KUALA LUMPUR: Azhar Abdul Manaf has been appointed as the new Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) director-general effective Monday. Azhar, the former deputy director-general (management services), will replace Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad, who will be on one month's leave prior to his retirement. Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who announced Azhar's appointment Friday, thanked Ibrahim for his significant contributions towards the development of the Bumiputera socio-economic agenda and also to the country in general. "Under Ibrahim's leadership over the past seven years, Mara has gone through several phases of transformation, including setting up a new direction for the agency to face new challenges," he said in a brief speech before handing over the appointment letter to Azhar . Ismail Sabri said Azhar, who joined Mara in 1988, had also served as its Malacca director and its entrepreneur development division director previously.
KUALA LUMPUR: Ampang PKR Youth head Datuk Adam Rosly, who claimed trial to giving false statements and documents to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), made the bail payment minutes before the registration counter at the court complex here closed Friday. The counter, which normally opens until 4.30 pm, only closed at 5.30 pm to enable Adam to make the RM300,000 payment, with his wife, Puteri Balqis Omar, as the bailor. Prior to that, a few of his family members were seen making withdrawals at the ATMs to come up with the bail amount set by the court. On the first and second count, he was charged with giving false statements to two MACC officers pertaining to his alleged extraordinary wealth. The court set May 29 for mention.
WARSAW (Reuters) - Former world number one tennis player Maria Sharapova should not be fast-tracked into next month's French Open as she returns from a doping ban, insists Polish rival Agnieszka Radwanska. With double French Open champion Sharapova currently unranked, all eyes will be on the French Tennis Federation (FFT) next month when it decides whether or not to hand the 30-year-old a wildcard into the tournament. A decision will be announced during "the week of May 15", the French federation, which organises the tournament, said in a statement to Reuters on Friday. The French Open starts on May 28. I think the same as Andy Murray," Radwanska, who has beaten Sharapova only twice in 15 attempts, told the newspaper.
NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) - Manchester United's quest for a first Europa League title will continue with a semi-final clash against Celta Vigo after the draw was made on Friday. Ajax Amsterdam will take on Olympique Lyonnais in the other semi-final, with Ajax and Celta playing the first legs at home on May 4. The return fixtures will be played on May 11 and the final in Stockholm on May 24. United and Celta have never met. Lyon and Ajax have faced off four times in the Champions League group stage, with the Dutch side winning twice and the clubs drawing twice.
(Reuters) - Juergen Klopp is the man to lead Liverpool but he will need to get the cheque book out to address his side's lack of depth if he is to recreate the glory days on Merseyside, former Reds midfielder Terry McDermott said. "If you'd asked me in December, could Liverpool win the league, I'd have said yes," he explains. "Then we had that horrible month where we fell apart because of that strength in depth." "When you're in Europe, you've got a better chance of bringing in quality players rather than your second- or third-choice players," he said. Born in Kirkby, McDermott says he "absolutely loves" Liverpool and considers it a privilege to have been such a big part of the club's history.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich will be without central defenders Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez, both nursing minor injuries, when they face Mainz 05 on Saturday but Mats Hummels is fit to play, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday. Hummels and Boateng both played with injuries in their extra time Champions League defeat at Real Madrid on Tuesday. "Hummels is fine, he trained without problems," Ancelotti told reporters. They still have minor problems and must be fit against Dortmund." It is a pity for Manuel and I hope he recovers quickly," Ancelotti said.
(Reuters) - Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has praised midfielder Jack Wilshere for his contribution at the club before his season-long loan spell was cut short with a leg fracture during a 4-0 Premier League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. Wilshere, who made 27 league appearances for the south coast club this season, is expected to return to training in July for his parent club Arsenal. Midfielder Andrew Surman remains in the treatment room with a long-term knee injury. We can't make any guarantees, as he hasn't done a lot of training," Howe added. "We're also without Andrew Surman, as well as Jack Wilshere following the confirmation of his injury."
LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League title rivals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday in the first FA Cup semi-final. Here is what the fans have to say about their two clubs:Martin Buhagiar, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust“I love The FA Cup and its history - particularly our tradition and association with this competition over the years. “It would be wonderful if we went on to win The FA Cup. “Interestingly, I read that Spurs have lost all six of their last FA Cup semi-finals. If they were to lose this one against us this weekend then they will set an all-time record for consecutive FA Cup semi-final defeats.
(Reuters) - Everton must reproduce their impressive home form in the Premier League and be more aggressive to win their three remaining away matches, manager Ronald Koeman has said. (www.evertonfc.com)"It's all about the attitude and having that in the same way when we play at home and away. "We need to start well, start aggressive and try to score. Everton play three of their remaining six games away from Goodison Park, starting with Saturday's trip to 13th-placed West Ham United. Koeman said his side could take advantage of the London team's woeful home record of just six league wins in 16 games.
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak slammed former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over his blog posting which said Malaysia has been labelled as amongst the 10 most corrupt countries in the world. "Last month, on March 14, 2017, CheatSheet came out with the 15 most corrupt countries in the world and still Malaysia was not on the list," Salleh countered in a post on his blog, sskeruak.blogspot.my. He noted that ranker.com came out with the most corrupt countries list based on Transparency International's report and Malaysia was not even in the top 100 list. Salleh questioned. Dr Mahathir had hurled some allegations on Malaysia and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his blog.
(Reuters) - Britain asked its cities on Friday to draw up detailed plans to stage the 2022 Commonwealth Games, as it prepared a bid to take over the athletics event from dropped host Durban. "Hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022 could give us an opportunity to step up and show the very best of Global Britain as an outward-looking nation that is confident on the world stage," Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said in a statement. The government would look at all bids before deciding whether to put in a formal bid later this year, the ministry added. Durban's problems highlighted the daunting burdens facing host cities for major sporting events. Africa has never hosted the Games, which take place every four years and bring together athletes from the 52 members of the Commonwealth, most of which were at one time colonies of Britain.
NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) - Eleven-times champions Real Madrid will take on neighbours Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final after the draw pitted last year's finalists against each other. Monaco and Real will play the first leg at home, on May 2 and 3 respectively, with the return fixtures being played on May 9-10. Real Madrid beat Atletico in the final in 2014 and again in 2016 but playing the second leg away could favour their bitter rivals. Emilio Butragueño, former Real Madrid forward and the club's current Director of Institutional Relations said: "We know each other well. "When we played against Bayern it seemed that having the second leg at home was an inconvenience but we got through," he added.
(Reuters) - Stoke City midfielders Joe Allen and Glenn Whelan are set to feature in Saturday's Premier League trip to 18th-placed Swansea, manager Mark Hughes said on Friday. Whelan missed the 2-1 victory over Hull City last weekend due to illness. They came through training yesterday and we'll see if there's been a reaction," Hughes told in a news conference. He got a bit frustrated in the end and I allowed him to go because he wasn't playing here," Hughes added. Stoke, currently 11th in the league, could inflict a significant blow to the Swansea's top-flight survival hopes.
KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s (PSM) plan for a Labour Day march could hit a snag because it does not have the consent of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the owner of a shopping mall in Bukit Bintang. He said while PSM had notified the relevant authorities, it did not have the written consent of DBKL and the shopping mall owner to go ahead with the march. PSM central committee member S. Arutchelvan (pix) confirmed that although the organisers had notified police of the march, they do not have the consent letters. However, he said PSM is likely to go ahead with its plans to march. PSM plans to march from the old railway station opposite the National Mosque to Jalan Bukit Bintang to demand that the Government set up a fund for retrenched workers.
PARIS: French artist Abraham Poincheval, who famously spent a week inside a rock and two weeks inside a bear sculpture, has succeeded in hatching chicken eggs after incubating them for some three weeks. At the time, he estimated it would take 21-26 days for the eggs to hatch and the first did so on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the museum said on Thursday nine had hatched and the chicks were on their way to a farm. For the endeavour, Poincheval sat on a chair, wrapped in an insulating blanket, over a container with the eggs. Earlier this year, the artist spent a week inside a block of stone, while in 2014, he lived in a hollowed-out bear sculpture for two weeks.