People are seen onboard a ferry bound for Penang island February 7, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
GEORGE TOWN, Feb 15 — The search and rescue operation for a passenger believed to have fallen into the sea from a ferry today has been called off at 7.30pm and will resume tomorrow, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Capt Hamizan Harun said today.He said today’s operation, which began at 9.50am, failed to locate the victim, whose identity was still unknown.“In the 9.20am incident, the passenger is said to have fallen from the ferry about 1.2km northwest of the Butterworth Ferry Terminal,” he said, adding that MMEA’s operation was assisted by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department and Marine Police team.Meanwhile, Rapid Ferry Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, which operates the ferry services here, has begun an internal inquiry in connection with the incident.It said in a statement that a crew member of the Pulau Undan ferry had thrown a lifebuoy to where the victim was spotted but lost sight of him. — Bernama [...]
KUALA LUMPUR: A group seeking to trace four persons who went missing two years ago has asked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to order... [...]
EMILIANO SALA search - the Air Accidents Investigation Branch looking for Emiliano Sala are preparing to begin recovering the body that was found in the English channel. [...]
SAR personnel are seen during the search operation near the Penang Bridge January 21, 2019. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
GEORGE TOWN, Jan 21 — The search and rescue (SAR) operations for the sports utility vehicle (SUV) that plunged into the sea will be using a special sonar device to detect the vehicle.Fire and Rescue Department operations assistant director Mohd Hafiz Hafizal Timaradin said a private company, Marine Science Technology Sdn Bhd, offered assistance to the SAR operations by providing the device.“The device, Teledyne T20P, will be able to detect objects under the sea as deep as 400m,” he told reporters today.Two cars collided on the Penang Bridge while heading towards the mainland early Sunday morning at 2.50am.One of the cars, a white SUV, crashed over the guard rail and plunged into the sea.College student Moey Yun Peng, 20, was believed to be behind the wheels of the white SUV when it happened.The other driver, in a black Toyota Vios, was sent to the hospital for injuries on his head, legs and hands.Both drivers are believed to be former school friends and both had attended a birthday party with five other friends at an entertainment outlet along Chulia Street on Saturday night.They left the outlet at about 2.30am on Sunday and only the two of them headed to the mainland as they lived there while the other five lived on the island.Police revealed that initial urine tests of the Toyota Vios driver was positive for cannabis.His blood samples were sent for further testing for drugs and alcohol content.SAR operations, which ended at 7pm yesterday, failed to find the missing SUV.SAR operations continued at 7am today with a team of 108 people including 38 divers and 14 boats from various agencies.Malaysia Region Search & Rescue (MRSC) Langkawi along with the Maritime Enforcement Agency, Police, Marine Police, Royal Malaysian Navy, Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Department were involved in the SAR operations.Marine Police Territory 1 Commander Assistant Commissioner Rosman Ismail said the current was very strong and the area muddy which hampered the SAR operations.It is understood that visibility in the sea was poor due to the muddy conditions of the sea in the area.The depth of the search area is about 25 metres and covered a radius of about two nautical miles.SAR operations will continue to 7pm today. [...]
The missing driver and his car, a Mazda CX-5 SUV, have yet to be found. — Bernama pic
GEORGE TOWN, Jan 20 — The search for the driver, whose car plunged into the sea off the Penang Bridge this morning, was called off at 7pm today due to darkness.Marine Police Region 1 commander Assistant Commissioner Rosman Ismail said the search and rescue operation was conducted in a 25-metre square radius area but they failed to find the Mazda CX-5 sport utility vehicle (SUV).The missing driver is believed to be Moey Yun Peng, 20, a college student from Taman Kempas, Butterworth.“About 20 Marine Police personnel joined the operation today, including four divers as well as the fire and rescue team using five boats. The operation began at 7am but after 12 hours we still could not locate the car or the victim.“The fast current in the area where the car plunged into made our operation more difficult. Our divers went as deep as 20 metres,” he told reporters after surveying the area with the media today.He said the search and rescue operation would resume tomorrow with the help of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department team and Civil Defence Agency.Meanwhile, Seberang Perai Tengah District police chief, ACP Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid said investigations showed that the 2.45am accident was believed to have occurred when a Toyota Vios car, driven by a 21-year-old man, skidded and crashed into the SUV, which then plunged into the sea at the KM4.0 of the bridge.The 21-year-old suffered minor injuries and received treatment at the Seberang Jaya Hospital. Police are waiting for the report of his blood test to see if he was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. — Bernama [...]
The growth of voice technology, improvements to measurement and the emergence of...
The post A new strategy for search marketing appeared first on Marketing Magazine Asia. [...]
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck is leading the search for a replacement after Scudamore brought an end to 19 years in charge [...]
Roberto Castello Branco, appointed by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, takes office as president of the Brazilian oil company Petrobras at the company’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. — AFP photo
RIO DE JANEIRO: The new boss of Brazilian state-owned oil giant Petrobras said that he wanted to draw a line under the company’s graft-mired past and offer ‘a new dawn.’
“Monopolies restrict liberty,” Roberto Castello Branco told a crowd of officials and Petrobras executives on the day he took up his functions.
Petrobras a couple of years ago “was looted by a criminal organization made up of corrupt politicians, enemies of capitalism, and a small group of employees,” he said.
“Privileged people and monopolies are intolerable in a free society.”
The harsh words referred to a sprawling, multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal implicating Petrobras and political parties, including those from the Workers Party that ruled Brazil from 2003-2016.
Investigations into the scandal, dubbed Car Wash, brought down politicians, including former leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and resulted in Petrobras paying a US$2.95-billion settlement to US shareholders.
Castello Branco also referred to Petrobras piling up a vast debt load, which currently stands at around US$73 billion.
Brought in under new Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes – like him, part of the ‘Chicago Boys’ club of US-trained free-marketers who have graduated from the University of Chicago – he is intent on turning Petrobras around by reducing its statist dependency.
His strategy, he said, was simple: better management, cut capital costs, seek efficiencies, impose a meritocracy, worker safety, and protection of the environment.
“It’s a new dawn for Brazil and for Petrobras. The time has come to promote transformational change, for shareholders who are under control of Brazilian society,” he said.
Before being named to the top Petrobras job, Castello Branco, a former board member in the company, had vocally backed an idea of privatizing all of the oil giant.
But Brazil’s new far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has said he – like many Brazilians – is not in favor of the country’s crown jewels being sold off, so that ambition has been scaled back.
Petrobras is already in a cycle of divestments to cut it massive debt. It is expected Castello Branco will accelerate that process.
But when asked by reporters how far he would apply privatization zeal to the company, the new chief executive said only that “we are analyzing assets” for later decisions.
Petrobras was founded 65 years ago as a government monopoly to tap tiny reserves that existed at the time. Its oil bonanza happened in late 2006 when it discovered what turned out to be huge amounts of crude lying under the oceanic crust far offshore – so-called pre-salt deposits.
That pre-salt oil is costly to get at, but its extraction soon made the country a net exporter, propelled into the same league as members of OPEC, of which it is not part.
Today, Brazil has proven reserves of 13 billion barrels and produces 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Half the production comes from the pre-salt fields, with that proportion forecast to grow.
The company’s market value, of US$94 billion, is around half of what it was at its peak. The company’s focus has turned to chipping away at its huge debt. — AFP [...]
French fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, who previously won the LVMH ‘Special Prize’. — AFP pic
PARIS, Dec 19 — LVMH has launched the 2019 edition of its prestigious annual fashion prize.The luxury conglomerate — which owns some of the biggest fashion labels in the industry, such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Givenchy and Christian Dior — is once again on the lookout for the hottest new design talent.Applications are now open for the 2019 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, which aims to encourage emerging talent from all over the world through a combination of financial aid and business development opportunities. The eventual winner will receive a grant of €300,000 (RM1.43 million) to grow their fashion business, in addition to a year-long mentorship programme.The prize is open to any designer under the age of 40, who has released two collections in the categories of menswear, womenswear or unisex.Former honourees of the award include cult French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, who was awarded the “Special Prize” in 2015, and Portuguese creatives Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of the label Marques'Almeida. Hood by Air, Vejas and Grace Wales Bonner have also been recognised by the LVMH judges panel since the award was first introduced in 2014.The initial application process will remain open through February 4. For more information, see http://www.lvmhprize.com/. — AFP-Relaxnews View this post on Instagram LVMH PRIZE 2019 – FILL OUT THE FORM The LVMH Prize 2019 is now open for applications! After the success of previous editions, the LVMH Prize is back for the sixth year running. You have until February 4, 2019 to fill out the form and try your luck! Rendezvous on @lvmhprize to have more information about the Prize and applications. _ #lvmhprize #lvmhprize2019 #LVMH A post shared by LVMH (@lvmh) on Dec 17, 2018 at 10:13am PST [...]
Google has released the top-trending searches of 2018, an annual report that captures the Zeitgeist of the last 12 months.
When it comes to food, consumers in the US were most interested in the unicorn cake, a natural segue from unicorn lattes and unicorn toast of years past. The recall of romaine lettuce in the US and Canada placed the salad green in second place, while the popularity of CBD gummies propelled the spiked confectionery to third place.
Overall, the list is dominated by searches for keto recipes – pancakes, cheesecake and chilli – as followers of the top-ranked diet of 2018 also turned to Google for ideas on how to indulge in their favourite foods without breaking the rules.
Here are the top food-related searches of 2018 in the US:
1. Unicorn cake
2. Romaine lettuce
3. CBD gummies
4. Keto pancakes
5. Keto cheesecake
6. Necco Wafers
7. Keto cookies
8. Keto chilli
9. Keto brownies
10. Gochujang – AFP Relaxnews [...]
Sundar Pichai speaks during a presentation at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona March 2, 2015. — Reuters pic
WASHINGTON, Dec 12 — Google has “no plans” to relaunch a search engine in China though it is continuing to study the idea, Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told a US congressional panel yesterday amid increased scrutiny of big tech firms.Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns the company would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies if it re-enters the Asian nation’s search engine market.Google’s main search platform has been blocked in China since 2010, but the Alphabet Inc unit has been attempting to make new inroads into the country, which has the world’s largest number of smartphone users.“Right now, there are no plans to launch search in China,” Pichai told the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.But he added that internally Google has “developed and looked at what search could look like. We’ve had the project underway for a while. At one point, we’ve had over 100 people working on it is my understanding.”Pichai said there are no current discussions with the Chinese government. He vowed that he would be “fully transparent” with policymakers if the company brings search products to China.In a letter in August to US lawmakers, Pichai said providing such a search engine would give “broad benefits” to China but that it was unclear whether Google could launch the service there.A Chinese government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters last month that it was unlikely Google would get clearance to launch a search service in 2019.Pichai did not say what steps Google would take to comply with Chinese laws if it re-entered the market.Under questioning from Democratic Representative David Cicilline, Pichai said he would “happy to engage” to discuss legislation that would empower the Federal Trade Commission to address discriminatory conduct online.Cicilline told Pichai it was “hard for me to imagine that you could operate in the Chinese market under the current government framework and maintain a commitment to universal values, such as freedom of expression and personal privacy.”The company’s rivals in shopping and travel searches have long complained about being demoted in Google search results.Much of the House hearing focused on Republican concerns that Google’s search results are biased against conservatives and that the company had sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.Democrats rejected that claim as “fantasy,” and at least one said the search results highlighted more conservative voices.Pichai said the search engine attempts to help people register to vote or find a polling place, but rejected assertions the company paid for Latino voters’ transportation to polls in some states.“We don’t engage in partisan activities,” Pichai told the panel. — Reuters [...]
Very few compelling reasons exist for Malaysians to visit Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. Most of the time, it’s hot … and I mean blazing hot and dry. And coming from where we do, there is barely a need to holiday in a destination that has worse weather than ours.
Even AirAsia, which used to fly there, has completely given up on that destination. Darwin isn’t on Malaysia Airlines’ radar either.
China’s Donghai Airlines, which began its direct flight from Shenzhen to Darwin in August, now records disappointingly low numbers.
Four months after the direct link began, the flights are often less than half full. In September, apparently only 382 passengers flew there, or 44% capacity, while 237 passengers flew outbound, equating to just 27% capacity.
The biggest, closest tourist attraction is Ayers Rock at Alice Springs, and that’s 1,496km away – equal to a 16-hour drive or a two-hour flight.
My Australian friends who live in Melbourne thought I had lost the plot when I told them I was going to Darwin, and worse, in December, when the weather is at its most unforgiving – scorching sun in the day and thunderstorms and rain in the evenings.
“Why are you going to Darwin? I know you have announced your retirement as the CEO, but for heaven’s sake, Darwin is smaller than Kajang,” said my friend.
He isn’t wrong. Darwin City is quite deserted at any time of day, and I arrived on a weekday.
No wonder my Aussie friends who have never visited Darwin, had no intention of joining me, except for two Melbourne-based Malaysians who were drawn by a truly valid reason – Darwin durians!
Durian hunting in Darwin, Australia.
Like me, they are durian fanatics, too, and were keen to find out if our Musang King can hold a candle to or trump the Kangaroo King!
Australia’s largest durian farm can be found in Darwin and is run by the Siah family, who owns Tropical Primary Products.
The Siahs, who moved to Australia from Semenyih, Selangor, more than 30 years ago, have earned national attention – if not international recognition – for their huge durian farm.
They already have more than 2,500 mature durian trees – averaging over 20 years – on 24 ha of land. At least 35 tons of the produce is available in many parts of Australia.
The orchard itself is a sprawling 202 ha, with jackfruit, cempedak, pomelo, mango and jambu air trees, and the Siahs are now trying their luck with langsat trees.
According to Siah Han Shiong, who runs the farm, I was a little late for durian season as it starts in October and ends in November.
My heart sank when he told me that but fortunately, he stored some durians – the whole fruit, and some packages – in the refrigerator. So, we got to sample their HEW1, a Malaysian variety which the family had grown in Semenyih. It looks like Thai durian but its taste and texture are very much of a Malaysian variety.
The durians were creamy, sweet and tasty, and richly yellow in colour.
Sweet and juicy cempedak.
I’d like to think that our Musang King, black thorn or red prawn varieties are more outstanding but then, the comparison may be unfair because I only tasted the few available fruits. So, it would be more appropriate for me to make comparisons during peak season in Darwin.
It was an enriching experience nonetheless, since most Malaysians would never fathom durians to be growing healthily Down Under.
According to Siah, their main customers are Asians, especially Malaysians, Singaporeans, Indonesians, Filipinos and Vietnamese, who live in the main Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Pleasingly, the family knew where to locate retailers who could sell the durians from their farm.
“I think we’ve perfected the growing of durian in a non-tropical environment, which has been challenging in a place like the Northern Territory,” Siah said.
“We’ve worked out what nutrition is required and how to make sure the trees survive the dry season here. The colder weather hammers the tree and you sometimes think, ‘Why am I trying to grow durian here?,’ but when the season arrives, it’s a good reward,” he said, in an interview on the radio show, ABC Rural Country Hour recently.
Siah said that while his family would harvest several more tonnes of durian this year compared to 2017, it would still be very easy to sell the bumper crop.
“At the moment, we’re really only competing against frozen imports, so to produce fresh durian, which actually has a smell about it, we know that once consumers find it, there’s a real market for it.”
The HEW1 variety of durian is currently selling at A$27 (RM81.50) a kilogram, with the average durian weighing between 2kg and 4kg.
There is a growing demand for the King of Fruits in Australia, but the supply is limited because of a relatively smaller number of commercial growers, mostly from Queensland.
But Siah’s Lambell’s Lagoon farm has been getting the most exposure because of his clever use of social media, including a video he made which has garnered much traction. Regular updates by ABC Rural Country Hour has kept the fruit in the forefront of the minds of Australians, too.
His durians are still not ready for export, but don’t underestimate farmers like the Siahs in Australia.
Likewise, who would have thought that the Aussies could be selling mangoes by the truckloads, and better ones from what we get here, too?
The whacky hunt for the Australian durians was certainly worth this excursion, and certainly an eye-opening one. Unlike Malaysia, there are huge tracts of readily available land for farmers to grow these spiky fruits there.
I would hate to see the Kangaroo King “out run” the Musang King in the future, but hey, everything’s fair in the fight for the ultimate title of the King of Fruits.
Jackfruit and durian from the Siah family farm in Darwin.
Unicorn cake — istock.com/artoleshko pic via AFP
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 13 — Google has released the top-trending searches of 2018, an annual report that captures the Zeitgeist of the last 12 months.When it comes to food, consumers in the US were most interested in the unicorn cake, a natural segue from unicorn lattes and unicorn toast of years past.The recall of romaine lettuce in the US and Canada placed the salad green in second place, while the popularity of CBD gummies propelled the spiked confectionery to third place.Overall, the list is dominated by searches for keto recipes — pancakes, cheesecake and chili — as followers of the top-ranked diet of 2018 also turned to Google for ideas on how to indulge in their favourite foods without breaking the rules.Here are the top food-related searches of 2018 in the US:1. Unicorn cake2. Romaine lettuce3. CBD gummies4. Keto pancakes5. Keto cheesecake6. Necco Wafers7. Keto cookies8. Keto chili9. Keto brownies10. Gochujang — AFP-Relaxnews [...]
Google has released its annual Year In Search, which reveals the top...
The post Google Malaysia’s Most Popular Search Term in 2018 was ”World Cup” appeared first on Marketing Magazine Asia. [...]
Lindsay Gasik has been living in Malaysia and travelling around the region for about six years, but she still gets curious looks from locals wherever she goes – and it’s not because she’s Caucasian.
It’s because she’s a durian expert who conducts tours in Malaysia and around Southeast Asia for those who love the fruit and want to devour the different varieties.
“People always think I’m just a tourist and they want to know when I’m going home, but I don’t feel I have a home,” says the 29-year-old.
Since she arrived in Asia in 2012, Gasik has been living out of her backpack, going from one country to the next on her durian trail. Her blog, yearofthedurian.com/blog, has a wealth of information about the fruit with tantalising photos to boot!
It all started in 2009 at a vegan food fair in her hometown of Central Point in Oregon, United States.
“I transitioned to a vegan diet in 2007 but I was experiencing some health issues, and it so happened there was a vegan festival in my hometown and I decided to check it out.
“When I got there, there was this weird smell wafting through the festival grounds. I didn’t think it was bad but it wasn’t something I’d tried before. I couldn’t figure out what it was,” she shares.
“I asked people about it and found out it was from this fruit, the durian. The people I spoke to described it as some ‘magical’ fruit that would change my life and open my chakras. I wasn’t sure about that, but it made me very curious about the fruit.”
Gasik has done extensive research about durian for her blog, yearofthedurian.com. Photo: Lindsay Gasik
And so began Gasik’s hunt for durian. She found frozen durians at a Chinese grocery store and she fell in love with the creamy, rich flavour of the fruit. “I had never tasted anything like it. It was so different, and I needed to understand it,” she says.
Oregon was facing a recession at the time and Gasik, who’d just graduated from university, couldn’t find a job. Her father suggested that she travel for a year until the economic situation got better.
“I wasn’t interested in the usual tourist attractions, but when my father suggested I travel I decided to track down this fruit,” she says. That brought her to Indonesia, and then other countries in Asia where she has been for the most part since.
“I found out through online research that durians were in season in Sumatra, so I booked a ticket to the biggest city and just asked a lot of questions and found my way to some farms. It was a lot of luck actually, but I had to overcome my shyness and start talking to people,” she shares.
Gasik charted her travels and experiences with durian on her blog, which was meant to be a journal for her family and friends to know what she was up to. What she didn’t expect was for her blog to gain traction among durian lovers.
“One day I looked at the analytics for my blog and realised I got about 1,000 views daily. I was getting emails from people asking me questions about where I was going next and asking me if they could go with me.
“I realised then that my blog was sort of a resource for people and I thought, this could be my purpose,” says Gasik, who has travelled to 13 countries including Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines,
Gasik’s blog is now a well-known resource for durian fans keen on hunting down the best fruits and trying the varieties that are specific to different countries. She has extensive knowledge about the “king of fruits”, which she has gained from conversations with farmers, horticulturalists and durian fans.
“My purpose is to help people find their best durian. If you tell me you want a durian that’s sweet and dry, I will find it for you. I think of myself as sort of a durian sommelier,” she says.
Gasik with a group of people she guided on a tour in Thailand. Photo: Lindsay Gasik
Apart from her durian tours, Gasik also writes about durian and her travels for magazines and online sites, and gives presentations about durians too – how to choose a fruit, how to open one and where to find a durian to suit a person’s taste preference.
“I get tired of eating it sometimes, but I love learning about the fruit and the people. It’s about meeting and learning from people, particularly farmers. Comparing the fruit in every country, learning about the people and how they experience flavours – that’s what’s really interesting.
“It was never just about tasting the fruit but a way of exploring a bigger topic,” she explains.
In early 2018, Gasik wrote a book, The Durian Tourist’s Guide To Penang, which focuses on the varieties of durian in Penang, featuring 65 farms in the state and a pictorial identification of about 25 varieties.
“I’m currently working on another book – telling the stories of all the durians in Malaysia. I’m also trying to work with local guides to see how I can combine nature and cultural tours with a durian tour,” she says.
Gasik’s tours are gaining traction among tourists from all over the world, which keeps her busy throughout the year. “There are a lot more people into exploring places in a different way, and that’s really cool,” she says.
(Also read: Off The Beat: In search of the rare and elusive Durian Kura Kura) [...]
DUNGUN: The body of a robbery suspect who fell into Paka River while being chased by police personnel on Friday was found at 11.30am, but a policeman who had also fallen into the river during the pursuit has yet to be found.
Dungun District Police chief Supt Baharudin Abdullah said the suspect was found by a rescue team about 300m from the search site at Kampung Durian Mentangau near Paka here.
"The suspect's body was found stuck on a tree branch at the river bank and was sent to the Dungun Hospital for a post-mortem.
"The search and rescue operation to find the second victim, Constable Wan Mohd Arif Wan Yahya, 28, will continue," he told reporters here today.
The incident occurred at about 8.30pm on Friday, when the police were chasing the suspect who was involved in a robbery earlier this month.
Baharudin said today's operation began at 7 am, and involved 73 officers and members of the police force, Fire and Rescue Department Malaysia (JBPM) and the Malaysian Civil Defence Force.
"The services of two tracking dogs from the Putrajaya Fire and Rescue Department's K9 Unit were also used today," he said.
Meanwhile, Wan Mohamad Arif's sister, Suraya, 32, said the family had not given up hope on finding the former.
"In the morning, I brought water that had been blessed with recitations and prayers to be poured into the river as an alternative (Islamic) effort to find my brother, but even before I could open the lid of the bottle, I suddenly heard a sound akin to that of a balloon exploding, and the dead body of a man suddenly appeared before me.
"I thought it was the body of my brother, as he was also wearing a grey shirt (at the time he fell into the river), but alas, it was the body of the suspect," said Suraya, who fainted when she saw the dead body emerge. — Bernama [...]