Friday, May 29, 2009

LEBRON JAMES' 37-14-12

The triple double of 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists helped Cleveland Cavaliers beat Orlando Magic 112-102. The series is now at 3-2, led by Orlando Magic. The LA Lakers led the Denver Nuggets 3-2 too.

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It has been a long time since I last watched a Japanese drama series. It is time to have a look again.

'Mr. Brain' bags top rating in Japan for first quarter 2009

Posted: 28 May 2009 1559 hrs

TOKYO: Popular Japanese actor Takuya Kimura's latest television drama 'Mr. Brain' achieved a remarkable 24.8 per cent viewer ship and bagged the accolades for top rating for the first quarter of the year.

The first episode of 'Mr. Brain' even overtook last year's overall highest rated drama, 'Rookies'. This is a boost for the flagging Japanese drama market, where ratings have been dismal and uninspiring of late.

In this light-hearted drama, Kimura plays the role of Ryusuke Tsukumo, a gigolo who suffers a freak brain injury and becomes a crime-solving genius.

Before the series started, critics chided its storyline for being similar to another Japanese show 'Inspector Galileo' and the American hit crime-investigation drama 'CSI'.

But after the first episode, fans not only applauded the casts' performances but also agreed that it is different from the said dramas.

The broadcaster's decision to put a star-studded cast for 'Mr. Brain' has been a masterstroke in attracting the ratings. The regular cast includes Kimura, Mizhushima Hiro and Haruka Ayase.

Another highlight of the drama will be the featuring of a new guest star appearance in every episode. The first episode featured Ryoko Hirosue from the Oscar-winning film 'Departures'. Subsequent episodes will see the likes of popular artistes Sato Takeru and Kazuya Kamenashi.

However, not everyone is smitten with the drama. Netizens are complaining that the storyline is illogical, and may mislead kids. One of them questioned, "How can a person become a genius after injuring his brain? Children should not follow his example."

On a lighter note, the current success of 'Mr. Brain' has led to a series of commercial opportunities.

A bread company has already pushed out a series of "Golden Brain Bread" (Kimura's character is a blonde), and a Chocolate Bread with mayonnaise which includes the brain-enhancing ingredient DHA that is selling at 128 yen (S$1.96) each. - CNA/fa

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PNG activists vow to burn all Asian shops

PORT MORESBY, May 29 — Activists are threatening to burn all Asian shops as racial tensions escalate across Papua New Guinea.

The warning came as Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau accused the media in PNG of fuelling anti-Asian sentiment, and the Malaysian and Chinese consulates in Port Moresby issued safety warnings to their nationals.

Four people have been killed since rioting began this month with a fight between Chinese and PNG workers at the Ramu nickel refinery, which is owned by Chinese company Metallurgical Construction.

Rioting and looting have spread to Port Moresby and major provincial centres, with Asian-owned stores the main target.

An email by leading anti-Asian activist Cardo Stanzo has circulated widely in PNG.

The email calls on activists to be prepared to burn all Asian-owned businesses if Asians refuse to leave the country by the end of the year.

“Any Asian-owned shops, whether they are Chinese, Malaysian, Philippines, Indians, must and will come to a total stop by 31 December,’’ the email says. “We will celebrate 2010 New Year with bonfires of all Asian-owned shops all around the country.’’

Stanzo says in the email that government corruption and the sale of resources cheaply to Asian companies were the reasons for the anti-Asian sentiment sweeping the country.

An “Asian mafia’’ had set up illicit operations ranging from illegal gambling to prostitution, he says. Royalties from Asian mining and logging companies were being “spent left, right and centre by cronies’’, the email adds. “The majority of our politicians seem to dig deeply into Asian pockets.’’

The email said Asians were depriving Papua New Guineans of a significant income source by operating the bulk of small shops in the country.

Rimbunan Hijau has been accused by the World Bank, human rights activists and environmentalists of the widespread illegal logging of PNG rainforests.

Rimbunan managing director James Lau said the PNG media was fuelling anti-Asian sentiment and putting the lives of Asian people at risk.

“Coverage of the riots has used the ongoing violence to repeat baseless allegations made against Malaysian-owned businesses in PNG and, in particular, Rimbunan Hijau,’’ Lau said.

“This is reprehensible. We have loss of life and Malaysians fearing for their safety.

“Rather than attempting to defuse the situation, some commentators are making things more difficult for responsible businesses in PNG.’’

PNG Opposition Leader Mekere Morauta blamed the Government of Michael Somare for the unrest.

“The Government is allowing unskilled foreigners who cannot speak a word of English to take on businesses that only Papua New Guineans should be allowed to operate,’’ Mekere told The Australian.

“I deplore the use of violence but this is what can happen when a national government becomes far removed from its people.’’

Mekere said frustration was growing in the community about the lack of opportunities in small businesses and in the cottage industry.

The PNG parliament has formed a committee with MPs from all parties to investigate the rioting. An unemployment rate of up to 80 per cent across PNG has been identified as the cause for much of the unrest. — The Australian



From 29 May 2009 to 26 July 2009.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

(端午节 )


Now, let me go find a zongzi (粽子) to eat!

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(A header mind you!)


Goal No.1 (Eto'o's goal)

Goal No.2 (The MESSIah's goal)

Well, free flow, slick passing and sleek football wins in the end.

Barcelona deserve the win for the impressive overall performance of the night. Pique, Sylvinho, Puyol must be applauded for their extremely good work in defence to frustrate The Devils' offence. Pique and Sylvinho especially had time and again for the entire match made critical defensive moves to intercept the attack. Toure Yaya was their weakest link in defence for the entire match. Xavi and Iniesta have to be given credit for their superior ball possession, control and instinct to detect play at will as well as of course were responsible for the two goals scored by Eto'o and Messi. They were the directors of the whole show, pulling the strings from the middle to control the tempo/rhythm of play.

I think Sir Alex Ferguson killed his own team's chances when he took off Giggs and Park when Iniesta and Xavi were already commanding so much control in the middle. By bringing in Tevez and Berbatov, he actually was playing a dangerous 4-2-4 formation. I really won't bring in Paul Scholes and would have stayed with Giggs or Park. This dismantling of the midfield when it was already losing enough possessions in the hope that a goal or two will come by pushing in too many forwards was very risky indeed. It is also interesting to note that when all talks before the match were about the Barcelona's weak defence, it turned out so differently in the match where I would rate United's defence to be slightly more shaky and nervous. It is also a big factor in causing their defeat.

Finally, the Short Prodigy showed his ability when it matters most, surpassing the always-lost-in-big-matches Crybaby Diver who got a few offside calls at best, entangled in some rough situations with Puyol as well as losing his cool once a while. Fatboy Rooney too at best was there with a few offside calls. Both disappeared after Barcelona's first goal. Messi scored a header in the 70th minute! Incredible for a short player in front of the tall United defence! While Eto'o scored early in the 10th minute after a great move on the right and cutting into the penalty box all by himself.

It is definitely a great final with nice displays of beautiful football. Thanks to both FC Barcelona and Manchester United for not killing the game! I heard last year's finals was so boring that people thought it was an ordinary League Cup match.

Match Stats

Barcelona Manchester United
Shots (on Goal) 12(7) 11(2)
Fouls 7 10
Corner Kicks 4 7
Offsides 1 5
Time of Possession 53% 47%
Yellow Cards 1 3
Red Cards 0 0
Saves 2 5
Match Information
Stadium: Olimpico
Attendance: 72,700
Match Time: 19:45 UK
Massimo Busacca (Referee)

Congratulations Guardiola!

Congratulations Barça!


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009



The fever has reached the very top and even Google is dedicating the theme of the search engine to the UEFA Champions League 2009 finals. While I have to sleep early to get ready for the match. Here's the round up of what to be expected tonight. As I said in an earlier post, Barcelona's biggest weakness is defence as goalie Víctor Valdés can really blunder and let in extremely stupid goals, even in very important matches. Their strength is in midfield and offence so they have to make full use of it to overcome Manchester United. Manchester United are overall a stronger team with a more experienced coach and players. Manchester United have the edge but I want Barcelona to win to end the English domination in Europe and to complete a great season loaded with goals. There you have it.

Enjoy football everyone!

Barcelona vs Man Utd — how they line up

The Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy will host tonight's epic Champions League final match between Barcelona and Manchester United — Reuters
ROME, May 27 — A look at the formations, strengths and weaknesses of Barcelona and Manchester United ahead of the Champions League final at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico tonight.


It would be a big surprise if Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola strays from the club’s traditional, offensive 4-3-3.

Manchester United are less tied to a set formation. Manager Alex Ferguson has frequently used the 4-3-3 to good effect, but if he decides to field Park Ji-sung on the right he may opt for a 4-4-2.


With a three-pronged strike force of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry, backed by the creativity of Andres Iniesta and Xavi in midfield, the Spanish champions have unrivalled attacking potential. Iniesta’s stoppage-time equaliser in the semi-final second leg at Chelsea showed they are also a team that never gives up.

The English champions have an outstanding defence, are a more complete package overall and have that little bit of extra quality on the bench. They can also count on the cunning and experience of Ferguson, arguably the finest brain in world soccer, as well as the determination and confidence the Scot instils in the team.


Barcelona have compensated for fragility in defence this season with their sparkling goal feats, but suspensions to full backs Eric Abidal and Dani Alves, and the injury that has ruled out Rafael Marquez leave them looking vulnerable.

They also tend to struggle when Messi and Iniesta are kept under control and Guardiola’s inexperience may be exposed when pitted against master tactician Ferguson.

United have shown few weaknesses this season, although they do have less invention than Barca in midfield.


Guardiola will be forced to field a makeshift defence because of suspensions and injuries, which risks aggravating his side’s problems with loose marking, especially at set-pieces.

Versatile captain Carles Puyol is tipped to move across to the right flank with Yaya Toure used again at centre back and another converted midfielder, Seydou Keita, taking Abidal’s place on the left.

United’s defence should be at full strength with Rio Ferdinand expected to shake off a calf problem to take his place in the centre alongside Nemanja Vidic. Frenchman Patrice Evra, rated one of the top left backs in the world at the moment, is likely be called upon to stop Messi.

United keeper Edwin van der Sar has had a fine campaign and went 14 league matches without conceding a goal between November and February, but Barca’s Victor Valdes has not been immune from the occasional error.


Iniesta’s ability to shake off a knock will be key to Barca’s chances as they are not the same team without the man whose goal against Chelsea put them in the final.

If Sergio Busquets is employed as the holding midfielder he will need to show maturity beyond his 20 years to avoid being overawed by the occasion.

United may have a tad less inspiration in centre of the park, but Park Ji-sung’s bottomless energy and Michael Carrick’s ability to read the game could swing the match by suffocating the Catalan’s sources of play. Ryan Giggs is favourite to come in for the suspended Darren Fletcher with Anderson likely to complete the midfield.


United’s defence will need to be at its formidable best to keep out Messi, Eto’o and Henry, who is expected to be fit after a knee problem.

But the English side’s expected starting pair of England’s Wayne Rooney and Portugal’s World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo also packs a punch.

They also have plenty of firepower in reserve, with Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez likely to be waiting their chance on the bench. — Reuters

United happy to be wearing white…just like 1991

Manchester United’s Red Devils will be wearing angelic white in Wednesday’s Champions League final, just how Alex Ferguson likes it.

Barcelona are the nominal home team for the ‘dream final’ in Rome and as their famous claret and blue tops clash with United’s usual red and their first choice blue away kit, the holders will wander onto the pristine Stadio Olimpico pitch in white.

“We’ll wear white, we are very happy with that,” Ferguson beamed.

Of course United wore white the last time they met and beat Barca in a European final, the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup showpiece in English clubs’ first year back in Europe after Heysel.

Former Barcelona striker Mark Hughes scored twice in the 2-1 win in Rotterdam.

What’s your prediction this time?

Fabio Capello: May The Best Team Win Between Manchester United & Barcelona
The England boss expects a balanced affair between the “most entertaining teams in the world”.
27 May 2009 08:31:53

Reigning champions Manchester United and Barcelona go head-to-head in tonight’s Champions League final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome and England coach Fabio Capello feels the match has the potential to become an all-time classic.
“There are so many champions who can turn around a game,” Capello said to La Gazzetta dello Sport. “They are certainly the most entertaining teams in the world and I hope the final will be as much

“Manchester United are a very solid side and are confident of their strength as English and European champions. All the players seem in fine form and I hope that Rio Ferdinand will recover in time [to play], as he is a key man.

“Barca have some problems at the back with [Dani] Alves and [Eric] Abidal suspended, Silvinho should step in, but he is stronger going forward than in defence.”

Capello’s Milan thrashed the Catalans 4-0 in 1994, but the ex-Roma and Juventus tactician feels it will be a tight encounter at the Olimpico tonight.

“Barca were arrogant and took to the pitch thinking they were already the winners,” explained ‘Don Fabio’.

“There is not a hint of arrogance in both sides this time around and I don’t think there will be a big score. It is a balanced match with [Lionel] Messi’s creativity and [Samuel] Eto’o and [Thierry] Henry’s pace. But the Red Devils also have lots of potential up front and perhaps one of the best back lines in the world.

“Who will I be rooting for? Some of my Lions play for Manchester, but [Barcelona coach Josep] Guardiola played under me at Roma. May the best team win.”

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Is there such a study conducted in Singapore? Will be interested to find out the trend.

Study confirms mothers-in-law are the chief cause of divorces
Wednesday May 27, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Every married person knows it, but a local study has confirmed it – mothers-in-law are the chief cause of divorces, especially in the Indian community.

Data in the Malaysia Community and Family Study 2004 by the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) revealed that “meddlesome in-laws” is the number one reason why Indian couples get divorced.

It is also among the top three factors for divorce among the Malays and Chinese. The other two factors are incompatibility (42.3%) and infidelity (12%).

“Interference by in-laws is the main reason for Indians to divorce. It is the top-ranked reason at 30%,” said LPPKN director-general Datuk Aminah Abdul Rahman when presenting a paper on Malaysia’s family profile and its effects at Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia yesterday.

Infidelity is the marriage breaker among the Malays and Indians but it is tolerated among the Chinese.

“Among Malays, the second most common reason is infidelity and refusal to put up with polygamy,” she said.

“Among the Indians, infidelity is the second highest ranked reason for divorce at 25%,” she said.

However, the Chinese considered infidelity as the least crucial reason for a divorce.

Cheating was at the bottom along with health and gambling addiction at 4.2%.

Surprisingly, abuse is not a reason for divorce among the Malays and Chinese, but is a reason among Indians at 5%.

“Another overall reason which ranked high among the three races at 11.5% is ‘not being responsible’,” she said.

Although it is common perception that the family institution is quite fragile and divorces are rampant, data shows otherwise - only 0.7% of the population was divorced in 2000.

The data shows that divorce is more likely to happen to those under 25 and above 40.

Meanwhile, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said that more Malaysian women were choosing to marry later in life and it could cause a reduction in fertility rate and an ageing society.

“The National Family Policy and its action plan will address this issue of late marriages,” she said.

The policy would be presented to the Cabinet soon.


SGD1 = RM2.415

That's the highest currency exchange rate ever that I have ever exchanged for SGD to RM. This was last week. It is a sign that the Malaysian economy is not doing well. Are we going to see it reaching SGD1=RM2.5 anytime soon? Well, you will never know but I am quite pessimistic of Malaysian's preparation for the economy turmoil.

Gross Domestic Product /
Gross National Income

3rd Quarter
4rd Quarter

Gross Domestic Product (GDP):
Current Prices
(RM Million)


Gross Domestic Product (GDP):
Constant 2000 Prices
(RM Million)


GDP Growth Rate
Constant 2000:
Prices ( %)


Gross National Income (GNI):
Current Prices
(RM Million)


Per Capita GNI:
Current Prices (RM)


Gross Domestic Product/Gross National Income (Updated 27 Feb 2009)

Source: Dept. of Statistics Malaysia
Husni: 2009 GDP growth to dip below -1pc

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — The country’s economy is expected to contract below -1.0 per cent this year amid the current economic climate, Second Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said.

“I cannot tell you (the growth figure) but it will definitely be below -1.0 per cent,” he said when asked to comment on the projection by economists that the gross domestic product (GDP) will contract between -4.5 per cent and -5.0 per cent this year.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s GDP forecast for the year is between -1.0 per cent and one per cent. Bank Negara will make an announcement on the first quarter GDP tomorrow.

“Wait for Bank Negara’s announcement tomorrow. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will make another announcement the next day on the new forecast growth for 2009 and we will then know the position of the country’s economy,” he told reporters after officiating the launch of the Securities Commission Executive Enhancement and Development Programme, here today.

Husni, however said that the economy would recover in the third quarter of this year, as the impact of the recent RM67 billion economic stimulus package begins to take effect.

As for 2010, he said the government believes growth would be positive. Asked as to whether there would be more liberalisation measures in the near future, Husni said that the government is currently working on the development of new economic model for the country.

“The economic model is in the planning stage,” he said, adding that the government would study which areas should be further liberalised. He said that the key thrust of the new model is the quality of investment and the people.

“Eventually, we will be opening up because we are part of the global system but the process of the liberalisation takes time,” he added. —Bernama

To reach First World, Malaysia has to pass Gabon
By Lee Wei Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 - Malaysia will have to fundamentally rework its economy to become more productive and R&D based if it is serious about making the quantum leap to become a high income economy and move out of the income bracket currently occupied by countries such as Gabon and Botswana. The nation, one of the wealthiest in Asia at the time of independence in 1957, has now fallen behind Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore and is now trying to play catch up.

In his recent Workers Day message, prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak says he wants Malaysia to be a high income economy. “We will not allow the country to remain as it is but find ways to achieve a quantum leap so that we can be in the high income bracket,” he told reporters.

The prime minister has it right that Malaysia will have to make a quantum leap if figures provided by the World Bank are anything to go by.

The World Bank classifies a high income country as having a gross national income (GNI) per capita of US$11,456 or more. According to the latest figures available from the World Bank, in 2007, Malaysia had a GNI per capita of US$6,420, far behind high income societies such as Singapore (US$32,340), South Korea (US$19,730), Japan (US$37,790), Hong Kong (US$31,560), Australia (US$35,760), Finland (US$44,300), and Switzerland (US$60,820) and Norway (US$77,370).

Malaysia falls into the World Bank’s upper middle income bracket defined as GNI per capita of between US$3,706 and US$11,455. Other countries with similar GNI per capita include Gabon (US$7,020), Russia (US$7,530), Romania (US$6,390) and Botswana (US$6,120).

Industry officials warn, however, that without addressing key issues such as productivity and subsidy mentalities, Malaysia will not be able to transform itself into a sustainable high income society. Many Malaysian companies have become dependent on a relatively weak currency, cheap foreign labour and subsidies for electricity and water instead of striving to become more efficient and developing high quality and high value good and services.

Shamsuddin Bardan, executive director at the Malaysian Employers Federation says that wages should be commensurate with productivity and points to Singapore as a benchmark that Malaysia should compare itself against.

“If you look at unit cost of production, Singapore is still more competitive and that is why they are able to attract foreign direct investment, despite their wages being two to three times higher than ours,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“The most important thing to do now is to make a national effort to increase productivity. If, for example, we can enhance productivity to at least half that of Singapore, then wages can go up proportionately.”

Malaysia’s lack of R&D and investment in downstream activities means that it has wasted the opportunity to leverage its natural resources into a high income base unlike other resource rich countries like New Zealand, Norway, Canada or Australia.

“You need to leverage on raw materials and move further downstream,” says Chris Eng, head of research at OSK Research. “We need to move more into trading and value added manufacturing.”

He adds that Malaysia needs to wean itself off cheap foreign labour and subsidies and prioritise research and development (R&D) in order to move into high value economic activities.

He also believes that subsidies and reliance on foreign labour have to go.

“If you make subsidies and foreign labour an option, people will always fall back on this option to attract investment by offering cheap utilities rather than a world class infrastructure and an efficient workforce.”

The weak ringgit is another obstacle to moving up the ranks of the wealthy.

While favoured by many low end manufacturers, a weak currency also makes imported goods more expensive, including capital goods such as sophisticated equipment required for high-end manufacturing and R&D.

A weak currency also means imported inflation, thus making Malaysians feel poorer as they cannot afford to buy the same goods and services of their counterparts in, say, Singapore or Australia.

It also makes it difficult for Malaysian companies to expand abroad as the cost of setting up overseas operations become prohibitive since one ringgit is worth little abroad.

On a dollar-to-ringgit basis, Malaysians do not appear too badly off. According to one senior executive with an international accounting firm, Malaysian accounting fresh graduates earn about RM2,500 per month as compared to about US$3,000 for their peers in the United States.

However, when factoring in the ability to purchase imported goods or to travel abroad, the value of the income shrinks dramatically due to the unfavourable exchange rate.

“Their Income becomes real when they go overseas. Once you travel outside, you find that you are a pauper. If you want to enjoy a high income, you need a strong exchange rate,” says the senior executive.

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Singapore confirms first case of H1N1
Posted: 27 May 2009 1033 hrs

SINGAPORE: Singapore has confirmed its first case of Influenza A (H1N1).

The patient is currently being treated at the Communicable Disease Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and is in stable condition.

The patient is a 22-year-old Singaporean woman who was in New York from May 14-24. She arrived back in Singapore from New York on SQ25 on 26 May at 6.30am. She was seated at Row 55.

She began to develop a cough while onboard. She passed the thermal scanner uneventfully as she did not have fever then.

Later in the morning, she consulted a GP who decided to send her to TTSH via a 993 ambulance, given her travel history.

She was immediately admitted for testing. Laboratory confirmation of her infection was made by midnight of 26 May.

The patient has been vigilant in monitoring her own condition and had sought immediate medical attention once she realized that she was unwell.

Her attending GP, through his quick response in activating the 993 ambulance for the patient, had also helped to minimize the spread of infection from this case.

The Health Ministry says it has initiated contact tracing of her close contacts. They will be quarantined and provided with antiviral prophylaxis.

Passengers who had travelled in the same flight and were seated in rows 52 to 58 are urged to call the hotline at 1800-333 9999 to enable the MOH to check on their health condition.

The MOH adds that all medical practitioners and healthcare institutions should continue to be vigilant to suspect cases.

Singapore will continue with temperature screening for passengers entering Singapore at all checkpoints (land, sea and air).

All passengers passing through or entering Singapore are given Health Alert Notices on board their flights, advising them to monitor their own health if they have been to affected areas and to seek medical attention immediately if they are not well.

Singaporeans are reminded to maintain high standards of personal hygiene. This means covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and washing your hand frequently with soap and water, especially after contact with respiratory secretions, for example, after sneezing and coughing.

Everyone also needs to be socially responsible. This means staying home and avoiding crowded places (including trains, buses, offices), putting on a surgical mask and seeing a doctor if you have flu symptoms.

MOH advises those who travelled to affected areas to closely monitor their health and seek treatment as soon as possible should they develop symptoms.

Members of the public are also advised to exercise caution over travel to affected areas.

In the event that travel is unavoidable, the public is advised to take precautionary measures such as avoiding crowded areas and maintaining high standards of personal hygiene at all times.

However, if you are unwell with fever and cough but have no travel history to affected areas, you are also advised to see a doctor and stay at home.

MOH is monitoring the situation closely and will update the public should there be any new developments.

For more information on Influenza A (H1N1-2009), you can access MOH's website at, call MOH's hotline at 1800-333 9999, or visit

- CNA/ir

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We are currently watching the Eastern Conference Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic. The LA Lakers are currently tied with the Denver Nuggets at 2-2. Orlando Magic are leading the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-1. Everyone is talking about the LeBron James VS. Kobe Bryant finals but it looks like any of the four teams can make it into the finals at this point of time. Things are too close to call for to have a definite candidate for the finals.

Update: The overtime play ended with a win for the young Orlando Magic despite LeBron James burying an impressive 44 points. Dwight Howard was the man who pushed the Magic real hard. The score ended with Orlando Magic 114-116 Cleveland Cavaliers. Orlando Magic lead the series 3-1 and are in a good position to go to the finals.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Well, it's good to hear some good, logical things from The Special One once a while. He seems to be supporting Manchester United to win the UEFA Champions League probably because they dumped his club out. Well, it is true Chelsea deserve to be in the final instead of Barcelona. As a neutral, I totally agree with that. However, when taking into account the performance of the entire season, I support FC Barcelona to win the match. However, La Blaugrana have a rookie coach and defensive problems which are not working for them against the more experienced and well loaded Red Devils. Thus, the Red Devils will be more mentally and defensively prepared than the La Blaugrana.

Sir Alex Ferguson can become the greatest in Rome — Jose Mourinho

MAY 26 — These are two great teams, of course, and obviously there are big expectations, but you must remember that finals are not for playing beautiful football. Finals are made to be won.

One thing that I want to say is that Chelsea deserved to be in the final. Barça are a top team but they were unable to be better than Chelsea. Were there bad decisions? Yes. Where Barcelona lucky? Yes. But they are still a super team and they kept their belief until the last second.

The Chelsea players deserve to be happy, they have almost been European champions for the last five years and there is always something strange connected with the almost. I am sad for them but Barcelona and Manchester United will give the world a great final.

I think both teams are very clear in their philosophy. They have a game model, a tactical approach, a style of play that, while very, very different, is established and automatic.

In this aspect there will be no surprises in the final: Man Utd will be Man Utd and Barça will be Barça. They believe in their way of playing, and in finals the mental approach is much more important than tactical aspects.

Tactical aspects are details, but mental approach is the key for finals. Both teams want the cup, and both are confident they can get it.

People have said that there is a big difference between the experience of Sir Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola. Experience? What is that? For me, if you are good, you are good at 35 and you are good at 65. It is the same for a player, if you are top at 20 you are also top at 35.

Of course, Sir Alex is in his third Champions League final and Pep in his first as a manager. But when you are at the very top, you feel very comfortable in these moments. We love these moments. Remember, I was only 41 when I got to the Champions League final with Porto and won it.

So, will Pep be a bit more emotional than Sir Alex because this final represents so much for his young career? Yes. But Sir Alex is a man of soul and heart and he will have the adrenalin that we all need to be at the top level in these moments.

He is a super manager and a victory or a defeat in this moment of his career doesn’t make him better or worse — he has had a great career. But of course if he wins tomorrow it would make him the greatest club manager.

Sir Alex has made a super team. Three Premier League titles in a row and two Champions League finals — that is really top. They have quality and experience, with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

They have absolutely everything as a team in this moment: strength, mentality, speed, magic, solutions. Beating Arsenal in the semi-finals didn’t impress me too much. It is normal. But three Premier League titles and two Champions League finals — you need no more words to explain how strong they are.

Of course, they have a special player in Ronaldo. He can be everything, play everywhere in attack, in any tactical system. What a player. When he plays as a striker, which Sir Alex likes him to do in big games, he doesn’t need to defend so much.

Rooney is much more adapted to the “defensive sacrifice”, especially when the opponent’s full-backs are very strong in attacking. There are many times when Rooney does not get the credit he deserves.

So, as a striker, Ronaldo is much more fresh and has more freedom to move and create. As a winger, he is incredible facing a defender when he has the ball. You look at his dribbling, his creation, his diagonal runs, his crosses, his heading and shooting when he goes inside, it is incredible.

Daniel Alves is out of the game, suspended, so it is easier for Sir Alex to decide who to play in the attacking positions. Alves is crucial for Barça. His width and Lionel Messi going inside are automatic for them. I feel sorry for Alves, he’s a super player, and I also think the game will lose something without his dynamic.

I think against Alves, Ji-Sung Park for sure would have been used by Ferguson to control him. Without Alves, a United winger can now just be an attacking winger. So, on the left it will be Rooney or Ronaldo. But, of course these are opinions. The decisions are for Sir Alex. And normally he decides well. Very well.

If Barcelona will miss Dani, Man United will miss Darren Fletcher. Fletcher is more important than people think. His work in midfield, especially in the midfield “wars”, in crucial matches is very important. Man United will miss his pace and aggression in defensive actions: he “eats” opponents in defensive transition.

In possession he is not magic like Ryan Giggs or a superb passer like Paul Scholes, but he is dynamic, he makes movements, he creates spaces. I like him a lot and I believe it is not an easy decision to replace him. I believe Xavi and Andres Iniesta are happy Fletch is not playing.

I know from experience how good this Man United team is from when we played them in the Champions League in February. Against them I think, especially at Old Trafford, we did very well because we controlled their transition, we closed the wings very well, we had control of the game with ball possession, we created some difficulties for them by playing in between the lines.

But at set pieces they are very strong. And Barcelona are even weaker than my Inter in this area. This could be a key point.

We have just won the Serie A with Inter but I know United are better than us. But we were very close to beating them. So, if we improve, we will be close, very close to the teams from the Premier League next season.

But it is very difficult to get players. One player who would improve us at Inter is Ricardo Carvalho. He is not playing at Chelsea now, and it looks like Alex is in front of him. Maybe it is better to let him come here and play. — Daily Telegraph

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or you can call it the clash of ......



The biggest football clash of the season. Every single football fan in the world is looking forward to this match with great anticipation. Some, like me, born in the wrong timezone, will have to wake up to steal chicken. It is a Chinese idiom or proverb which means waking up early in the morning just like thieves who has the plan to steal chickens in the villages. Well, if you ask me, as a neutral, who should win the clash, I will easily give you an answer without hesitation. The clash between the Spanish champions VS. the English champions is definitely something worth looking forward as a final. The English has dominated European football for the past few seasons and FC Barcelona are the most suitable and qualified candidate to stop this trend. FC Barcelona are to me the most complete, most entertaining and most perfect team of the season in the entire world and probably in the whole of football history of any season compared. Therefore, they are worthy of winning the Champions League by all means. If you look at the statistics of the entire season, you will agree with me that it is only fair that they win the Champions League because they deserve it for their incredible perfect season. Let's look at the whole season stats.

The top scorers for Barcelona and Manchester United for the Champions League competition are Lionel Messi with 8 goals and Dimitar Berbatov with 4 goals. That says a lot about who has superior offence.

FC Barcelona scored 104 goals in 37 matches, with a match left away to Deportivo La Coruna on the 31st May 2009. Samuel Eto'o is their top scorer with 29 goals, followed by Lionel Messi with 23 goals and Thierry Henry with 19 goals. Xavi is the leading assist contributor with 20, followed by 11 from Lionel Messi and finally 9 from Daniel Alves. In the Spanish Copa del Rey in all 9 matches, including the final where they won 4-1 against Atletic Bilbao, they scored 17 goals. In all 14 matches leading to the Champions League final, they scored a total of 34 goals.

Manchester United scored just 68 goals from all 38 league matches played. Their top three scorers are Cristiano Ronaldo with just 18 goals, followed by Wayne Rooney with 12 goals and Dimitar Berbatov with 9 goals. Their top three assist contributors are Dimitar Berbatov with 9, followed by Ryan Giggs with 7 and finally Wayne Rooney with 7. This is a really funny part which means the midfielders, especially Cristiano Ronaldo, who can only manage 6, are selfish players. Midfielders should be leading the assist table for a football club. In the Carling Cup, which they won on 4-1 (coincidently same score as FC Barcelona in the Spanish Copa del Rey final) penalties after the 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, they scored 13 goals in 6 matches. In the Champions League, they scored 18 goals in all 12 matches played leading to the final.

That means in 46 domestic matches, FC Barcelona scored 121 goals, or a record of 2.63 goals per match. In Europe, their record is 2.43 goals per match. As for Manchester United, they scored a total of 81 goals in 44 matches, which translates to 1.84 goals per match. In Europe, their record is 1.5 goals per match.

In all likelihood, in the most normal setting, FC Barcelona will win the Champions League. However, as the old saying goes, football is round, everything is possible until the last minute when the referee blows the whistle. We have the Milan VS. Liverpool finals from the past to remind us that sometimes football can be extremely cruel and unfair. For me, Barcelona's weakest link is in defence and the people who always disappoint in the biggest clashes are Víctor Valdés and even Carles Puyol. Defenders Eric Abidal and Dani Alves are suspended and defender Rafael Marquez is injured, which will surely work in Manchester United's favour and advantage. If Manchester United cannot expose them of their weakest links, FC Barcelona should win. Henry and Iniesta were named to be fit to play and Rio Ferdinand could make it in time for the clash.

Both have a chance to win a treble while Manchester United will aim at winning back-to-back Champions League title. Let's prepare for the exciting clash ahead and hopefully the fans will behave in Rome. A win for Barcelona will give rookie coach Pep Guardiola the most perfect start in his managerial career, probably the best ever for any football manager in the football history.

Finally, yes, I am supporting the short prodigy over the over-rated crybaby diver, eventhough I know the defensive department is Barcelona's Achilles' heel. Yes, I know Chelsea deserve to be in the final more than Barcelona. That's football...

May the best team wins!

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The most famous name in Formula 1 today is Ross Brawn and Jenson Button. We know who is Jenson Button but not many know Ross Brawn. Many may not heard of him but success has come a long way for this guy in the history of Formula 1 racing. He has been involved in the sport since 1977, way before I was born.

Ross Brawn, Formula 1’s kingmaker

LONDON, May 26 — Belying his name, Ross Brawn is often credited with being the brains behind Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher’s glory years at Ferrari.

Hardly known outside the world of Grand Prix racing, this 54-year-old “thoughtful workaholic”, in the words of one commentator, is widely regarded within it as a master of mechanics, aerodynamics and, in particular, race tactics.

Formula 1’s gain was the atomic industry’s loss; the Mancunian former public schoolboy’s first job was as a trainee engineer for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority at the age of 16 in 1971.

But six years later, he took the job that was to set him on a path of sporting glory, joining the Williams team as a mechanic in 1977. A year on and he was promoted to manage William’s research and development, helping turn a little known team into the dominant force in the sport, winning the constructors’ championship for two years running.

Spells at Arrows and Jaguar followed and he was credited with significantly improving the cars at both firms. He designed the Jaguar XJR-14 driven by Teo Fabi and Derek Warwick when they came first and second in the 1991 World Sportscar Championship.

That year is also special for Brawn for another reason: he was recruited by Flavio Briatore to the lowly Benetton F1 team and designed another fastest of fast cars, which was driven to the world championships in 1994 and 1995 by Michael Schumacher.

And so when Scuderia Ferrari came calling on the world’s best driver, Schumacher made it a condition that they also acquire the services of Brawn, who was duly employed as technical director in 1997.

At the time, Williams and McLaren were the leading teams but just two years later Ferrari, Brawn and Schumacher won the first of six consecutive constructors’ titles, with the first of five drivers’ championships coming a year later.

In 2007, he left Ferrari for what was billed as a year’s sabbatical and travelled as a tourist to Russia’s Kola Peninsula, New Zealand and South America.

When he returned last year, Brawn, who lives near Henley-on-Thames with his wife and two children, not far from the boarding school he attended as a child, became head of Honda’s racing team.

However, amid the global recession, the Japanese car giant decided to pull out of racing at the end of the year.

Brawn, a quietly spoken man who lists his other interests as fishing, gardening and music, decided to step in, save the team and Brawn GP was born.

In Monaco, its driver Jenson Button won his fifth race out of six in the season, a success rate which has surprised even seasoned motor-racing observers.

Button may have a glittering future ahead of him, judging by the accolades of the man who is “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen”, according to the Formula 1 website.

“His decisions changed everything for me,” Schumacher once said. “Ross is a very clever man who can examine a situation and give us a plan to win. Not everybody has that gift. He is the best in Formula One.” — Daily Telegraph

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Monday, May 25, 2009


Alan Shearer could not stop the Magpies from losing the last match of the season, 0-1 to Aston Villa. It reminds of Leeds United's fate a few seasons back. I hope the Magpies will bounce back soon!

In Italy, Paolo Maldini played his last match of his competitive career with a 2-3 defeat at the feet of AS Roma. Maldini is probably the oldest player in Serie A.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009


I guess I will continue to update on all crimes in Johor Bahru as a reminder to myself and a record of the most happening things we have here. I just want to see how many reported cases that involves death, serious injury and big shot people and gangs are listed in the mainstream papers.

Two killed in shootout, nine suspected drug traffickers held

JOHOR BARU: Two men, believed to be involved in a shooting spree in Taman Perling two months ago, were shot dead by alert policemen.

Police also quickly rounded up nine other gang members, including a woman, within two hours after the noon shooting in Taman Daya here yesterday.

Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said they had seized weapons, including two pistols, nine parang, and several packets of drugs.

DCP Mohd Mokhtar said a four-man team cornered the two suspects in their 20s, who were in a blue Mercedes Benz.

“When asked to stop, the driver pulled out a Smith and Wesson .32mm revolver, which forced the policemen to fire several shots at both suspects,” he said. Both men died at the scene.

Police also recovered a pistol and two live bullets.

They then raided an apartment in the same housing estate and arrested six men aged between 18 and 20.

The gang is believed to have shot dead P. Vikneswaran, 23, near a bank and injured a 19-year-old youth at a petrol station in Taman Perling on March 30.

DCP Mohd Mokhtar said a parang, a laptop and a packet of heroin were seized from the Taman Daya apartment.

He said police also arrested two men and a woman at a house in Taman Ehsan Jaya and seized a Glock pistol and more packets of drugs.

DCP Mohd Mokhtar said the men had past records for gang robberies, murder and assault.

“We believe all of them were involved in a drug trafficking syndicate and other serious crimes,” he said.

Police are checking to ascertain whether the Mercedes Benz was also stolen.

The suspects’ bodies have been sent to Sultanah Aminah Hospital for post-mortem.

DCP Mohd Mokhtar praised the public for their cooperation which led to the arrests.

He urged anyone with information to contact the police hotline at 07-2212999 or the nearest police station.

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Friday, May 22, 2009


What is that you would ask? Well, read the points below first:
1. In conjunction with the National Family Celebrations 2009, Centre for Fathering will be organizing a nationwide “Eat with Your Family Day” on Friday, 29 May 2009.
2. XXXXX and XXXXX may exercise their discretion, subject to exigency of service, to allow staff to leave the office at 5 pm on Friday, 29 May 2009 so that staff can spend time to interact and have dinner with their family members.
3. More information on the National Family Celebrations can be found at

Well, it is funny that they are having such an 'event' to celebrate National Family Day or whatever you call that. I don't see a point that giving us an early day off of just 30 minutes will make a difference or give you enough time to have a eat with your family day to prepare the food. Unless of course you are eating out together. For someone like me who comes from Malaysia, this does look like a weird family bonding celebration.


P/S: Centre for Fathering? Oh my goodness!


Thursday, May 21, 2009


Well, how is the causeway lately?
It seems like the indications from the media is there is no hurry to revive the crooked bridge. However, I have seen some things lately which may seem otherwise:
1. There seems to be some construction at the side of the current super curvy route from the Malaysian immigration building to the causeway. Yes, it seems like some work is done to widen the two lanes road. I may be wrong but it looks like it to me.
2. I see many construction vehicles near the half done bridge of Dr. Mahathir lately. Anybody who passes through and sees them there will speculate that there is some work related to the continuation of the half done bridge.
3. The work of knocking down the old immigration complex is in progress. So far, they have knocked down 1/3 buildings and in the process of knocking the 2/3 of them. They can't just knock everything down at once since we are still passing through the old immigration complex to enter the causeway. The three buildings were used to host human traffic via buses, to host vans and red channel (declare of goods) and green channel (nothing to declare). The one left is the green channel building which we are using currently.

How is the traffic condition lately?
Since the swine flu or the H1N1 flu outbreak, traffic has been extremely minimal in the causeway. I don't know whether you can say it is caused by the flu or whether the economy has really gone so very bad. Nowadays, I can go through the causeway in 5 minutes. No long human queues, no long vehicle queues, smooth rides all the way to the Singapore immigration. Where are all the humans and vehicles?

What about the H1N1 outbreak screening?
Singapore already have the equipments all ready and in place when WHO raised it to Level 5. Screening started screening full time I believe since WHO raised the level of influenza pandemic alert to phase 5. Although there was a slight jam on the first two days, but the implementation was fully smooth after that. Malaysia only started screening when the first case appeared in Kuala Lumpur, which was just last weekend.

How is the condition of the Johor Bahru CIQ building?
Still the same, facilities broken down everywhere. Some automatic passport clearance counters can be left broken down for days without repair and just recently two escalators broke down at the same time, forcing people to use the stairs or the lifts. I know one escalator had been left broken down for many days without repair. They have started to allow two operators to start simple grocery business beside the bus platforms. It has been rather quiet lately in terms of human traffic. I don't know whether it is the H1N1 flu or whether it is the economy.

Read more:
Bridge project no rush

As well as this:
No rush into decision to replace Causeway

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — His rise to Prime Minister coincided with the revival of talk about the Causeway being replaced, leading to much speculation in the media.

But Datuk Seri Najib Razak was cautious when discussing the subject during an interview with The Straits Times, acknowledging that it came with much historical baggage.

While he felt that the Causeway should be improved to facilitate the movement of people between Singapore and Malaysia, what replaces it needs fuller study.

“Logic says that progress means change, progress means development, progress means more comfort and better communication and transport for the peoples of Malaysia and Singapore,” he said.

“So if you translate that, it means that the Causeway should be replaced, then so be it, but we should not be hasty about it. Let's look at all angles, to see whether both countries are comfortable with the project.”

Building a bridge to replace the Causeway has been a thorny issue in bilateral relations. It was an initiative of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who repeatedly raised the issue in the last few years of his term.

When Singapore wanted to discuss the bridge as part of a package of bilateral trade-offs, he insisted that Malaysia could build an elevated bridge to replace Malaysia's half of the Causeway — an S-shaped half-bridge widely dubbed the “crooked bridge”. The plan was eventually scrapped by Dr Mahathir's successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2006, but there have been calls for it to be revived since Najib — who is seen as a protege of Dr Mahathir — assumed premiership.

Johor business leaders in particular have been clamouring for it, claiming that a new bridge would resuscitate flagging businesses in the area.

When asked about the prospects of building the bridge — crooked or otherwise — Najib said his administration would not be rushed into a decision.

“We take it in our stride. I've just been in office for 1½ months. It's something that we need to look into, because there are some issues that were tied to the bridge before,” he said.

“Reopening the whole thing: I wouldn't want to proceed until there's a real, positive finality to the whole project. If I start reviving the bridge project, I want to see successful conclusion. I don't want it to be a repeat of what happened.

“So let's get a study of all aspects of the project, and there's no timeframe of course. It's not something that will happen immediately. But we'll take it in our stride.” — The Straits Times

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What will happen if in the English Premier League next season, you see Manchester United and Liverpool struggling after the first 5 matches of the season without getting a single point, not to say a win. Then you have Hull City and Sunderland at the top of the league with full 15 points from 5 matches? What can cause such a surprise outcome? Well, probably the introduction of rules to make all clubs equal. One rule is a club must have at least 8 English players and of which 3 must be from the youth system. Then, another rule is no transfer fee higher than 5million pounds can be done by any clubs ever again. Finally, the FA announced that all tickets and tv broadcast rights will cost the same across all the stadiums in the Premier League.

This is probably the fate of how the Formula 1 is coming to now. They are trying very hard to introduce all kinds of rules to make the competition more even. You have teams like Ferrari and McLaren struggling in a season which I would call chaotic. I am sure fans of Ferrari and McLaren are lost. It is a testament of what to come to football if one day FIFA and UEFA come together to finalize rules to make all clubs more even. A glimpse of how it will be if rules are created to make all clubs more balanced.

Monaco is coming next and many said it will be different because of the downforce factor. I will give my doubts. However, since it is a tight street race, it will be a totally different affair since overtaking is almost impossible. Probably there will be a difference in Monaco but that's about it. The fans may have to wait until Singapore for another street race to show a difference. Well, I have no idea how the season will end but as it seems right now, Jenson Button will be triumphant and invincible. I wonder how I will feel in his shoes. It is like suddenly out of the blues I become unstoppable because of the new rules. Will I win the world title with great satisfaction?


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A local doctor who owns a clinic in Johor Bahru was driving me in his Mercedes sporty coupé last weekend during his day off as we were heading to attend a function when our conversation went to the crime scene in Johor Bahru. He told me that what you read in the newspapers are normally the tip of the iceberg. What you read are cases which involved VIP and death. If it is not as severe as death or at least serious injury to major disability as a result of being a crime victim, it will not be reported. It will only hit the papers if it involved the police head, the politicians or high profile prominent figures in the society.

I asked him how he seems to know so much. He said just by his own clinic alone, he has more than enough crime victims per week to visit him. I joked that business must be very good for doctors practising in Johor Bahru since crime rate is so seriously high. Well, no wild guess these criminals are mostly representing which specific race and even the famous spots to get criminals attacking around. I told him to be careful that perhaps one day these criminals will even imitate as patients to his clinic. Therefore, we could not believe the reports which mention that crime rate is falling. I ask him whether the economic recession is causing the crime rate to escalate by a lot. He said he could not feel the trend, at least not with his clinic. The numbers have always been consistent.

He revealed to me that these criminals are normally people who are too lazy to find work. Therefore, they just be criminals to get enough money to survive. After they run out of money, they will go back to perform criminal acts again. The cycle will continue over and over again for self sustaining life without work. That's how it is with the profile of these criminals. They resort to become criminals as an easy way out to find money to survive.

I guess getting a survey from all doctors in Johor Bahru is much better than getting a survey from policemen on the true amount of crime rates here. People are hesistant or do not trust the police anymore because they are not interested to write your report and most of the outcomes are NFA (no further action). I reported once and many victims shared with me it is as good as disappearing in thin air. Therefore, what's the point of reporting since you already know the outcome?

Snatch thief to face murder charge
Wednesday May 20, 2009

JOHOR BARU: A snatch thief, who caused the death of pregnant mother Jamilah Selamat in Ayer Hitam earlier this month, is likely to be charged with murder.

Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said police have recommended to the public prosecutor’s office that the main suspect be charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the death penalty.

It is learnt that the suspect, who has six prior cases of snatch theft and was riding a stolen motorcycle, used the money that he stole from Jamilah to go on a date with his girlfriend.

DCP Mokhtar told a press conference yesterday that police had solved the case with the arrest of six people, including a 20-year-old girl.

He said the first suspect was picked up on May 6 in Batu Pahat. The rest, aged between 20 and 30, were subsequently arrested.

“So far, we have recovered the victim’s handbag, which contained her MyKad, ATM cards and other cards,” he said.

The second suspect will be charged under Section 411 of the Penal Code for possession of the victim’s handphone. The rest are assisting in investigations.

Jamilah, 31, who was two months’ pregnant, was killed when her bag was snatched while she was riding her motorcycle.

She died of severe head injuries after hitting the pavement when she fell off the motorcycle.

The suspect had targeted Jamilah as he thought she was an easy victim with her handbag left unattended in her motorcycle basket.

In an unrelated case, police detained five men from Sungai Rengit, Pengerang, for human trafficking.

DCP Mokhtar said the suspects were arrested between May 13 and yesterday.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

created by our fans | voted by our fans
a logo project by Goal

Creative brief

ABOUT GOAL.COM: | is the largest Football Community in the World.

A New-Media Company that provides International Football news, commentary, and entertainment through both internet and mobile platforms, has more than 500 contributors in 50 countries producing content in 17 languages. This unparalleled global reach and in-depth coverage of the World's most popular game attracts more than 10 million passionate football enthusiasts from more than 220 countries.

The mission of is to connect the World of Football. We may believe in different tactics and call the game by different names - football, soccer, futbol, calcio, futebol, podosphairo - but our passion unites us in unprecedented ways. looks to give fans the opportunity to get to know each other, from across the street or across the ocean, and celebrate their mutual devotion to the world's game.


A logo is the symbolic expression of a company: its values, its vision, its goals.

Our values, vision, and goals are focused on our users, our fans. Therefore, we thought, shouldn’t our fans have a say in our logo?

Of course, you should. So rather than creating our new logo in-house, we have decided to ask you, our fans, the very soul of, to help us design a logo that best represents

It must be aesthetically pleasing, unique, and expressive of this exciting age of New Media we are all living in. Distinct, legible, easily recognizable and identifiable, compact, it must be adaptable to different sizes and colors - instantly readable on business cards and stadium banners alike.

But most important, it must represent’s global culture and our mission to unite the World through Football.

After the end of the submission period, will choose the finalists.

Then we will display the final submissions on so that you, our fans, can vote for your favorite design. The voting period will last for 15 days, and the winning design will become’s new logo.

* Voting will count for a large percentage of the score, however, reserves the right to make the final decision. The winning logo may be altered or serve as the inspiration for the actual logo.

Boost your creativity and submit your idea here for your chance to win:

1st: $2,500
+ 20 Secondary prizes: $100 gift certificate at Shop

So tickle your imagination and… dominate the competition


If you've got the design skills and tools, this is your chance to shine!

If not, don't despair. You don’t need to be a professional designer to have a great idea!

Although many graphic designers today use computer software, some of the best designs are done by hand. You might sketch your design with a pencil or perhaps you would like to paint your idea on a canvas. Or maybe you like to work in crayons! It can be anything. To submit a hand-crafted design, simply take a photo of it or scan it, and then submit it.

Or, if you want to use computer software, the following powerful and easy-to-use logo-makers can help you design professional logos. They have intuitive, user-friendly interfaces that require no previous graphic design training. Plus, they contain libraries of designs and logo objects that you can use and customize. Please keep in mind that these are only suggestions and that is not affiliated with these programs and does not provide any type of support for using them. Be sure to refer to each program’s system requirements to make certain they are compatible with your computer and install them at your own discretion.

GIMP (WINDOWS- windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2 or newer to run) (MAC- OS X Leopard,Tiger)

(32-bit MS Windows NT/2000/XP, All POSIX Linux/BSD/UNIX-like OSes, Linux, OS X)

(Windows Vista® 32-bit or 64-bit editions or Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 or later)

(Windows 98, Windows Millenium, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista 32-bit)

And if you don’t feel like an artist you can always be one of our judges!

Good Luck!


a) Every logo must have the name either as:
- the name and a symbol
- the name as a symbol

b) Every submission can include two versions, one with our tagline SCORE TO LIVE, and one without the tagline.

c) Optional: We would like to see how the logo work in both horizontal and vertical perspectives.


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Anybody has a great idea of achieving it? When I asked my Japanese friend, he shook his head in disbelief. Haha! I'm trying to memorize kana, of both katakana and hiragana in one week. Then look at the common kanji.

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Monday, May 18, 2009


I remembered a few years back when he was officiating an education fair in Sibu. I was representing my university to help support the booth. He came to our booth and I told the officer in charge of my university that I have no interest to shake his hands so please do it instead. My idol when knowing where we came from talked in great lengths about how he was at my university last few weeks ago, explaining how it is like and so on. My idol was showing off how much he knows about my university. Unfortunately, what he explained was the other university and not the one we are idol indeed. That's why he is my idol.

We also found out that the organizers are giving away gui ling gao (Chinese Herbal Jelly) to universities which rent booths for the entire weekend and did not want to give us because we only did it for 1 day. The university officer was angry that they were so stingy and declared he would never again join any education fairs organized by that particular organizer. Hehe...

Toilet king of Malaysia calls it a day

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s “toilet king” is stepping down next month after a five-year reign.

Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, who earned the nickname for his tireless effort in fighting for clean public toilets in the country, said: “It is an unfinished business but I have to move on.”

Unfinished business: Lau is giving up the seat as the chairman of Quality Restroom Association Malaysia (QRAM) as he became the Deputy Transport Minister last month.

The 67-year-old accountant-turned-politician was inducted into the Housing and Local Government Ministry’s clean toilet campaign when he was the deputy minister in 2004.

His mission came to an end when he was appointed Deputy Transport Minister last month.

Lau is best remembered for setting up the first toilet association in Malaysia — Quality Restroom Assocation Malaysia (QRAM) — of which he has been chairman since its inception in 2005.

The Sibu MP said he is not seeking re-election at the QRAM annual general meeting to be held next month.

He said it is time for the Government to wield the stick on the country’s 148 local authorities so that they were serious in making sure that the 250,000 public toilets within their jurisdictions are clean.

“Only 60 local authorities took part in a star-rating programme for public toilets last year,” he lamented.


Sunday, May 17, 2009


All of them won the league title just few hours ago. FC Barcelona won without even playing as Real Madrid were defeated 3-2 away to Villarreal. Manchester United drew with Arsenal 0-0 and that was enough to win the title officially. Inter Milan won without playing too as AC Milan lost 2-1 to Udinese. Luis Figo, 36, officially announce his retirement from football after they were crowned champions.

"This is the first time I am champion without playing," he told A BOLA. "This is the best way to end."

"I will not play again at the highest level," he said. "And I will most likely not accept any offer. Only if something special emerges and it is from outside of Europe. But it is not likely."

FC Barcelona won the league with three more matches left this season and scoring an incredible and impressive 103 goals from 35 matches! Inter too won the league with three matches left but only scoring 62 goals from 35 matches. Manchester United have one more match left and they only scored 67 goals in total. FC Barcelona are probably the team in the best form this season throughout the world and are in the best position to win the Champions League end of this month to earn a treble. Both of them will meet on the 27th May 2009 for the final showdown!

I watched the controversial Newcastle VS. Fulham match last night and I really pity them for not winning the match. There was a disallowed goal from Mark Viduka and a red card for Sebastien Bassong. Now, Newcastle United will have a difficult chance to save their season and Alan Shearer is the most pressured manager in the whole Europe right now.

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Friday, May 15, 2009


I just don't know whether to laugh or not. How can the police say that there are fewer criminal activities during an economic recession? It just doesn't make sense and even a primary school kid can tell you that it is beyond logic. The fewer crime activities reported is a sign that people are losing far more confidence in the police.

I live in Johor Bahru and I know the police are reluctant to take your police report. In fact, when you call them, they can come 30 minutes later despite the HQ just 5 minutes drive away from my location. Therefore, many people are just tired of them. If they are robbed, they just let it be. There will be no conclusions whatsoever even if the police comes. Many cases are never solved and just left there idle forever.

Roadblock is the most stupidest idea of lowering crime rate. Let's be pragmatic. If you are a criminal on the run and you see a super long jam upfront with police roadblock, will you be a dumbass and go into the roadblock? You will of course change your course and run. It is not effective at all because stupid roadblocks always create super long jam, from a 4 lanes wide road they can block it till it is just 1 lane. All the normal users of the road like me suffer like shit.

Patroling? I see them mostly hiding at road junctions, traffic light junctions, especially the one entering the immigration. I see many of them standing around in the immigration enjoying the airconditioning. A big drop of 1,201 cases or 14%? Right! Only a kindergarten kid will believe you.

JB crime under media glare again

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — Four recent high-profile incidents have put Johor's crime situation in the spotlight, despite police data showing fewer criminal activities in the first few months of this year.

The four cases have attracted much attention because they involved a Cabinet minister, a political secretary and even the Johor Baru South police chief.

And in another much-reported case, a pregnant woman died when she fell from her motorcycle after her handbag was snatched by another motorcyclist.

In an incident on Wednesday, police shot dead five foreigners who had robbed the family of the political secretary of Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Johor police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff had a scary story to tell of the robbers who formed the Geng Bonding (Bonding Gang).

“They are suspected to have committed 22 violent robberies in Kota Tinggi, Simpang Renggam and Johor Baru since last January,” Mokhtar was quoted by Bernama as saying on Wednesday.

But police in the state have not been idle, having added more men and patrol cars and setting up more roadblocks in the last one year or so, officials said.

“There have been more roadblocks lately and I can see more police patrolling the streets now compared to before,” a long-time JB resident, who did not want to be named, told The Straits Times yesterday.

The crime situation in Johor had prompted at least one blogger, Scott Hong, to focus on crime issues in the state in the last four years.

When officials said the robbery involving JB South police chief was an isolated incident, Hong wrote: “Of course the case... is 'an isolated case'. Usually, the vast majority of Johor criminals rob defenceless, non-police civilians.”

Johor police revealed last month that “index” crimes — such as house-breaking and motorcycle thefts — had dropped to 6,968 cases during the period from Jan 1 to April 16, compared to 8,169 cases in the same period last year.

That is a big drop of 1,201 cases, or 14 per cent.

But hard data is only one facet of the issue because just one high-profile incident could colour public perception for months.

To be sure, crime prevention in JB is expected to receive a major boost when the Iskandar Regional Development Authority launches its safety and security blueprint this year.

Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad told The Straits Times that the plan is ready “but I have yet to see the blueprint”.

He added: “I hope it will boost security in the JB region.”

The programmes are to be implemented in the next three to five years.

Shahrir said the public could play their part in preventing crime by organising their own patrol committees and working with the police.

Despite the recent cases, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that it was unfair to label Johor as unsafe.

Citing the case of escaped terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari, who was caught hiding in Skudai in JB, Hishammuddin said it did not mean Johor was a haven for terrorists.

“Today when we take action against the criminals, we are seen to be unsafe again. If that is the situation, then we cannot do anything,” he told a press conference on Wednesday.

Datuk Soh Poh Sheng, president of the Johor Baru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Straits Times: “To be fair to the police, the crime rate has dropped drastically over the past few months. We could see changes and improvements.” — The Straits Times

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Thursday, May 14, 2009


Congratulations to Liverpool captain, Stevie G. for being voted England's Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association. He was ahead of Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney. He has scored the highest amount of goals so far in a single season comparing to all the previous seasons since his football career. He will have an extremely difficult task at hand to stop Manchester United from winning the EPL crown yet again. There are only two matches left for both of them and The Red Devils are leading with 6 points.

The remaining matches are:
(16 May 2009) Manchester United (1st) VS. Arsenal (4th)
(17 May 2009) West Bromwich Albion (20th) VS. Liverpool (2nd)
(24 May 2009) Manchester United (1st) VS. Hull City (18th)
(24 May 2009) Liverpool (2nd) VS. Tottenham Hotspur (8th)

As for Chelsea, they are 3 points behind Liverpool. The best they can do is to try finishing second. If not, they can still maintain their current position at 3rd even if they lose the two remaining matches.

The remaining matches are:
(17 May 2009) Chelsea (3rd) VS. Blackburn Rovers (14th)
(24 may 2009) Sunderland (16th) VS. Chelsea (3rd)

What about Arsenal? Nothing they do in the next two matches will make a difference so they will have to go for the Champions League qualifying rounds to quality for next season. They really need to consider spending a bit to give the talents in the team some assurance of staying. I believe all players dream of winning titles.

The remaining matches are:
(16 May 2009) Manchester United (1st) VS. Arsenal (4th)
(24 May 2009) Arsenal (4th) VS. Stoke City (12th)

At the bottom of the table, Newcastle United is fighting to survive the relegation battle. They are tied on points with Hull City with Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion just 3 points behind. Even with Shearer at the helm, they are still struggling to stay in the league for next season. They have two very tough matches ahead.

The remaining matches are:
(16 May 2009) Newcastle United (17th) VS. Fulham (7th)
(24 May 2009) Aston Villa (5th) VS. Newcastle United (17th)

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Well, Real Madrid will most probably end this season trophy-less. Of course, I have to congratulate FC Barcelona for the most exciting and superb display this season! They are probably having the best season in all football seasons combined in the entire football history. I wish them the best to finish this season on a high. They had just won 4-1 against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.

As for Madrid, it comes back to square one yet again. Capello's exit was and still my excuse and now it has reached the lowest point ever. They really need an experienced and charismatic person to take over the club's management. To be fair to them, they lost many key players to long term injury this season.

I heard that Florentino Perez will be contesting as the next president and I am quite nervous because I don't really trust this guy. I just hope he learnt his lesson from his previous stint and now learns not to interfere with the manager's decision. If he does, we are going to go through another round of torrid time.

Let's start with my own opinions of the players to continue or to leave the club. Let's start with Raul since he is the captain. He has to acknowledge that age is catching up with him and he should only take the role of a sub. He can no longer perform at the highest level and should not be the interference of the team's growth. He can stay as a psychological and experience advantage to the team. He should surrender his captain armband to Casillas. Casillas is of course the backbone of the club and the future captain so he should stay by all means. Sergio Ramos should too since he is also a very interesting offensive defender that is lacking in today's football world.

As for Guti, I have never like him before and even so now. He has attitude problem and he is very inconsistent. Van Nistelrooy should be given a chance to perform after his long injury layoff. As for Huntelaar, I believe he should be given more chances too since it is too early to say too much. Robben should go too and I had said it many times even before he came. He is just too injury proned eventhough he can be invinsible in some matches.

The duo of Van der Vaart and Sneijder should be given more chances again. I hope the new coach can bring out the best in them. They are talented but probably the formation does not suit them. Mahamadou Diarra is solely missed whole season for his solid defence at the back of the middle. He should stay with Lass. Pepe should also be given more chances despite his crazy outburst. Cannavaro like Raul, should acknowledge that they no longer are capable of playing at the highest level. He could consider going to a slower paced league.

Salgado is old enough and should know it is retirement time. Heinze has never really live up to the expectations after Roberto Carlos' departure. In fact, he created far more careless mistakes than Roberto Carlos. He should consider leaving. Lass should also be given more chances too to beef up the defence in the club. Higuain is a very versatile player at the front and I would never sell him. I believe there is more to be seen from him. Saviola should leave and go to a club which can give him first team action. I have seen him rotting at the benches of Barcelona and Real Madrid and I really can't stand the misery. I believe he is very talented but just not given much chances. As for the rest, I have no comments and I believe it is up to the new management to consider.

I also hope the new management will consider sticking the four talented youths in the club. They are Parejo, Garay, Granero and Negredo. I have heard many interesting things about them so I do hope they are given more chances to perform, especially in the Spanish Cup at least. If they must buy, I will recommend Ribery to be sufficient. Forget crybaby Cristino Ronaldo and forget Kaka, he is almost impossible to capture. Let's be logical and pragmatic and don't let the transfer saga rumours dragging the club down like the previous seasons, including this one.

Spanish Inquisition: Who Stays And Who Goes At Real Madrid?
The coming summer is sure to spark a firestorm of transfer rumours accompanied by an exodus of players from the Santiago Bernabeu. As presumed president Florentino Perez prepares his bid for Real Madrid leadership,’s Cyrus C. Malek analyses the players in the current Madrid squad to assess whether they merit continuity in the Spanish capital…
13 May 2009 09:00:18

In reinvigorating a failing squad, albeit one that has won championships, it is difficult to determine the extent to which an overhaul is needed. Sometimes just a few strategic changes are all that is needed. Despite a third-place finish in La Liga and a humiliating pasillo honour guard at the Bernabeu, Barcelona still managed to reach the Champions League semi-finals last year. Just two major replacements were made in the squad as Dani Alves and Gerard Pique were brought in for the departing Ronaldinho and Deco (it is safe to say that Seydou Keita, Sergi Busquets, Martin Caceres and Aliaksandr Hleb are mainly role players in this year’s Barcelona squad), along with the very important replacement of Frank Rijkaard for the superb Pep Guardiola.

In rebuilding Real Madrid’s squad, personnel decisions will come down to the manager (be it Juande Ramos or otherwise) as he attempts to develop a competitive dynamic that translates into beautiful and balanced team play on the pitch. It is through this lens that this columnist attempts to analyse Real Madrid’s current squad and determine which of Los Blancos have the potential and versatility to become part of Real Madrid’s vision for the future. The recommendations are as follows:

Higuain (Stays): Higuain is everything a manager wants in a youngster — tireless effort on the pitch, determination to the final whistle, a willingness to learn and improve, and commitment to team play. Having delivered Liga-winning goals when Madrid have needed them most, Higuain is the heir to Raul’s second striker position and a fixture in the Madrid squad of the future. A certain rumour claiming Madrid could use Higuain as a pawn in a deal to bring over Zlatan Ibrahimovic should be quickly and decisively rubbished. With 19 goals in only his second full season, the 21-year-old Argentine has all the makings of a star.

Raul (Stays): Despite a reported offer from Manchester City, the Madrid skipper has and will always be an icon for Los Blancos. He has delivered some crucial goals this season and serves as a reference for the team with his work ethic and leadership, both on and off the pitch. But age is beginning to catch up with 'El Capitan' and he is losing the pace, technique and strength it takes to compete at the highest level. His role has begun to change and 2010 could see Raul come on as a substitute to push his team on in the final stretch of matches.

Van Nistelrooy (Goes): Another serious knee injury to ‘Van the Man’ coupled with his 33 years of age means it will be difficult for the striker to wear a Madrid shirt again. He has been mulling retirement…

Robben (Goes): At times during the season, Robben has been Madrid’s best player and, at top form, one of the best in the world. Mercurial pace, an uncanny ability to dribble past opponents and a powerful left foot make parting ways with the Dutchman seem like foolishness. But Robben has been inconsistent, at times dominating matches, but remaining anonymous in some of Madrid’s most crucial encounters. He also fails to use his team-mates constructively, too often opting to do it all himself and failing to make the final pass. A further worrying point is the ease with which he sustains injury — although he recently seems to have put the niggles behind him and recovered faster than anticipated to play in El Clasico. Madrid paid €36 million for him and will likely use his sale to finance the acquisition of Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Silva/Villa, Kaka or Fabregas — all of this despite Robben’s recent statements expressing his desire to stay…

Huntelaar (Uncertain): The only true striker in Madrid’s current active roster, Huntelaar had a difficult welcoming to the Bernabeu, unable to play in the Champions League and unable to find the back of the net for weeks. He did have a very productive spell during Madrid’s relentless pursuit of Barcelona, scoring 8 goals, but if Madrid manage to land David Villa or Zlatan Ibrahimovic over the summer, ‘Hunletal’ could find himself out of a White shirt come next season.

Van der Vaart (Goes): Brought in after Wesley Sneijder sustained a terrible injury in the preseason, Van der Vaart impressed in his first few matches for Madrid. One highlight included a hat-trick, one goal of which was deftly flicked in with a back-heel. But since, Van der Vaart has been largely anonymous in the squad and, though he possesses enormous talent, his style of play does not seem best suited for La Liga. Madrid have already tested Chelsea’s interest in the Dutchman.

Drenthe (Loan Out): Having endured the hardest season of any Madridista, Drenthe has been literally jeered out of the Bernabeu — although the reason is not entirely clear. As one of the fastest players in world football, Drenthe still lacks the refined skills necessary to play at a club like Real Madrid, but a season loaned out to a Premier League club could see this exceptional talent blossom into one of the most exciting players of the next generation. If he is given some confidence, he could be something very, very special.

Saviola (Goes): A player who has never truly lived up to his potential, Saviola has spent yet another year collecting world-class wages without playing world-class football. He has been disappointing.

De la Red (Done Playing Football): One of Madrid’s brightest prospects and a rising star with the Spanish national team, De la Red may never recover from his heart problems to play football again. A huge loss for Madrid to lose this youth product, who had the ability to be far better than Guti ever was.

Guti (Goes): One tantrum too many and a clever pass too few. The vice-captain does not contribute enough to warrant a roster spot in a new, competitive Madrid — a shame because when on form, he is one of the best attacking midfielders in the Spanish game.

Sneijder (Stays): Although this was not one of Wesley’s greatest seasons by any means, he remains a good player who has the ability and versatility to play in a number of systems. His hard work ethic and modest ego make him a valuable member of any team and he should have the chance to contribute to Madrid’s future endeavours.

Javi Garcia (Uncertain): Not enough was seen from the Madrid youth product this season to warrant forcing him out of the club. Having said that, if Madrid are able to tempt an acceptable offer, they could part ways with the defensive midfielder.

Mahamadou Diarra (Stays): Before his season-ending injury, Diarra was one of the most important defensive figures in the Madrid squad. While some believe the arrival of Lass during the winter makes Diarra redundant, the presence of the Malian alongside the French international could transform Madrid into a physical side that can contend with some the stronger English sides in the Champions League. Besides, Madrid bought him for €27 million and coming off of a major injury, it will be difficult to get that sort of value from his sale.

Lass (Stays): In a recent Marca poll, Lass earned a 96 per cent approval rating from voters — one per cent more than Iker Casillas. The Bernabeu adores Juande Ramos’ winter signing and the French international puts in the hard work to earn the applause. One who leads on the pitch by example.

Marcelo (Stays): For quite some time it looked as if Marcelo would never play again for Madrid. But since a brilliant showing in Dunga’s Brazil side against Italy, Marcelo has broken out as a player with great potential, inventive style, pace and a competitive desire to help his team. However, it remains to be seen if the Brazilian will be employed as a winger or if his defending has improved enough for full-time duties as a left-back.

Sergio Ramos (Stays): With the anticipated departures of Guti and Michel Salgado, Sergio Ramos looks set to take over as Madrid’s third captain. There are some rumours, however, linking Inter’s Maicon to Madrid and should the Brazilian right-back be signed it is likely that Sergio Ramos will make the switch to central defence. How such a change settles with the long-locked defender remains to be seen; he is the undisputed starter at right-back for the Spanish national squad.

Casillas (Stays): An unquestionable linchpin in the Madrid squad and will likely serve as the first Merengue captain with Raul set to take on a more withdrawn role. He is an enormously effective leader as captain of the Spanish national team and he should fulfil the same role wearing the armband at Madrid. The perfect man to lead Madrid in a new direction.

Pepe (Stays): Losing his head in the Getafe match was something of an aberration. Pepe remains an excellent central defender and as the second fastest player in the Madrid squad behind Robben, does an excellent job of closing down danger at the back; with his height, he is also a force to be reckoned with in the air. If the rumours about Sergio Ramos’ switch to the centre are true, this could be one of the most imposing defensive pairings in all of Europe.

Cannavaro (Goes): The Italian has already had one foot out of the Spanish capital during the final quarter of the season and looks set to join Juventus next year. While he has lost much of his pace, he remains an excellent director of the back line and the Merengue defence looks shaky without him. Someone else will need to step up and take charge in his wake.

Metzelder (Stays): Although he has not seen too much playing time at Madrid, Metzelder remains an excellent defender, as he has shown time and time again with the German national side. In his time under Juande Ramos he has shown glimpses of why Schuster bought him in the first place and he could still have plenty to offer Madrid in the coming years.

Heinze (Goes): The Argentine international is past his prime and some of his far too frequent mistakes have cost Madrid crucial matches. The left-back position needs a huge upgrade and whether Marcelo is the man to slot in or another signing, Heinze has played his last of matches at the Bernabeu.

Torres (Stays): First making his appearance in the side under Fabio Capello, Miguel Torres is an all-business defender who still has a great upside. Despite his age, he has already played three full seasons in the first team and his status as a Madrid youth product makes him something of a fan favourite.

Faubert (Goes): Never really a serious signing, Faubert was brought to Madrid as an insurance policy in case Robben went out with a serious injury. His loan deal from West Ham will be allowed to expire and he will return to the English club.

Parejo (Stays): Dani Parejo is another one of the Madrid youth program’s promising young gems and former Castilla manager/current Getafe coach Michel is one of Parejo’s biggest fans. The youngster has only played 29 minutes in three matches since being recalled from his loan deal in the winter and next season it will be exciting to watch this starlet demonstrate his ability.

Gago (Uncertain): Gago looked to be a promising signing when coming over from Boca Juniors during Fabio Capello’s year at the helm. After a brilliant showing at the Beijing Olympics last summer, it looked as if Gago was going to develop into a superb midfielder a la Redondo. Instead, the Argentine has been alarmingly absent in some of Madrid’s biggest matches and, especially if Mahamadou Diarra is retained, could find himself as the extra man out. Madrid are rumoured to be exploring the option of offering Gago in a cash plus player deal for Cesc Fabregas.

Salgado (Goes): The Galcian right-back still has decent pace, but at 33 is on his last legs at the Bernabeu. His future could lie in Dubai, playing for a club in cosmopolitan Emirate.

Dudek (Goes): Playing behind Iker Casillas translates into very little playing time at all. Dudek is not getting any younger and will seek more regular playing time elsewhere.

Codina (Stays): With the opportunity to work directly as Casillas’ understudy, Codina may stick around a bit longer and will do well to take his playing time in next year’s Copa del Rey to improve should (Heaven forbid) Iker sustain an injury. The Madrid youth product is a very capable keeper and should excel if given the opportunity.

Loans to Recall:

Ezequiel Garay: Garay was a prize signing last summer, being pulled right out from underneath Barcelona’s searching nose, and was loaned out to Racing for another year to gain some valuable playing time. Now, he will make his home at the Bernabeu and with Sergio Ramos, Pepe, and Metzelder, help shore up the problems that Madrid always seem to experience in the centre of defence.

Esteban Granero: Madrid would do well to exercise the buyback clause in Granero’s contract. The midfielder has shown a great improvement in his two years at Getafe and 'El Pirata' single-handedly skinned the Madrid defence in Getafe’s visit to the Bernabeu this season. He deserves a chance in the first team.

Alvaro Negredo: One of the best players in La Liga this season, the 23-year-old Madrid youth product has a buyback clause in his contract that Los Blancos will be very eager to pay. The looming striker scored 19 goals this season with Hugo Sanchez’s Almeria and would be a great addition to a Madrid squad that is lacking strikers of the classic ‘No. 9’ variety.

And so concludes this columnist's forecast for Madrid's current squad. Who do you think has earned the right to stay or has committed one to many errors to wear the Madrid crest?

Cyrus C. Malek,

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