Category: News

King of Pop Michael Jackson is dead – official (By Reuters)

26 June 2009
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Michael Jackson, the child star turned King of Pop who set the world dancing but whose musical genius was overshadowed by a bizarre lifestyle and sex scandals, died on Thursday. He was 50.

Jackson was pronounced dead at about 2:26 p.m. PDT (2126 GMT) 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 U.S. media, which said he was taken ill at his home and rushed to the hospital by paramedics who found him not breathing when they arrived.

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 next month.

Quincy Jones, who helped arrange the music on the album “Thriller” and produced the “Off the Wall” album, told MSNBC: “I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news.”

“For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words. I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”


Jackson had been due to start a series of concerts in London on July 13 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.

“Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson,” said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy in a statement.

“He was a true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim.”

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.

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.

“I hope he’s gone to God, and I hope that he’s free of all the troubles he’s been plagued with,” Tonya Blazer, 50, who said she had been a fan going back more than four decades to his days as a child star.

“I just feel like I’m paying tribute to him,” said Dawn Burgess, 42, a fan who said she had posters of Michael pinned to her bedroom wall when she was a child.


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.

New Yorkers and tourists in the city’s Times Square were shocked at the news of Jackson’s death.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s sad, it’s really, really sad,” said Nicole Smith, an 18-year-old student from Brooklyn, New York, in Times Square. “My mother was a fan. I listened to his music.”

“I’m shocked. I thought someone was lying to me when I first heard it. I was a fan from when he was a little boy and then he got weird,” said Sue Sheider, 51, a teacher from Long Island.

(Additional Reporting by Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles and Michelle Nichols in New York)

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

My Uncle Appeared in The Star!!!

2 February 2009
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Saturday, 24th January 2009

Yee sang for vegetarians

YEE Sang is usually available in several options. One can choose to have salmon, jellyfish, abalone or lobster.
But, at the Xuang Xi Chinese Restaurant in Best Western Premier Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur, guests can also opt for mixed fruit or seaweed yee sang.

“The mixed fruit and seaweed yee sang are specially prepared for vegetarians who do not take seafood,” said the hotel’s sous chef, Leong Keng Kit.

He said the mixed fruit yee sang used fruits such as Japanese pear, Fuji apple and green mango together with radish, pickled papaya, carrot, baby cucumber and ginger.

“We use only olive oil for the yee sang for health reasons,” he said.

According to him, yee sang is traditionally prepared on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, which is believed to be the birthday of mankind.

But, at the hotel, customers can enjoy the dish anytime during its Chinese New Year promotion at Xuang Xi Chinese Restaurant.

Bounty of the sea: Chef Leong with baked freshwater prawn with garlic (left) and steamed garoupa.

Bounty of the sea: Chef Leong with baked freshwater prawn with garlic (left) and steamed garoupa.

Chef Leong and chef Tan Lai Tong, the hotel’s assistant Chinese chef, have prepared smoked salmon, Thai-style jellyfish, sliced abalone and lobster yee sang for the Chinese New Year. The promotion runs until Feb 8.

The yee sang is priced from RM45++ for a half portion of the vegetarian yee sang to RM250++ for a whole portion of sliced abalone yee sang.

Chef Leong said those who wished to order the lobster yee sang would have to place an advance order. The lobster yee sang is priced at RM38 per 100g.

In addition to the yee sang, guests can also order the restaurant’s signature dishes during the promotion. The baked freshwater prawn with garlic is a must-try.

The prawns, which are split lengthwise and smothered with butter, sesame oil and freshly chopped garlic, are baked in a wok until they are cooked.

As the crustaceans are seasoned only with garlic and butter, one can taste their freshness. According to chef Leong, the secret to making the dish lies in the time it is cooked. Cooking it too long would result in the prawns becoming tough, while most diners did not like prawns that were undercooked. It only needs about 10 minutes in the wok before it is ready to serve, the chef revealed. Another must-have for the Chinese New Year meal is fish, and chef Leong recommends the steamed garoupa.

The fish is served with slices of Japanese black mushroom, bamboo shoot and cured turkey meat. For those who prefer to have meat instead, the baked lamb rack is a good choice. The special gold medal lamb rack from New Zealand is baked to one’s liking and served with home-made black pepper sauce. The sauce was not too overpowering and went well with the tender meat. “This is one of our signature dishes and, to date, we have never had anyone who was not happy with the dish,” he said.

The lamb is served with pasta and vegetables. During the review, Chef Leong also served a variety of dim sum, deep-fried pei pah bean curd and fried rice with crab meat and scallop. Our meal was brought to a close with vanilla ice cream with mango puree and sago.

Best Western Premier Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Putra, Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-4042 5555

Business hours: Monday to Friday, 10am-2.30pm (lunch) and 6.30pm-10.30pm (dinner); Saturday, 10am-2.30 (lunch) and 6.30pm-10.30pm (buffet dim sum). Closed for dinner on Sunday.

Originally appeared in The Star.