It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m. (1820 GMT),” his parents Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement.

Warmbier’s parents thanked the “wonderful professionals” at the University of Cincinnati Medical Centre and denounced North Korea for mistreating their son.

In a statement, US President Donald Trump offered his condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his passing and condemned the “brutality” of North Korea.

“Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency,” Trump said.

Warmbier’s parents have told US media that he was medically evacuated from North Korea in a coma.

North Korea confirmed his release in a report by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, saying he was sent back home “on humanitarian grounds.”

The 22-year-old student from the University of Virginia has been in a state of coma for more than a year after contracting botulism soon after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in a trial by the North Korean supreme court on March 16, 2016, according to US local media.

Warmbier was detained by the North Korean authorities at the Pyongyang International Airport on his way back home in January 2016 after he attempted to take a political slogan from a staff-only area in a hotel where he stayed during his tour to the country.
— BERNAMA

 

KUALA LUMPUR – Several traders associations have called on Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to take stern action against individuals renting out the bazaar lots allotted to them.

KL Hawkers and Petty Traders Association president Datuk Rosli Sulaiman said the issue of parties renting out bazaar lots was disrupting the business of petty traders who were trying to survive in light of the economic challenges.

He said DBKL should look at more severe punishment for these individuals, such as terminating their trading licence immediately and blacklisting them.

“I cannot accept the practice of individuals renting out their lots just to make money. If they want to trade, then they must do just that. They must not take advantage of the situation because they are merely petty traders.

“DBKL has to find a more aggressive solution because this matter has gone on for far too long,” he told Bernama.

Rosli also suggested that DBKL review the balloting system as not all who applied for the bazaar lots were actually interested in trading.

He said there were agents behind the traders applying for the lots and these agents would pay them between RM5,000 and RM8,000 if they succeeded in securing the lots before renting them out to other traders who were willing to pay a higher price for them.

KL Bumiputera Petty Traders Association vice-president Datuk Mohammad Baba suggested that DBKL take action against both parties, those who rented out the lots and those who rented them.

He said those who rented the lots were the root cause of the problem because there would be no supply without demand.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The strengthening of bilateral economic relations between Malaysia and Japan offers huge potential for both countries, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Malaysia, with its diversified, robust and open economy is the perfect gateway to ASEAN for Japanese firms,” he said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) here today.

Najib said the government would work closely with the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Makio Miyagawa, to facilitate the entry of more investors and tourists from the country.

In 2016, Japan ranked Malaysia as its fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade at RM120 billion.

The Prime Minister said the strong trade and investment relations between both nations were underpinned by the Malaysia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

Malaysia and Japan will mark the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year.

In giving an example of Malaysia-Japan collaboration, Najib quoted the BBCC project which has managed to attract the leading real estate group in the land of the rising sun, Mitsui Fudisan Co Ltd, to invest in what will be the mega project’s RM1.6 billion retail mall.

Located on a 7.85 hectare site on what was the old Pudu Jail, the BBCC is worth RM8.7 billion in gross development value.

It comprises a retail mall, an entertainment hub, a four-star hotel, two blocks of strata offices, and five blocks of serviced apartments, and a 80-storey three-in-one signature tower housing corporate offices, which has a five-star hotel and luxury residences.

Phase one, involving 50 per cent of the project, is scheduled for completion by December 2020.

Najib said BBCC together with Mitsui Mall is yet another model of how Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme is bearing fruit in terms of attracting foreign investments.

He pointed out that the Japanese were already among the top foreign buyers for the residential units in the BBCC project.

“Malaysia remains the top retirement destination for Japanese, thanks to our stable economic and political environment, temperate climate and affordable living standards,” he said.

As an open and diversified country, Najib said Malaysia continued to be an attractive investment destination.

“We welcome foreign direct investments, irrespective of whether from Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, the United States or Singapore.

“If you add value to the Malaysian economy, provide more jobs, bring in new technologies and add to the export value, among others, you are certainly very welcome to invest in the country,” he added.- BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Mosques and surau throughout the country resonated with the readings of the Quran in conjunction with the Malaysia #QuranHour.

The third edition of the one-hour programme, which is being held during the last 10 days of Ramadan and began at noon today, has received over-whelming response from Muslims in the country.

With the theme “Courteous and Loving Race” the programme was organised on a large-scale at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque in Putrajaya, as well as several other locations throughout the country.

In PUTRAJAYA, about 5,000 people gathered in the mosque for the programme which was also attended by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzudin Shah.

Meanwhile in KUALA LUMPUR, more than 200 staff and students of the International Islamic University also read the Quran in the Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque in the campus in Gombak.

Also taking part in the programme is the public library throughout the country which organised the programme #MalaysiaNgaji bersempena Malaysia #QuranHour which involved various strata of the society including school children.

The Director-General of the National Library, Datuk Nafisah Ahmad said the second edition of the programme, which was being held to strengthen the culture of quran reading, targeted one million participants to take part.

He said 739,645 participants took part in the inaugural programme held on June 29 last year.

In PAHANG, Assistant Director of the Mosque and Surau Management Division of the Pahang Islamic Religious Department (JAIP), Nik Ibrahim Nik Abdullah said almost 2,000 mosques and surau throughout the state participated in the Malaysia #QuranHour.

He said he had informed 604 mosques and 1,327 surau throughout the state to join in the Holy Quran reading programme. – BERNAMA