Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson : 1958-2009

LOS ANGELES, June 26 – Pop giant Michael Jackson, who took to the stage as a child star and set the world dancing to exuberant rhythms for decades, died on Thursday after being taken ill at his home. He was 50.Jackson was pronounced dead at about 2.26pm PDT (5.26am Malaysian time) after arriving at a Los Angeles hospital in full cardiac arrest, said Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.

The cause of death was not known and an autopsy would likely take place on Friday, he said.Jackson’s sudden death had been reported earlier by US media, which said he was taken ill at his Holmby Hills home and rushed to the hospital by paramedics who found him not breathing when they arrived.There was no immediate comment from spokespersons for Jackson, who was known as the “King of Pop,” for hit albums that included “Thriller” and “Billie Jean.”

Outside the hospital in Los Angeles about 200 fans and reporters gathered on Thursday, waiting for confirmation of Jackson’s death or condition.Some fans were crying and hugging each other, and others were climbing atop fences to get a better look at a microphone stand where a news conference was supposed to take place.He had been scheduled to launch a comeback tour from London next month.The entertainment website TMZ said that “We’re told when paramedics arrived, Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back.”

Earlier, the Los Angeles Times said the singer had been rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital by fire department paramedics.The newspaper said paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene before taking him to the UCLA Medical Center hospital.
Known as the “King of Pop,” for hits that included “Thriller” and “Billie Jean,” Jackson’s dramatic, one-gloved stage presence and innovative dance moves were imitated by legions of fans around the world.He transformed music videos and his lifetime record sales tally is believed to be around 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards he received, made him one of the most successful entertainers of all time.But Jackson’s belief that “I am Peter Pan in my heart”, his preference for the company of children, his friendship with a chimp, his high-pitched voice and numerous plastic surgeries also earned him critics and the nickname “Wacko Jacko.”
Jackson, who had lived as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation, had been scheduled to launch a comeback tour from London, starting July 13 and running until March 2010. The singer had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months.The shows for the 50 London concerts sold out within minutes of going on sale in March.His lifetime record sales tally is believed to be around 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards he received, makes him one of the most successful entertainers of all time.
He lived as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation.
There were concerns about Jackson’s health in recent years but the promoters of the London shows, AEG Live, said in March that Jackson had passed a 4-1/2 hour physical examination with independent doctors.

Child star to megastar

Jackson was born on Aug. 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. Five Jackson boys – Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael – first performed together at a talent show when Michael was 6. They walked off with first prize and went on to become a best-selling band, The Jackson Five, and then The Jackson 5.Jackson made his first solo album in 1972, and released “Thriller” in 1982, which became a smash hit that yielded seven top-10 singles. The album sold 21 million copies in the United States and at least 27 million worldwide.
The next year, he unveiled his signature “moonwalk” dance move while performing “Billie Jean” during an NBC special.In 1994, Jackson married Elvis Presley’s only child, Lisa Marie, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1996. Jackson married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children, before splitting in 1999. The couple never lived together.Jackson has three children named Prince Michael I, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, known for his brief public appearance when his father held him over the railing of a hotel balcony, causing widespread criticism.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Media abuzz over Kuan Yew's multi-state visit- The Straits Times

Two veteran politicians, Menteri Besar Kelantan Dato Nik Aziz gave thumbs up on his meeting with Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng who is also DAP secretary general welcomed Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew who is also PAP founder to his office in Komtar building in Penang.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has set the Malaysian media abuzz, especially in the Chinese press and blogosphere, since his arrival for his first visit to the country in four years. Chinese papers such as the mass-selling Sin Chew Daily have given him substantial coverage daily, since he arrived on Monday to attend a dialogue and receive an award at the International Air Transport Association's annual general meeting here.
The next day, Sin Chew placed a picture of him meeting MCA leaders prominently on its front page.

The Chinese media has been tracking the calls he has made to different national leaders, and devoted significant column space to his visit. The Malay and English media, however, have been more muted. There was no coverage in the English daily New Straits Times, or in Malay papers Berita Harian and Utusan on Lee's first day in Malaysia. Subsequent coverage was also less extensive than that in the Chinese papers.

Lee has not made a multi-state Malaysian visit in years, and part of the Chinese media's enthusiasm stems from this fact. They pointed out that the last time he visited states outside of Kuala Lumpur was in 1989, when he was still Singapore's prime minister. That time, he went to Penang and Kedah. One Sin Chew Daily commentator felt that Lee had chosen this time to visit Malaysia because the country was going through drastic political change. Praising Lee's intelligence and experience in leading Singapore, he wrote: “Malaysia's leaders should learn from him how to manoeuvre out of the current political crisis.”

But another commentary in the Oriental Daily noted that Lee's visit also evoked unhappy memories of the spats between Malaysia and Singapore when he and former Prime MinisterTun Dr Mahathir Mohamad were leading their respective countries. Such historical baggage did not escape the attention of Malaysia's influential blogosphere too, which viewed Lee's visit with less fervour. While some netizens praised Lee's leadership of Singapore, others viewed his arrival with suspicion.

Former New Straits Times editor Datuk Kadir Jasin questioned the special treatment that Lee has been getting, likening it to that of a “Chinese emperor”. Kadir and other bloggers were clearly unhappy with the fact that Lee was meeting many Malaysian leaders.
“Why should Lee Kuan Yew visit Malaysia? And why is he allowed to meet so many leaders? Will a senior politician from Malaysia be allowed to meet Malay leaders, opposition and so on when he visits Singapore?” wrote one blogger. — The Straits Times