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Saturday, September 09, 2006
MORE Pics-HEAVY RAINS -> 24 VEHICLE PILE UP & MASSIVE FLOOD in SHAH ALAM; 17 Cars, 4 Lorries & 3 Buses at 265.7 Km-NILAI SEREMBAN HIGHWAY
The Bus Driver prefered to land on the drain rather than smashed up the heavy vehicle in front
The heavy downpour in the afternoon caused a 24 vehicle smash up along the Nilai Seremban Highway at about at 265.7 km.Four cars were initially involved in the accident due to poor visibility and this resulted in other vehicles that were following too close and too fast to smash on.A bus avoided the pile up and landed on the drain by the side of the highway.
The worst affected vehicle seems to be a Merc traveling at high speed with the front and back portions properly crushed in. Several passengers in the 4 vehicles were admitted to the Tuanku Jaafar hospital in Seremban for treatment.
The Mercedes at high speed was properly crushed in the front and back and its sturdy design prevented the occupants from much injury
The hold up took the police almost 3 hours to clear the affected stretch and caused an almost 20 km massive traffic jam with vehicles inching along one side of the highway.. ABOVE & BELOW:Another smash-up at 60-70 km/hr?
ABOVE & BELOW:This Kancil that "kiss and tell" at low speed
ABOVE: An old wira with little damage at low impact and BELOW: The traffic policeman can only watch the jam as the vehicles on opposite lanes are slowing down to have a closere look of the pile up
---------------------------------------------- Meanwhile the downpour in the KlangValley caused floods atShah Alam’s Tun Dr Ismailvery similar to what happened in the beginning of the year.So it will be another weekend of frustration to the residents affected. After the rains, and with Sungai Damansara clogged up, it will take a while for the flood waters to subside
These cars escaped the higher flood wsters which rose to 1 m in some areas The Sungai Damansara overflowed its banks and the NKVE at 9km near Bukit Jelutong was badly affected. The Bukit Rajah Toll and the Shal Alam Toll was closed at the height of the floods. ABOVE: By nightfall, the Shah Alam underpass is still impassable to light vehicles and BELOW: The long queue of vehicles waiting for their turns to move on the outer lane ---------------------------------------------
And in KL, the flash floods are a common occurance whenever it pours in those roads near the rivers. But when the floods are above .2m, one must parked besides the roads and wait
And in the Kuala Lumpur city the roads affected are Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan LookYew, Jalan Chan Sow Lin and Kampung Pandan.These roads have rivers flowing nearby.
BELIEVE it or NOT: announcing this when confronted with latest flooding
Datuk Seri Samy Veluthe Works Minister has on Saturday announced that the Cabinet has given the nod to DEEPEN Sungai Damansarato alleviate the frequent flooding at 9km NKVE causing hardship to Klang Valley motorists. The National Resources and Environmental Minister is involved and responsible.
He has directed PLUS to submit a full report on the latest flooding and an immediate action plan to end the flooding
MAHATHIR's DDay to Political ISOLATION; 50-50 he Predicts; APPEALS: WITHDRAW Contest; FRONT Seat Better; NAZRI: NO Humiliation, a DOSE of his Medicine
UPDATE: Sep 09 06; The verdict is out
Dr M Fails In Bid To Be Kubang Pasu Umno Delegate;Sept. 09, 2006
JITRA, Sept 9 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamadfailed in his bid to get elected as a delegate of the Kubang Pasu Umno division to the Umno General Assembly in November.
The former prime minister, who garnered 227 votes, came in ninth of the 15 candidates who contested for the seven elected delegates. The results were announced at by the Alor Star Umno division head Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanifah who was the Kedah Umno liaison committee representative.
The moment the results were announced, many observers walked out of the meeting hall and some were visibly unhappy with the results. Dr Mahathir was not at the hall when the results were announced. He is believed to have returned to Kuala Lumpur. ABOVE:Tun Dr Mahathir arriving in the morning being greeted by his loyal supporters BELOW: Seating in the front during the opening but at the back as observers during the meeting
In the morning, Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, were seated at the guest seat during the opening of the meeting by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid. They moved to the observers seat at the back of the meeting hall when the meeting started at . ABOVE: A section of the delegates at this historical meeting and BELOW: The Timbalan Ketua & Naib Ketua
Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah left the hall at about and are believed to have returned to Kuala Lumpur after cancelling their visit to Langkawi.
Delegates casting their votes
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir's son, Datuk Mukhriz, who received 289 votes, emerged fifth and was among the division's seven elected delegates to the three-day assembly.
The Kubang Pasu Umno delegates conference hogged the limelight when Dr Mahathir, who is also former Umno president, offered to contest as a delegate.
Kubang Pasu Umno Calls For Dr M And Abdullah To Resolve Differences; September 09, 2006
JITRA, Sept 9 (Bernama) -- Kubang Pasu Umno chief Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum took the opportunity of the presence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the division's delegates conference Saturday to urge the former prime minister and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resolve their differences amicably.
He said his call was in line with the established party tradition to resolve problems through negotiations.
Their differences did not augur well for Umno as they could erode the strength and harmony in Umno and the Opposition would surely take advantage to "fish in troubled waters."
"I don't think we are prepared to ruin the party merely due to differences of opinion, we should return to the basics in party politics and abide by the philosophy of our forefathers who gave priority to Umno and its struggles," he said when opening the division's delegates conference by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
Dr Mahathir, who helmed the division for 30 years, is vying for one of the division's seven elected delegates to the Umno General Assembly in November.
Mohd Johari, who was former political secretary to Dr Mahathir and Abdullah, said Kubang Pasu Umno wants to be the role model of moderation and not extreme in the issue of the two leaders.
"While we take the stance to hold Dr Mahathir in high regard as an Umno stalwart and statesman, we must also support Abdullah as the prime minister and Umno president.
"While we accept Abdullah as the successor shown by Dr Mahathir himself, it is appropriate for us to give our full support to his leadership. We must stand firmly with Abdullah," he said.
Mahdzir, in his speech, stressed on the unity among Umno members as the party was the government's backbone and the platform for Malay struggles.
Malaysia's Mahathir fails key test of support in ruling party
By SEAN YOONG Associated Press Writer; Sep 9, 7:35 AM EDT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad failed a key test of his support Saturday, as ruling party members in his home state rejected his bid to become a delegate who can address the party's annual congress.
The defeat marks a dramatic blow for Mahathir, who has accused Malaysia's current leadership of trying to prevent him from voicing grievances against the government during the United Malays National Organization's general assembly in November.
Mahathir will be invited to the UMNO congress as the party's former president, but he wants to be able to give a speech - a right typically reserved for top current office-bearers and delegates representing UMNO's nearly 200 local divisions.
Roughly 470 UMNO members in Mahathir's former parliamentary constituency, Kubang Pasu in the northern state of Kedah, cast ballots Saturday to choose seven delegates from a roster of 15 candidates, including Mahathir and his son, Mukhriz.
Even though Kubang Pasu had been considered Mahathir's political stronghold since the 1970s, Mahathir only came in ninth at Saturday's election, obtaining votes from just 227 members, officials announced. Mukhriz made the cut, ranking fifth among the top seven vote-winners.
In a speech, Kubang Pasu's UMNO division chief Johari Baharum urged Mahathir to settle his grievances with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, stressing that no one should "ruin the party merely due to differences of opinion."
Mahathir, 81, who retired in 2003 after 22 years in power, attended the gathering, but left nearly two hours before the results were announced.
Mukhriz said he informed his father of the result, and that they both were disappointed.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak has denied any attempt to manipulate the vote. However, senior UMNO officials earlier urged Mahathir to abandon his plan to become a local delegate, saying the position is unworthy of his stature as a former premier.
Mahathir has said if he isn't elected, UMNO leaders could claim his influence has dwindled and that his current opinions have failed to resonate with members.
In recent months, Mahathir has launched stinging criticism of Abdullah, his hand-picked successor, accusing him of mishandling national interests and of allowing his family to influence his decisions.
Abdullah and Cabinet ministers have dismissed Mahathir's criticism and warned that UMNO should avoid unnecessary debate that could split the party, which has led the government for nearly 50 years.
Mahathir first expressed displeasure last year by accusing the government of not protecting the national car maker, which he had championed. He stepped up attacks after Abdullah scrapped plans this year for a new bridge between Malaysia and Singapore, which Mahathir proposed.
Saturday September 09 2006 is the Doomsday for Tun Dr Mahathir in his fight to be a delegate to the UMNO’s General Assembly in November.With the government machinery fully stacks against him and the perception of the people changing; he rated his own chances as 50-50 of being elected.But he would like to play the underdog and might still spring a surprise as there are still many sympathizers within his old constituency.
Playing up all his fears, being unwanted and allegations that PM Abdullah mistakes are harmful to the country, he is appealing to the sentiments of the people in his old constituency.A local sympathetic website Mykmu.net has a poll giving him 92% being elected. And his fate is sealed by 509 members from 143 branches who are attending the division's delegates meeting.
Dr Mahathir's Place Is With VIPs Not Delegates, Says Wanita Umno; September 08, 2006
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as a former Umno president, should sit in the VIP seat and not with the delegates at the party's general assembly, Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said Friday.
She said Dr Mahathir had been given a special seat in keeping with his status. "The way Wanita Umno sees it, it's not nice for an ex-president who is given a special seat at the assembly (to sit with the delegates).
"Normally, the former presidents are invited as special observers. That's what we normally do, that's our tradition," she told reporters when asked to comment on Dr Mahathir's intention to contest to be a Kubang Pasu delegate to the Umno general assembly in November.
Rafidah, who was met after chairing the Wanita Umno exco meeting here, said, however, it was up to Dr Mahathir to decide. "Secondly, it is up to the Kubang Pasu Umno division to decide on the matter," she added.
Dr Mahathir, who on Aug 23 announced his intention to be a delegate for Kubang Pasu, has received 15 nominations and is among 17 candidates vying for the seven delegates' seats. His position will be decided by 509 members from 143 branches who are attending the division's delegates meeting Saturday.
Rafidah also said that as of June this year, Wanita Umno had 1.335 million members including over 10,000 new members registered in the last six months. She said that besides the membership drive and efforts to strengthen the movement, the exco meeting also discussed efforts to explain the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the initiatives in the 2007 Budget to the people
Kubang Pasu Umno Advised To Vote Against Dr M To Safeguard His Status; September 08, 2006
KUALA KRAI, Sept 8 (Bernama) -- Two Umno state liaison committee chairmen have advised Kubang Pasu Umno division membersagainst voting for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a delegate at the party general assembly in November.
Johor Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and his Kelantan counterpart Datuk Seri Annuar Musa concurred that it would not be appropriate for the former prime minister to be seated among the delegates at the general assembly after having held the reins of the party for a long time.
They felt that Dr Mahathir should continue to be regarded in high esteem.
"Make the best decision this Saturday and I believe Kubang Pasu Umno members will place Tun Dr Mahathir in his present status," Abdul Ghani, who is also Johor Menteri Besar, told reporters after opening the Kuala Krai Umno division delegates meeting here.
Annuar said he was against the election of Dr Mahathir as a delegate for Kubang Pasu because if the former prime minister was elected, it would affect the morale of party members. "I feel Umno members want to see Tun occupy a front seat as a distinguished guest at the general assembly and not as a delegate," he added.
Abdul Ghani said Umno Johor would share the secret behind its untainted unity with Kelantan Umno to pave the way for the Barisan Nasional (BN) to wrest control of the state from PAS in the next general election.
He said that by returning BN to power, the problems in the state, such as poverty, could be solved.
Final Appeal To Dr Mahathir To Withdraw Candidacy As Umno Delegate; September 07, 2006
JITRA, Sept 7 (Bernama) -- With one more day to go before the Kubang Pasu Umno division delegates meeting, its head Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum has made a final appeal to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to withdraw his candidacy as a delegate to the Umno general assembly in November. Johari said he had sent a letter to the former party president and former prime minister urging him not to take part in the contest on Saturday for it would not be appropriate for him as a statesman.
"This is a final appeal before the divisional delegates meeting on Saturday. I humbly make this appeal to Tun," he said while keeping his emotion in check at a press conference that was attended by most of the division's committee members. Although the former prime minister was not barred from contesting, he said the division hoped that he would withdraw to safeguard his image.
Mohd Johari said he had high regard for Dr Mahathir who had headed the division for 30 years. "We have not asked anything from Tun. We just want to appeal to Tun," he said. When asked what if Dr Mahathir ignored the appeal, Mohd Johari said: "It's his right. If he wants to contest, we will not stop him. But I'll be sad," he said.
Mohd Johari, who is also Deputy Internal Security Minister, said Dr Mahathir, who had received 15 nominations, was among 17 candidates vying to be seven elected delegates to the Umno general assembly.
No Attempt By Umno To Block Dr M; September 07, 2006
BANGI, Sept 7 (Bernama) -- Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Thursday denied that there was an attempt by the party to block its former president, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, from becoming a delegate to the Umno general assembly in November.
"There is no attempt by Umno to block him," he told reporters after launching the Inland Revenue territorial army corps at the MalaysiaTaxAcademy here.
Najib was asked to comment on Dr Mahathir's recent allegation on the matter. Dr Mahathir's candidacy as a delegate will be decided at the Kubang Pasu Umno annual meeting this Saturday.
INTERVIEW - Malaysia's Mahathir faces political isolation
By Mark Bendeich Fri Sep 8, 2006 3:23 PM IST
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Mahathir Mohamad, the face of Malaysian politics for a generation, is no longer sure of winning more than a few hundred votes in his home state.
Mahathir, who ruled the country with a firm hand for 22 years, conceded on Friday that he faced defeat at the weekend in one of the smallest contests the ruling party has to offer. "It's 50-50," the 81-year-old told Reuters, when asked his chances of winning.
Mahathir wants his division of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) -- a group numbering about 500 members -- to elect him on Saturday as a delegate to its annual assembly, so he can use the meeting to air grievances about the government.
Mahathir, who retired from politics in late 2003, emerged from quiet retirement this year to launch scathing criticisms of his chosen successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, accusing the current administration of selling out sovereignty and lacking "guts".
He is upset at recent decisions to scrap major state projects conceived during his reign and says he wants to explain his position at the assembly, a move that could deepen splits within UMNO and embarrass Abdullah, the party president.
"I want to point out the mistakes that he made that's harmful to the country. The rest is up to the party," Mahathir said in his office in Putrajaya, the still-unfinished administrative capital built by his government on old rubber-plantation land.
He denied he wanted to topple Abdullah.
"I have no means to topple him," said Mahathir, wearing a collarless Nehru suit, sitting at a large desk covered with hand-written notes and no computer.
Local blogs brim with talk that Mahathir wants to use the assembly to undermine and ultimately unseat Abdullah, who Mahathir accusesof betrayal, of ditching projects and policies that he had agreed to continue under the new administration. Business and foreign investors, too, have been rattled by the row, afraid of political instability. But as time goes by, they wonder if Mahathir has finally reached the end of the road.
"A BIT SAD" "They (the government) feel they are in control and Mahathir doesn't seem to be able to throw much at them, except complain of being a pariah, being pushed aside," said Ooi Kee Beng, a fellow of the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore. "People might feel a bit sad this old man has to end up like this."
Mahathir played on this sentiment on Friday, accusing the government of pressuring party members not to vote for him on Saturday, when UMNO's Kubang Pasu division meets in a public hall near his birthplace in the rural, northwest state of Kedah. "It's in order to humiliate me," he said. "It just shows how worried and frightened they are of what I have to say ... If I lose, then they will say that even my own division rejected me."
Abdullah has refused to engage in public debate with Mahathir, but one of his ministers, Nazri Abdul Aziz, has been vocal. Nazri denied on Friday the government was out to humiliate Mahathir or was forcing party members not to vote for him. "That's probably what he would have done when he was prime minister," Nazri told Reuters. "I think he's getting a piece of (his own) medicine for whatever he did to others when he was prime minister."
All around Mahathir, parts of his legacy are being chipped away and his reputation eroded, say his supporters. Mahathir's Putrajaya office overlooks an unfinished suspension bridge spanning a man-made lake but unconnected to any road. There are no construction crews, the site is abandoned -- a daily reminder of how work has stopped on Mahathir's dream.
The office is housed in his Perdana Leadership Foundation, a thinktank, which has become an isolated base for Mahathir supporters. Mahathir says the foundation has had to cancel some events because the government has stopped people from attending. Mahathir said he would not stop criticising the government if it succeeded in blocking his attempt to be a delegate at November's assembly. But he portrayed it as a lonely struggle, saying his years of strong support within UMNO had ended.
"No longer," said the man who only four years ago brought the party's assembly to tears by announcing his resignation. "Nobody sees me – and nobody can see me, nobody can talk to me, even civil servants. "I am alone," he added. (Additional reporting by Jalil Hamid) see the latest Post
INTEL CUTS 10,500 JOBS Worldwide in Sales, Marketing, Management; Not ENGINEERS; 10-15% in CHINA; SAVING $6 Billon to 2008; SHARES RATINGS: Buy & Sell
Intel Malaysia: No news is good news; no announcement
Intel Spokesman Mark Petinger;“The cuts will make Intel a more nimble and a more efficient company. This isn’t an activity to reduce the number of positions in Intel; we are also looking at how the Intel structure operates”
The latest round of job cuts was not as extreme but it showed management was moving in the right direction to save US$6 Billion by 2008. Locally the details are not available from Intel Malaysia which has a workforce of 10,000.
Most of the cuts in sales (not China) management, marketing and information technology workers, and no specific geographic regions
Intel spared the engineers but there will be a great deal of redeployment and mergers and rationalizations in many unproductive research departments
Though the shares drop slightly there are mixed reports of the shares ratings; Banc of America maintained a price target of $25 and a "buy" whilst Standard & Poor a “sell”.
Intel Corp.: underweight (Prudential Financial)
Intel Corp.: buy (Citigroup)
Intel to cut 10-15% of Chinese staff
Worldwide job-cuts at Intel Corporation are mainly concentrated in the Sales & Marketing Group (SMG). China is no exception, with 10 to 15 percent of staff expected to lose their jobs.
The future of Intel was announced this morning at an internal Webex meeting presided over by Paul Otellini, Intel's chief executive officer.
It is estimated that more than 100 employees will lose their jobs in China from the marketing sector. The sales department, on the contrary, will take on extra staff.
A senior official at Intel China revealed to the National Business Daily yesterday that some departments would be cut entirely and that others would be combined. Intel will cut out some of the non-essential or inefficient departments according to the suggestions of consultants. Some employees will lose their jobs or be transferred to other departments.
In the meantime, the company will be streamlined to enhance the efficiency of decision-making and implementation.
The Channel Platform Group, which was founded just last year, will be dropped from Intel's five groups (Mobility Group, Digital Enterprise Group, Digital Home Group, Digital Health Group and Channel Platform Group). The worldwide organizations of this group will be merged into the SMG.
Employees in the Shanghai region seem to have been prepared for this move. An anonymous staff member at Zizhu Science-based Industrial Park said that although his department had not announced a compensation scheme, some other departments had told their staff what would be happening.
Updated stock movement and added analyst comments.
Intel's plan to cut roughly 10,500 jobs will be an earnings boon for the semiconductor giant, according to a Wednesday report from Banc of America Securities.
"We believe that Intel's announced restructuring actions…bode well for Intel's earnings power once fully implemented," wrote Sumit Dhanda, an analyst for the research firm and the author of the report. "We view the stock as compellingly valued at current levels."
The headcount reduction, which will end by the second quarter of 2007, will boost earnings per share 24 cents in 2007, 12 cents in 2008 and two cents in 2009, according to Dhanda.
The plan, which was announced on Tuesday, will generate savings in costs and operating expenses of roughly $2 billion in fiscal 2007 and $3 billion in fiscal 2008. Moving forward, the analyst said Intel may spin off its NOR Flash business.
That might reduce the company's revenues, said Dhanda, but it would give its earnings-per-share a boost.
Banc of America maintained a price target of $25 and a "buy" rating on Intel. Not everyone was so positive, however.
David Kaplan, an analyst for Standard & Poor's Equity Research reiterated a "sell" recommendation on the company following the news.
"While we anticipated this cost reduction effort, we continue to expect further market share loss in the processor market and inventory writer offs," he said.
Indeed, over the past year, the company's margins have come under increased pressure from rival Advanced Micro Devices (nyse: AMD - news - people). For the quarter that ended in December of 2005, Intel posted revenues of $10.2 billion and an operating income of $3.1 billion. By the July 2006 quarter, however, revenue had dropped to $8 billion and operating income fell to below $1.1 million.
Shares of Intel were down slightly in Thursday pre-market trading.
Massive Intel cuts likely to hit Chinese workers By Liu Baijia (China Daily) Updated: 2006-09-07
Xiao Wang had been lucky: she got an offer from Intel China in April to work as a product manager after graduating from a top Canadian business school, while a dozen of her Chinese classmates are still searching for jobs now.
In July, she also narrowly survived a layoff storm, in which the senior manager who recruited her lost his job.
But now, she is deeply anxious, as the US chip giant is planning to cut its workforce by as much as 10 per cent in two years its largest layoff since 1985, when it sold the DRAM memory business.
Intel said yesterday that it would shed 10,500 jobs from its workforce of 100,250 at the end of last quarter, including 7,500 this year and another 3,000 next year.
"These actions, while difficult, are essential to Intel becoming a more agile and efficient company, not just for this year or the next, but for years to come," Paul Otellini, Intel President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.
The company said it was in a quiet period and suggested it would not reveal more details until it releases financial results on October 17.
The layoff will concentrate on management, marketing and information technology support functions, but will extend into manufacturing and product design units.
Nancy Zhang, a spokeswoman for Intel China, said she had no further details, as the announcement was only made globally.
However, analysts believe China is one area that will be heavily affected.
The channel platforms group, one of Intel's six business groups and the only business with its headquarters in Shanghai, has already merged with the sales and marketing groups.
The group was set up to design products to meet demands in different markets. Shanghai was picked to host the group, based on China's position as the world's largest manufacturing base for computers.
While that group and other units of Intel China launched a massive recruitment campaign at the end of last year, Intel Chinasuddenly suspended almost all positions involved.
Sources with Intel China said several hundred employees would be affected. Intel now has about 6,800 people in China, including staff at two testing and assembly plants.
A rapid expansion of business lines and a failure to pay enough attention to market changes are the major reasons behind Intel's historic layoffs.
Over the past three years, the company added more than 20,000 employees and established new business groups such as one for mobile phone chips and one for digital health.
Finding the funding was not a problem for the Intel of three years ago, which enjoyed an overwhelming dominance in the market and had a good cash flow. But competition, mainly from AMD, has eaten away at Intel's shares and profits, highlighting the importance of maintaining a lean and efficient organization.
In May and July, Intel launched two rounds of price wars with AMD and by the end of the second fiscal quarter on July 1, the company's revenue stood at US$8 billion, down 13 per cent, while operating income fell by as much as 60 per cent year-on-year to US$1 billion.
Statistics from the US Semiconductor Industry Association show the shipment of computers rose by 10 per cent in the second quarter over the same period of last year, but the average price of a laptop computer fell by 18 per cent due to competition.
Simon Ye, principal analyst of computer systems with the research house Gartner, said Intel's difficulties are related to the market trend.
Intel, famous for controlling computer makers with its technologies and marketing strategies, was focused on expanding into new territories such as mobile phones and maintaining the Moore's Law, which is named after one of Intel's founders and says the clock speed of a microprocessor doubles every 18 months.
However, it failed to pay attention to computer vendors' demand for another computer chips supplier and AMD's focus on new technologies in 64 bit computing and dual-core processors, which are especially useful in handling complicated enterprise computing, won the confidence of computer makers.
In contrast to Intel's financial performance, AMD's net sales rose by more than 50 per cent in the second quarter ending on July 2 at US$1.22 billion, while operating income grew by almost 23 per cent year-on-year.
Published: 09/07/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)
Intel unveils massive job cuts to save $6b by 2009
Reuters San Francisco: Intel is cutting 10,500 jobs, or about 10 per cent of its work force, as part of a plan to become more competitive against a resurgent Advanced Micro Devices.
The cuts, along with other cost-cutting measures stemming from a three-month top-to-bottom review of operations, would help the technology giant save $1 billion this year, $2 billion next year, and $3 billion in 2008, the chip maker said.
Intel shares fell 25 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $19.74 in extended trading following the announcement of the cuts, which were at the low end of the 9,000 to 15,000 jobs analysts expected would be shed.
Analysts have said Intel, the world's biggest microchip maker, needs to take drastic action to reverse sliding profits and halt steady market share gains by its far smaller rival, AMD that gathered steam in 2005.
"I am impressed by the magnitude of the cost savings in getting to $3 billion," said Doug Freedman, an analyst with American Technology Research. "The $3 billion is a welcome surprise and I'm sort of glad they can do it without cutting more people."
The cuts, Intel's largest in 21 years, include 1,000 managers Intel laid off in July and 2,000 workers in two business units that it sold over the past few months. Another 2,000 jobs will disappear through attrition.
"These actions, while difficult, are essential to Intel becoming a more agile and efficient company, not just for this year or the next, but for years to come," Chief Executive Paul Otellini said in a statement.
Intel said it would take a charge of $200 million in severance costs.
Highlighting Intel's recent difficulties, market research firm iSuppli said on Tuesday that its share of total microchip industry revenue hit a four-year low in the second quarter.
"Intel's recent actions show it understands the need to improve its efficiency and sharpen its focus on its core business of microprocessors and integrated circuits for computing systems," iSuppli Vice President Dale Ford said.
Keen to regain market share and the technological lead over AMD, Intel has slashed prices and revamped its entire line of microprocessors for desktop, laptop and server computers in recent months.
The latest round of job cuts was not as extreme as some scenarios discussed by analysts, such as jettisoning the company's flash memory chip business, but analysts said it showed management was moving in the right direction.
Most of the reductions will hit management, marketing and information technology workers, but they would not be concentrated in any specific geographic area, Intel said.
Freedman said the fact Intel was not shedding engineers was positive, though he expected it to divert some of them away from research efforts with few commercial prospects.
A Malaysian newspaper said that Intel would offer voluntary layoffs to up to 2,000 workers in that country, where the company has employed 10,000 people for assembly, packaging and testing.
Intel also has major operations in Israel, Ireland, and the US states of Oregon and Arizona.
Published: 09/07/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)
Middle East 'is where Intel's bread and butter business is'
By Ivan Gale, Staff Reporter
Dubai: Intel's announcement on Wednesday that it would cut more than 10,000 jobs worldwide will have minimal impact on its Middle East operations, according to a local analyst.
The 10 per cent cut in company staffing likely reflects Intel's desire to fall back and focus on its core businesses of microprocessors and PC-related equipment, said Mark Walker, director of business development for IDC Middle East and Africa.
"The focus here will not be on job cuts. This is where their bread and butter business is," he said. "My sense is that this will be more a US-based cutback." While the US is Intel's biggest market, "it is not necessarily its biggest future," he said.
Intel initiatives that could bear fruit in the region include the development of WiMAX long-range wireless broadband, a technology that could replace wired internet access. Intel has also established research and development centers in Cairo and Istanbul.
An Intel spokeswoman declined to comment.
Walker added that the company would probably trim away middle management positions, whereas Intel's Middle East personnel are mostly composed of sales and distribution. GoTo TOP (Main Page)
MORE Pics –MAT REMPIT on MERDEKA DAY; Putera Umno Use GOOD Ones to SPY on “Bad Apples”; New IGP Warns of NEGATIVE IMPRESSION in VMY 2007
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mahdzir Khalid mimicking a Mat Rempit riding his bike. On new year's eve he was busy counting the number of mat rempit on the road. “There were thousands of them, and I lost count,” in Kedah.
Despite the many reservations expressed (see STAR report – Mat Rempit Rebranding Futile) Putera Umno is proceeding with the plans to rehabilitate the Mat Rempit by arranging a range of activities in including an expedition to Teluk Batik in Perak.
The New Inspector- General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan cautioned that-- Illegal street races can give a negative impression of lawlessness in the country and can undermine inbound tourism in the Visit Malaysia Year 2007
MeanwhileUmno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak called on all quarters to assist Puteri Umno, as the party's newest wing and should be helped not criticized, so that it could continue to be a strong and important asset.
Even in UK, the delinquent’s problems are recognized (see below) and the blame is on single unmarried mothers.How many locals with single parents are also facing similar problems – raising the children alone without a full father?
Enahanced sequence image frames from Video clip showing the riding skilll of a Mat Rempit using his body weight to keep the machine in equilibrium
ABOVE: Clock wise: Going up, up the Whellie - 0.00 sec, 0.15 sec, 0.30 sec & 0.045 sec . Images from 24 frame/sec video clip
ABOVE TOP: Left after 2.00 sec and Right Maximun 2.15 sec
ABOVE: Bottom: Another expert night rider - Blind Wheelie Riding on a Bike wheeled for 2
No change in Mat Rempit plan; Thursday September 7, 2006
KUALA LUMPUR:Putera Umno will go ahead with its series of activities for Mat Rempit (illegal motorcycle racers), including a dialogue between 200 riders and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, despite criticism against it for associating with them.
Its chief Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said the meeting with Tan Sri Musa Hassan would be held very soon in the PoliceAcademy in Jalan Semarak.
“The dialogue will be open and they (Mat Rempits) are encouraged to ask any questions they may have. I view this as a positive sign because as far as I know, this sort of dialogue has never been done before,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Umno Youth headquarters at PWTC yesterday.
He also said the purpose of the dialogue was to forge a friendly relationship between Mat Rempits and the police.
The ultimate goal of Putera Umno is to make Mat Rempits the eyes and ears of the police and to report on the activities of rogue Mat Rempits,” he said. “Not all Mat Rempits are a menace to society. Mat Rempits have a bad reputation because of bad apples among them.”
He also said the other activity on the cards was a motor expedition from Kuala Lumpur to Teluk Batik, Perak, starting on Sept 9.
He added that a total of 7,000 participants, inclusive of pillion riders, were expected to take part in the two-day expedition. The Mat Rempits ready for a race at the Start after the Merdeka Celebtrations
“The participants will be involved in gotong-royong activities at mosques and community centres, and activities will also include a wheelie and reverse wheelie competition among the participants,” he said.
“The Mat Rempits will also contribute money to the Lebanon/Palestine fund; and this is one way towards developing positive attitudes among them.”
He said the flag-off ceremony would be held at Dataran Merdeka at and the riders were expected to reach Teluk Batik at the same day
Abdul Azeez said he would continue to reach out to the 20,000-over Mat Rempits despite the criticisms levelled at him. After the race, target practice with a traffic cone
He said although many did not agree with the wing’s plans to get the Mat Rempits to return to society’s mainstream, the efforts were beginning to show positive signs.
Abdul Azeez appealed to his detractors to give Putera Umno a chance to bring about changes to the mindset of the Mat Rempits, whom he said were loyal in every aspect of character although they were treated as social outcasts.
He added that he admired the solidarity among Mat Rempits and, if harnessed, they could be an asset to Putera Umno.
And the police were at hands to summon a few caught
Illegal Street Races A Negative Impact On Tourism, Says Deputy IGP; September 07, 2006
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 (Bernama) -- Illegal street races give the impression of lawlessness in the country and can undermine inbound tourism, Deputy Inspector- General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said Thursday.
He said foreign tourists could get the impression that Malaysian roads were unsafe and spread this message to others overseas.
The action of a small section of society that did not care for the safety of others could tarnish the image of the country, he said when opening a forum on problems of illegal racing at the PoliceAcademy in Cheras, here.
Musa hoped the forum would instill awareness among students who are also attending it on the dangers of illegal racing and the pertinent laws.
According to police statistics, 2,970 of the 3,182 people arrested for illegal racing between January and May this year were aged between 16 and 25 years.
On Wednesday's decision of the Cabinet for police to postpone the enforcement of the reduced quantum of fines for several types of traffic offences, which the Transport Ministry said it had not been informed about, Musa said police would abide by the decision.
Mat Rempit re-branding futile from STAR;Comment by Rohaizad A. Rahim
COME November, there will be an attempt by Putera Umno to change the image of the perceived terrors on the road, the Mat Rempit, and turn them to Mat Cemerlang,and hopefully, they will be reformed.
But whether this will be an exercise in futility remains to be seen. As a first step, Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaludin and Putera Umno chief Datuk Abdul Azeez Rahim mingled with more than 1,500 Mat Rempit at Dataran Merdeka during the weekend in the hope of bringing about these reforms.
Unfortunately, early Wednesday morning, a group of young motorcyclists went on a rampage in Jalan Medang Serai, Bangsar, smashing windscreens of vehicles just because a resident shouted at them for making noise. Don't blame the resident for yelling at them - it was !
So, how does Putera Umno think that the image of these Mat Rempitcan be redeemed? Going by the most recent incident, it is unlikely that people will lend support to those they perceive to be the scourge of society.
Azeez thinks he can, and plans to start by organising a carnival in November in an attempt to re-brand them from Mat Rempitto Mat Cemerlang. The movement also plans to organise the Mat Rempitinto clubs and have their activities regulated.
It is hoped the movement will do its homework before being overwhelmed by the task they have set upon themselves.
Point number one - theseMat Rempit, or illegal street racers, get their enthusiasm fuelled by defying authority. After all, why should so many of them gather in the wee hours of the morning (the gatherings are already illegal) and race among themselves on public roads, which is also against the law.
Secondly, the police, by way of Kuala Lumpur Traffic Operation and Enforcement chief DSP Tan Hiap Seng, had defined Mat Rempitas young motorcyclists showing off their riding skills and endangering themselves and others in the process.
Putera Umno should get the opinions of others before embarking on this reformation exercise.
For instance, the opinion of traffic police should be sought as they are familiar with the antics and shenanigans of these racers, what more with some of them sustaining near fatal injuries in the course of their duties.
Another good source are the people and motorists themselves. Who among us do not view Mat Rempit and other illegal racers on four wheels as a threat to our well being? Especially when we see a motorcyclist barrelling down the wrong way on a busy street just to escape the law.
Putera Umno's argument that it is difficult to stop the Mat Rempit from pursuing their interests needs clarification, especially when it is an established fact that their interest is racing on public roads, which is against the law.
Another point that requires clarification is that these Mat Rempit should not be viewed as a threat, and that the analogy used - if you can't beat them, join them - is way off mark.
There is also the point about things to be learnt from this group, such as their camaraderie. Yes, they have strong bonding among them, as residents in Jalan Medang Serai found out when vehicles were smashed for yelling to pipe down during the wee hours of the morning.
Perhaps a better option will be for the movement to work with authorities to overcome the problem.
Suggestions, such as getting the Mat Rempit licensed by the Road Transport Department will be a good start, but the more important aspect that needs to be addressed is how to educate them.
Getting streets closed so that they can race among themselves should not be considered at all. It will cause more harm and certainly give the country a bad name among tourists, both local and foreign.
And again, to legalise such races is tantamount to encouraging youths to risk life and limb for the sake of being a jaguh kampung.
Getting them organised into clubs is a good idea but how do you regulate illegal activities? Mat Rempit do it for fame, money, drugs and girls - can society afford this?
The other point of contention is whether their interests will remain if their activities were somehow legalised? A television station which interviewed these Mat Rempit not too long ago found out that it was the “rush” of breaking the law that fuelled their enthusiasm.
It is a difficult issue for Putera Umno to address. On paper, the movement's attempt to reach out to the youth in this sub-culture is good, but what people care about is the results.
What the movement should address is the anti-establishment attitude of Mat Rempitwhen it comes to respecting the law. It will do the movement no good if those they want to reach out to continue to flout the law.
Therefore, the movement should look into a comprehensive solution to the problem. A re-branding exercise sounds good, but it will remain just that.
Help, Not Criticise, Puteri Umno, Says Najib; September 03, 2006
UANTAN, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that Puteri Umno, as the party's newest wing, should be helped, not criticised, so that it could continue to be a strong and important asset.
The deputy prime minister said that despite being new, Puteri Umno had proven itself by playing an important role in Umno's success in the last general election and other by-elections.
"Puteri Umno is an important component in the party and its ability has been proven in the last general election and other by-elections.
"We must look into efforts to further strengthen Puteri Umno, especially at the grassroots level where some branches have insufficient members," he told reporters after opening the Paya Besar Umno division's delegates meeting here.
He was asked to comment on party secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad's comment Saturday that Puteri Umno was slacking in its membership.
Najib said the movement's contributions were very important to Umno's overall strength and they had succeeded in building a large section of the young generation in the country which supported the government, unlike in some countries where the young generation was anti-establishment.
However, being still young, they needed help because they too faced their own challenges, he said.
"They have certain needs and we must understand their situation and help, support and strengthen them instead of criticising them," he said.
rom NST Letters Put a brake on this dangerous activity; 04 Sep 2006 A.S. Bentong
I HAD the opportunity to celebrate the countdown to Merdeka with my family in Bentong.
I must congratulate the Majlis Perbandaran Bentong for the fireworks display, as well as the police who did a wonderful job directing traffic around the area.
However, my joy was marred by the multitude of Mat Rempit speeding down the main roads immediately after the fireworks ended.
They showed no concern for the pedestrians, weaving between people walking back to their cars.
One little accident could have caused a massive pile-up as the main road was packed with people, cars and the barbaric Mat Rempit who were noisy and rowdy.
I couldn't help but question the mentality of these youths. Have we really progressed as a nation in these 49 years? I think not.
By the way, where were the authorities that night? They did a splendid job before the countdown, but could hardly be seen after that.
A huge number of Mat Rempit could have been caught on that night alone.
Thousands of ‘mat rempit’ baffle MB;BY SIRA HABIBU
He did not join in the revelry for the countdown to the new year. Instead, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mahdzir Khalid was busy counting the number of mat rempit on the road.
(Mat rempit is a colloquial term for daredevils and illegal motor-cycle racers.)
“There were thousands of them, and I lost count,” said Mahdzir, who went patrolling with the police for four hours from New Year Eve to New Year Day.
Although he gave up counting them, Mahdzir vowed not to give up doing something to stop the mat rempit.
“We have a very serious social problem here and we need to address it through the community network,” he said.
Mahdzir suggested getting the views of district and kampung leaders so that all could work together to reach out to the illegal motor-cycle racers.
“The onus is also on the parents to control their children. We have to knock some sense into these mat rempit before they knock others and themselves down,” he said.
Mahdzir, 46, who was sworn in as the new Mentri Besar on Dec 28, said it was frustrating to watch the illegal racers performing their foolish stunts.
“Some were even riding on one wheel, others stood on their moving bikes with their hands raised in the air. Some even had their feet up in the air. The pillion riders were also doing all sorts of acrobatic stunts.
“I am sure most of them are not bad boys. Perhaps it is a form of escapism,” he said.
Mahdzir is planning to build a motorcycle racing circuit in Gurun to provide an avenue for mat rempit to compete without endangering others.
Drug addiction was another problem as “too many youths are involved.”
As a newcomer, Mahdzir is understandably full of zest to get things moving.
How far he can take Kedah on the path to prosperity is yet to be seen
For now, he is concentrating on ways to put a stop to illegal motorcycle racing.
On the administration front, he is taking bold steps to cut down expenses and enhance efficiency.
He plans to close down all the non-performing government-link-ed companies (GLCs) and merge the smaller GLCs.
On development plans, Mahdzir intends to take a more realistic ap-proach.
“I am extending the time frame to achieve the developed status to 2020 instead of the 2010 previously set.
“When we achieve a developed state status, we must make sure no Kedahan is left behind.
“We must eradicate poverty, en-sure that the people progress along with the state and enjoy a better quality of life,” he said.
PETALING JAYA: Local movie Remp-Itwas passed by the Censorship Board without any cut despite the apparent controversial scenes it contains.
According to producer David Teo, the film was submitted to the board for final editing before the digital sound and effects were incorporated.
“I asked their advice on which scenes would be deemed sensitive and they advised me to take out two scenes involving bohsia,” he said.
“I took them out and re-submitted the final print to the board. The film was then let through without any further cuts.”
Remp-It, released nationwide on Thursday, revolves around a gang of illegalmotorcycle racers whose lives are made up of a heady brew of sex, drugs and brawls.
It stars Farid Kamil, Zul Huzaimy, Aqasha, Cat Farish (of Ruffedge fame) and Julia Hana.
The movie received some unfavourable publicity when a local tabloid suggested the filmmakers had included too many saucy scenes.
Director Ahmad Idham said: “The cost of cutting a scene out of the film after it goes through digital sound formatting would have been too expensive. So I am grateful to the board for helping us filter it before we submitted the final print.”
The board could not be contacted at press time.
The “controversial” scenes include a woman clad in a towel, a man and woman in bed under a blanket, a bohsia seducing a man in bed and a couple frolicking at a picnic site.
The four “eye-popping scenes” – as the tabloid billed them – make up eight minutes of the 95-minute film.
Ahmad said: “These scenes need to be included in the film; they are not there just for publicity. You need to see the whole picture before passing judgment.”
“The film’s message is to show the life of a Mat Rempit (racer).
“Instead of saying ‘don’t do this’, I want to show the audience that this is their way of life and let the viewer decide what’s right and wrong,” he said.
Sun 3 Sep 06
Young mums fume at Blair plan to tackle tearaways
By Deborah Haynes
LONDON (Reuters) - Young, single mothers in London are fuming at comments by Prime Minister Tony Blair that their children run a high risk of turning into delinquents without help from the state.
It is unfair, they argue, to blacklist a child or even an unborn baby just because his or her parents are unwed teenagers rather than a well-to-do married couple.
A welfare expert agreed, saying that the remarks by Blair, who this week embarks on a regional tour to tackle "social exclusion", were probably made without proper consideration.
The prime minister said on Thursday that the government should intervene early -- possibly even before birth -- to stop the children of problem families growing up into troublemakers.
He singled out unmarried, teenage mothers who were not in a stable relationship as his prime target.
Victoria Clarke, 23, who lives in a local authority flat in southeast London, fell pregnant with her first baby when she was 17 and is expecting her third child in November.
Unmarried but in a long-term relationship with the father of her children, she ridiculed Blair's ideas.
"Tony Blair is talking rubbish. We have got more than enough experience to bring up our children properly," Clarke said, as she pushed Megan, aged five, and two-year-old Ronnie in a buggy.
"Some people have a good background and still grow up to take drugs," she said, emphasising that she tried to instil good values into her young family.
IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT PRIVILEGE
Her friend, Danielle Richards, also 23 and from southeast London, agreed. Richards -- like her mother before her -- became pregnant with her first child at 16 and now has two healthy girls with her long-term boyfriend.
"I think Tony Blair should try to look at himself. His own son got into trouble for drinking alcohol," she told Reuters.
Richards was referring to an incident in 2000 when the prime minister's oldest son, Euan, then aged 16, was arrested after a night of under-age drinking in London's West End.
"It is not all about coming from a privileged background," she said. "Sometimes, the tougher your upbringing the more you want your own kids to succeed."
A few hundred metres from where the two women were talking lies the sprawling Aylesbury Estate, home to some 8,000 people, many from deprived backgrounds and broken homes who would fall under the category of Blair's "dysfunctional" families.
In his BBC interview, Blair suggested teenage mothers could be required to accept state aid with bringing up their children and even face sanctions if they refused.
Cathie MacIver, health and education coordinator for Aylesbury New Deal for Communities (NDC), a government-sponsored programme to rejuvenate the Aylesbury Estate, disagreed with Blair's approach.
"I do feel that he may have made his remarks in a moment when he wasn't considering quite what he was saying because the message he sends out is somewhat shocking," MacIver said.
"Far from speaking in a negative way about our unmarried teenage mums we all ought to be taking a much more supportive line."
The NDC runs a number of projects in the community to promote better health, welfare and education, said MacIver.
Groups of young mothers with their children, for example, meet each week to learn how to cook simple nutritious meals.
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