The US President Is Finally Coming To Malaysia After 48 Years.

President Barack Obama will be making a historic trip to Malaysia from 26 April 2014 to 28 April 2014. US president Barack Obama has arrived in Malaysia for a three-day historic visit that is hoped to strengthen relations between the two countries to a ‘comprehensive partnership’. Obama, arriving in the Air Force One at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) airbase in Subang at 5pm Saturday, becomes the second US president to visit Malaysia after 48 years.

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The 44th US president is due to meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara, where a state banquet is to be held tonight. The last sitting president in an official state visit Malaysia was Lyndon Johnson in 1966 to rally support for the US war in Vietnam. The visit is viewed by Putrajaya as one that will continue to build good rapport between the countries on areas such as “economy, security and people-to-people relations”. However, Obama is also facing pressure on areas such as human rights, democracy and religious issues.

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First Lady Michelle will not be accompanying Obama, who was initially scheduled to visit Malaysia last October. The trip was postponed due to the budget standoff in Washington.

Mr Obama’s visit to the Muslim-majority country comes amid anti-US sentiment stoked by wild speculation in the government-controlled media over the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. This is despite the fact that US agencies have helped search for the plane and assisted the criminal investigation into the cause of its disappearance.

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The government-owned Utusan Malaysia newspaper last month published a report claiming the US was involved in the plane’s disappearance in an elaborate plot to damage ties between Malaysia and China. The government took several days to refute the claim.

US officials said Friday that Obama did not plan to see Anwar while he is in Kuala Lumpur, marking the first visit by a sitting US president to the Southeast Asian nation in nearly half a century. They did not rule-out a lower level meeting.

US national security advisor Susan Rice said while Obama was unlikely to meet Anwar “there may be other engagements at other levels” without elaborating.

p/s: thanks for visiting my country, god bless you 🙂

Screen Sirens

Filmmaker, Tan Chui Mui sits down to discuss their achievements and aspirations.

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From her humble beginnings in Kampung Sungai Ular in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia, award-winning director Tan Chui Mui is now a mainstay fixture in the indie film circuit, both locally and abroad. A decade ago, her debut feature Love Conquers All nabbed the New Currents award in Pusan and the Tiger award in Rotterdam. Together with pioneering art house filmmakers James Lee and Amir Muhammad, her works shine as the centerpiece of Malaysia’s modern cinema movement.

Growing up in a small fishing village, Mui had no access to the independent film world. Instead, she resorted to trips to the local video rental store to spark her imagination, which today, translates marvelously onto film. When asked if there was a defining film that shaped her early filmmaking ambitions, she makes a surprising confession: “I gathered inspiration from things I read rather than from watching movies. I actually wanted to be writer more than film director.”

Although, her full-length features have brought her a considerable amount of recognition, Mui still prefers making short films. “When I make short films, there is no commercial obligation. There is no pressure to show in cinema, so you can see it as a personal exercise or experiment to try new things,” she explains. Like most screenwriters, she has a certain way of working. We learn that when writing a script she often writes the ending first and tries to isolate herself from real world distractions. “Sometimes I go to a chalet on some secluded island like Cherating or Tioman for two weeks with no contact from the outside world,” she says. “Although I am not always successful, but you have to try out different ways of working.”

For Mui, growing up in a small town had its limitations, but it served as a rich drawing ground for inspiration in the later part of her career. Her first feature length film, Love Conquers All, tells the story of a small town girl who travels to Kuala Lumpur in search for brighter horizons only to lose herself in the glare of the city lights, while her second feature length film, The Year Without Summer, was shot entirely in her hometown of Pahang. Evidently, as director, she is at her best oscillating between past and present, where her directorial guidance always produces wonderful, compelling narratives about growth and redemption.

AirAsia Apologises For Its “Sarcastic” MH370 Article After Social Media Backlash

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AirAsia has apologised over an article published on its in-flight travel magazine travel 3sixty April edition, which appeared to be sarcastic towards the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight.

The issue first came to light when a passenger flying aboard an AirAsia flight photographed the page and posted it on the microblogging site yesterday, before accusing the airline of being managed by “arrogant douchebags”. The article in question drew criticism among netizens yesterday after a passenger posted this photograph

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The last paragraph read: “Pilot training in AirAsia is continuous and very thorough. Rest assured that your captain is well prepared to ensure your plane will never get lost.”

In a statement here, AirAsia executive chairman and Travel 3Sixty’s publisher Datuk Kamarudin Meranun apologised for the slight and said that copies of the magazine have been removed from all AirAsia flights.

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His full statement:
“With deep regret and remorse I would like to sincerely apologise for any offense caused by the Pilot’s Perspective article in the latest issue of Travel 3Sixty magazine. The section is a monthly column on aviation written by Capt Lim Khoy Hing, a retired pilot who formally worked with AirAsia as well as Malaysia Airlines and has written books on aviation industry. As a monthly contributor, Capt Lim prepares all of his articles months in advance before the magazine goes to print. Unintentionally and regrettably, the current issue carries an article that discusses GPS and Radar, which was printed a month before its issue date.”

Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Founder and Group CEO, also tweeted his profound apologies on the issue.

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