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ARIANA Grande and Big Sean have broke up after eight months together, it has been confirmed. The couple have decided to call time on their relationship and have asked for “privacy” as the pair move on from their split.

In a joint statement, the Love Me Harder star and the Control rapper told Mirror Celeb: “They both deeply care for each other and remain close friends.

“We kindly ask that the media respect their wish for privacy regarding this personal matter at this time.”


GelleryAriana GrandeBig Sean and singer Ariana Grande perform onstage during KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2014
Ariana, 21, and the 27-year-old rapper – who was previously engaged to Glee star Naya Rivera – confirmed that they were an official couple in October 2014 after working on a number of tracks together, including Right There.

Sources close to the couple have said that they broke up a few weeks ago after their schedules meant that they found it hard to spend quality time together.


“They made the decision to part ways because their conflicting touring schedules would keep them apart over the next year,” an insider told Us Weekly.

The former loved-up couple used to gush about each other on their social media pages, at the beginning of the month, the Finally Famous rapper wrote: “Just know I love u and I care for ya.”

While Ariana tweeted on Thursday: “Love u babes the most. You just can’t imagine.”

Earlier this month, it was claimed that Big Sean was outraged over Ariana’s steamy performance with Justin Bieber. – Mirror

SINGAPORE – The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 which vanished on March 8 last year is constantly striving to improve the quality and safety standards of the aviation industry.

Malaysia’s Transport Deputy Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said although the team was currently conducting investigations into the disappearance of Flight MH370, the sole objective of the investigation was the prevention of future accidents or incidents.

“It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability with regards to the incident,” he said.

He was speaking to Bernama in a telephone interview after a Ministerial Tripartite Meeting involving Malaysia, Australia and China to review search efforts for the missing Boeing aircraft.

The meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (April 16).

Abdul Aziz said: “Based on the factual information gathered by the investigation team, we will be able to formulate strategic plans to further enhance the security of air travel, thus restoring the confidence of the flying public that air travel is the safest mode of transportation.”

He said no other form of transportation was as scrutinised, investigated and monitored as commercial aviation.

The Malaysia-led 19-member international investigation team is headed by Datuk Kok Soo Chon.

Kok was formerly Department of Civil Aviation director-general and a former permanent representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council in Montreal.

The team comprises three committees, namely Operations, Airworthiness and Medical/Human Factors, each headed by a chairman.

Also participating in the team are accredited representatives from seven international air accident and incident investigation organisations.

They are from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau; Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the United Kingdom (UK); Air Accident Investigation Bureau of Singapore; Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses pour la Securite de l’Aviation civile of France; Civil Aviation Administration of China; National Transportation Safety Board of the United States of America (USA); and, the National Transportation Safety Committee of Indonesia.

Included in the team are also Boeing, which is under the US-accredited representative and Rolls-Royce and Inmarsat, which are under the UK-accredited representative.

Abdul Aziz, who chairs the technical committee said: “Soon after the disappearance of the MAS Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft registered 9M-MRO, we gathered qualified personnel from the industry to carry out the investigation.”

He said the investigation was carried out in accordance with the standards set under the Annex 13 to the Convention of International Civil Aviation (The Chicago Convention) to ensure competency, transparent and credibility.

The Beijing-bound international scheduled passenger flight, with a total of 239 people (227 passengers and 12 crew) on board, departed the KL International Airport at 12.42am on March 8, 2014.

Less than 40 minutes after take-off, air traffic controllers lost radar contact with the aircraft after passing waypoint IGARI. – BERNAMA

ALOR SETAR – Kedah UMNO has pledged full to the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir.

Its deputy chairman, Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah said this was agreed at a special meeting of Kedah UMNO Liaison here, today.

He said the special meeting also agreed that Mukhriz should not make a statement on the issue on April 24 in Kuala Lumpur.

“We have also agreed to cancel the Kedah Umno Liaison meeting on April 24,” he told a press conference after the special meeting at Seri Mentaloon, the menteri besar’s official residence.

Mukhriz was not present in the meeting room during the press conference.

The special meeting which began at noon and ended two hours later was also attended by Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblymen in Kedah.

It was chaired by Mukhriz, who is also Kedah UMNO Liaison chairman.

All UMNO division chiefs were present at the special meeting except Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (Baling), Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (Jerai) and Datuk Mohd Johari Baharom (Kubang Pasu).

The only BN state assemblyman missing from today’s meeting was Datuk Ahmad Lebai Sudin (Bukit Lada).

Ahmad Bashah, who is also the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, said those who did not attend the special meeting were overseas and had sent representatives.

The meeting also agreed to respect the views of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and wants him to give Najib the time to address the issues raised.

It also supported the prime minister’s decision urging the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to conduct an audit of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

He said the question of Kedah UMNO unity did not arise as shown by the special meeting which fully supported the prime minister and the menteri besar.

Asked whether Kedah UMNO would take action against Ahmad Lebai for urging Mukhriz to quit if he failed to support Najib, he said it was up to UMNO headquarters.

Ahmad Bashah also said Ahmad Lebai’s remark calling on Mukhriz to quit the menteri besar’s post was a personal statement and did not represent any party. – BERNAMA

ROMPIN – The loud applause and screams from the public demonstrated the massive support for Rompin Umno Division acting chief, Datuk Hasan Arifin when he was announced as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Rompin by-election.

Hasan, 62, has been announced to defend Barisan Nasional’s (BN) stronghold in the Rompin Parliamentary by-election on May 5 following the death of incumbent Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis in a helicopter crash in Selangor on April 4.

The two-term State Assemblyman (1982-1990) is always in the hearts of the Rompin people as he is deemed approachable and easily pose a smile on his face. He was the Rompin State Assemblyman from 1982 to 1990 and also the Ibam State Assemblyman from 1990 to 2004.

A housewife, Hamidah Hasan, 58, remembered Hasan as a leader-figure who isalways relaxed and needed no special services when he once made a surprise visit to her home at Desa Melor during a community function.

“He ate with the guests. There were people, who took the opportunity, expressing their problems to him and he listened to them while he was having lunch,” she told Bernama here today.

Hamidah was among the crowd of more than 1,000 people including Umno Puteri, Women and Youth members, who attended the ceremony to announce Hasan’s candidacy by Umno Deputy President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Another Rompin resident, Rosehabibah Abu, 48, from Desa Dahlia, here said Hasan is a genuine leader because he continued to give service to the people when he held no political position.

She described the man as generous as he was willing to give away his cash if someone asked him of financial aid for their children school fees and medical expenses.

Meanwhile an Orang Asli, Sewan Ahmad, 71, said Hasan was a well-known figure for them and he would continue Jamaluddin’s generous service to the indegenous community.

“We realised not everybody could interact with our community. That is why if we have a good leader we will give our loyalty to him. Of course the party’s leadership would choose a leader who is equal to Jamaluddin,” he said.

For Asiah Bogi, 47, an Orang Asli from Kampung Kedaik Asal, near here, she had known Hasan for a long time and felt comfortable with Hasan’s demeanour, saying she was confident the BN would retain the seat for choosing a good leader.

For Molhd Redzuan Mahayadi, 32, from Felda Keratong 2, here, he had heard of Hasan’s name being mentioned by felda settlers since he was in secondary school.

“If someone’s name is always being mentioned, surely he is somebody special in the peoples’ hearts and courteous to the extent the society never forgets him,” he said.

The late Jamaluddin was a six-term Member of Parliament from 1990 and beat PAS’ former Women chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh with a majority of 15,114 votes in the general election in 2013. – BERNAMA

ALOR SETAR – A senior Kedah Wanita UMNO leader described the political situation in Kedah as ‘a storm in a cup’ created by those seeking attention.

Baling Wanita UMNO division chief Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said the Kedah UMNO leadership is under the control of Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir.

“Demanding others to quit is an old game. Actually those who disagree should quit and not demand others to quit,” she told reporters after the launch of ‘Skuad Annur’ of Kedah Wanita UMNO’s Religious Affairs Bureau here, today.

Mashitah said full support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Mukhriz is crucial as they are influential figures at national and state level.

“We fully support Mukhriz because he is very special. I think the Prime Minister knows this,” she added.

Bukit Lada State Assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Lebai Sudin had urged Mukhriz, who is also Kedah UMNO chairman, to quit as Kedah Menteri Besar if he failed to voice support for Najib. – BERNAMA

AYER HITAM – Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir today said that he did not see any reason for him to step down from his post as Kedah Menteri Besar as proposed by certain quarters recently.

He said this was because he was entrusted to hold the post by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also UMNO president, as well as the people.

“I think there is no reason for me to tender my resignation (as Menteri Besar) because this post is a responsibility entrusted to me by the prime minister and the people. There is no major issue that needs me to resign,” he told reporters after launching the ‘Jalinan Tani’ programme here.

Mukhriz, who is also Kedah UMNO Liaison Body chairman, said this in response to the recent remarks by Bukit Lada assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Lebai Sudin, which called on him to resign as menteri besar if he failed to pledge support to the prime minister.

Ahmad had urged Mukhriz to quickly emulate other State UMNO Liaison Bodies in declaring his support to the prime minister and not to procrastinate in doing so.

Today, an unknown blogger claim that the menteri besar would tender his resignation on April 24.

Kedah UMNO Liaison Body is scheduled to hold a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on April 24 to find a consensus stand on the pledge of support to the prime minister’s leadership.

Prior to this, Mukhriz was reported as saying that Kedah UMNO would only make its stand on Najib based on consensus among all UMNO leaders in the state.

However, he said no other statement would be issued by Kedah UMNO until they meet on April 24. – BERNAMA

INVESTIGATORS probing the helicopter crash that killed Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis and five others are looking at a host of new angles, as more questions have emerged after the black box data was retrieved.

It has now emerged that while the passengers were “very chatty” as the Dauphin AS365N2 flew from Kuantan, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) revealed that nobody said anything for a while before it went down.

This includes the pilot, Captain Clifford William Fournier, and Kyrgyzstan national Aidana Baizieva, who was in the co-pilot’s seat.

Jamaluddin and principal private secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Datuk Seri Azlin Alias, who were reportedly seated next to each other behind the crew, were also quiet.

The rest of the passengers, said to be seated in the last row, were SP Baiduri Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Tan Huat Seang and Jamaluddin’s bodyguard, Lance Corporal Razakan Seran.

“Only the sound of their breathing was picked up by the CVR. “Those on board spoke on various subjects irrelevant to the ongoing investigation … then there was a lull for several minutes right up to the crash. “But let there not be any speculation on this, as their going quiet could be due to many reasons, including fatigue,” a source told the New Straits Times yesterday.

The source also revealed that data from the CVR suggested that the helicopter could have been operated by both Fournier and Baizieva.

“There is nothing wrong with Fournier bringing his friend on board the flight or her sitting next to him.

“The data, however, suggests that (Baizieva) was actively participating in the flight operations … It should not have been that way,” the source said, adding that the duo’s exchanges were mainly on the flight’s operations and that the recording would be used in the course of the investigation.

It was reported that Baizieva, who was 25, had been taking flying lessons from Fournier. The NST was also made to understand that the helicopter was flying at about 2,000ft (about 610m) over Semenyih, before it suddenly dropped altitude.

This, the source said, was when all communications went dead. He added that investigators had strong grounds to believe that there was an explosion on board before the helicopter went down. “Based on investigations at the crash site, investigators concluded that some parts of the helicopter were blown off in the explosion.

“The investigations and data retrieved have not yet helped in ascertaining if it nose-dived or spiralled down,” said the source. “Evidence from the cockpit voice recorder is part of the evidence.

“Although we did not get all the answers from there, it has helped investigators in their on-going probe,” he said, adding investigators believed that a power cut caused by the explosion caused both the flight data recorder (FDR) and CVR to stop operating. He said investigators would be relying heavily on accounts of witnesses.

Sources close to the investigation told the NST that investigators were also looking for answers into why the CVR, which was still functioning in the few seconds that the helicopter began to plunge, failed to pick up any signs of distress from those on board. Aviation expert Associate Professor Captain Dr Mohd Harridon Mohamed Suffian said the scatter of the debris from the helicopter suggested that its parts could have come apart at roughly 1,500ft (457m) from the ground.

He said that if witness accounts, including by those who saw smoke billowing from where the black box was located, were true, the explosion would have severed the communication cable device and cockpit voice recorder.

“This could be why the distress call could not go through and possibly why the explosion was not recorded in the black box.”

Meanwhile, sources told the NST that the Malaysian authorities investigating the crash would likely have to engage independent experts in the on-going probe, as the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) could not commit to carrying out the critical process of recreating the “possible end scenario” of the April 4 crash.

“This intricate, in-depth investigation process will, among others, involve test pilots to simulate the crash. “Data from the flight data recorder analysed in the United Kingdom by the AAIB last week also needs to be probed further.

“We have all the data, but our investigators do not have the proper equipment and expertise to process it line by line,” one of the sources said.

To this, Harridon, who is also Universiti Kuala Lumpur research and innovation head, said the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be an option for the government, as they had extensive experience in air crash investigations, including in recreating the final moments of the crash.-NST


SATUN (South Thailand) – Tourists planning their holidays between April and June have been urged to visit Perlis where 11 interesting events await them.

In making the call, the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail said these included the state Youth Day celebrations on April 24 and 25 at Denai Larian Pengkalan Asam in Kangar.

Other events would be the Gerbang Utara Visual Arts exhibition being held from April 3 to June 3 at the State Art Gallery and the Simpang Empat Public Library by the Perlis Artists Association and the Perlis Public Library.

Speaking at the launch of the Perlis Food Promotion at the D’Andaman restaurant in conjunction with its opening here yesterday, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin said there would also be a ‘Jom Masuk Kampung Bersama RTM’ programme on May 2 as well as a culture bazaar organised by the Perlis Cultural and Arts Department from May 2 to 7 at its complex in Kangar.

A religious talk programme would also be organised by the Perlis Mufti Department at the Alwi Mosque, Kangar on May 8-10.

Other programmes included the Perlis Open Cycling Championship (May 21-24), the Unity Woodball Tournament at the ‘Dataran Datuk Sheikh Ahmad Kangar (May 24) and the Harumanis Carnival at the State Sports Complex in Kangar from May 29 to 31.

Tuanku Syed Faizuddin said Universiti Teknologi Mara Perlis would also organise a Harumanis Festival at its campus in Arau on May 25 while the Perlis International Marathon would be held on May 31.

Meanwhile Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) would also organise its ‘Hutan Kita @ UniMAP programme on June 11. – BERNAMA

PETALING JAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has rubbished suggestions that he is aligned with the opposition, saying that he is still very much an Umno member.

He said that if saying something similar to the opposition made him aligned with the opposition, then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak “must be more” with the opposition because he agreed to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA), the prevention of crime law and ignore the NEP.

“He also wanted to abolish the Sedition Act, as demanded by the opposition. If Umno did not object, the Sedition Act would have been abolished. So is Najib a member of the opposition?” Dr Mahathir said in his blog Chedet.cc yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said he was still an Umno member and that his disagreement was with Najib and not the party.

“I criticised the leader, not the party. It is simply because I want to see the party win. It will not win if Najib is the leader,” he said.

On suggestions that it was unfair of him to ask Najib to step down because he was elected democratically, Dr Mahathir claimed that Najib was instrumental in asking former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down.

He also said there was nothing wrong with his political agenda because a prime minister should be seen to be clean and able to answer questions.

“Najib cannot even answer and has not answered any question, beyond exercising elegant silence or saying that the allegations are not true,” he said.

Dr Mahathir admitted that the country lost money when he was prime minister, but “the people and the whole world knew how the money was lost”. He said the reasons for the losses made by Perwaja Steel, Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Finance and Maminco were known.-The Star

PETALING JAYA: The impending Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency by-election in Penang throws a big question mark on former MPs Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and wife Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail – are the constituents still loyal to them or their loyalty has an expiry date.

The voters in Permatang Pauh have been loyal to Anwar and his wife since 1982 but changes in the political landscape and minds along the years may have some adverse impact on Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) performance this time around.

Anwar and the party’s credibility have been going on a decline since the failed Kajang Move last year and PAS’ Hudud agenda have somewhat shift the voters’ trust towards him and the party.

Although PKR may retain the seat in the coming by-election, observers said the majority would be very much reduced.

“It is still an uphill task to move the voters’ loyalty from Anwar and family but one thing for sure, the loyalty towards him is eroding by the day.

“However, it is still not enough for Barisan Nasional (BN) to unseat him the by-election given the fact that BN has no credible candidate that can match Anwar’s charisma,” said a PKR member who is close to the party headquarters.

Anwar had been the MP for the constituency of 59,000-odd majority Malay voters since 1982 until 1999 when he passed the ‘baton’ to his wife Wan Azizah when he was imprisoned for abuse of power.

That was the year BN lost the seat when his wife stood as candidate, a party formed by the reformasi group that was backing Anwar against the imprisonment.

He took back the seat upon his release in 2008 where he swept into victory again in a by-election.

Next Wednesday the Election Commission (EC) will meet to fix the date for a by-election since Anwar’s appeal for pardon from the Pardon’s Board was rejected on March 16.

BN will field a candidate and going as an underdog considering that the constituents or voters had been loyal to Anwar all along since 1982.

However, with the internal political development within PKR where Anwar’s hold is slowly slipping away since early last year when Anwar created the Kajang Move to place his wife as Selangor Menteri Besar and failed, doubts are in air on whether the Permatang Pauh constituents will still vote for whoever is going to be fielded by PKR.

Wan Azizah had said she might stand again if the party could not get any suitable candidates which literally mean she expected the constituents to still be loyal to her and her husband.

Anwar’s daughter Nurul Nuha’s name has been bandied around as the likely candidate but the gamble is too risky as not only she is a newcomer who has never been involved in politics, the voters may not like the politic of heritage or nepotism.

They had allowed Anwar to put his wife as replacement in 1999 and then back to him in 2008 and now, if it is his daughter to replace him, the loyalty may just diminished as this may be construed as building his own kingdom.

Permatang Pauh is a small town in Seberang Perai which area spuns about 100-sq km where most parts are still considered as rural.

It has two higher learning institutions which are Universiti Teknologi Mara and a polytechnic.

Industrial development is at a minimal where the young go to Butterworth and Penang island to work leaving the constituent with the older generation.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners support may not be as solid as before given that PAS and DAP are at logger-heads and PAS leadership has been distancing themselves from Anwar since the Kajang Move.

The DAP may try to help as much as it could but Chinese votes do not carry much weight as Chinese voters comprised just 24 percent with Malays voters comprising 70 percent of the total 50,000-odd voters.

Based on all considerations, loyalty of the Malay voters towards Anwar and wife plays a very important role and if their loyalty have expiry date, then PKR may face a rough ride although the party may still emerge as winner but with lower majority.-MYNEWSHUB.CC