Apple faces new legal challenge in China


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A placard advertises an Apple iPhone 4S for sale at an electronics market in Hong Kong last year. A Chinese technology firm has filed a legal challenge accusing US giant Apple of infringing its patented voice recognition software with its Siri function on the iPhone, the company said Saturday

A Chinese technology firm has filed a legal challenge accusing US giant Apple of infringing its patented voice recognition software with its Siri function on the iPhone, the company said Saturday.

The move comes just days after Apple paid $60 million to end a dispute over who could use the iPad name in China.

Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Co Ltd patented its Xiao i Robot software in 2004, while Apple’s , which made its debut with the release of the 4S last year, was first developed in 2007.

The Chinese company’s version operates in a similar way to Apple’s personal assistant and works on the iOS and Android operating systems.

Si Weijiang, a lawyer acting for the Shanghai-based firm, said it had tried to contact Apple two months ago over the alleged infringement but received no response.

“We sent legal notices to Apple in May, but no one contacted us. We filed the lawsuit in late June to the Shanghai number one intermediate people’s court,” Si told AFP. “Currently the case is now at the court-mediated stage.”

“We mainly ask Apple to stop infringing on our patent and cover the court costs, but once the court confirms Apple has infringed on our patent, we will propose compensation,” he added.

The company’s chairman, Yuan Hui, told the Apple Daily newspaper that the firm had 100 million users in China.

“People feel that China has no innovation, that companies here just copy. But in fact, we are leaders in our field, and we have created our own innovation,” Yuan told the paper.

It added that Apple was also facing legal action from another for allegedly infringing its “” trademark.

The High Court of the southern province of Guangdong said on Monday that Apple had paid $60 million to settle a long-running legal battle with Chinese Shenzhen Proview Technology over the iPad name.

Both Proview, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, and Apple had claimed ownership of the Chinese rights to the “iPad” trademark.

Proview’s Taiwanese affiliate registered “iPad” as a trademark in several countries including China as early as 2000 — years before Apple began selling its hugely successful tablet computer.

Analysts said the Chinese government wanted the matter resolved, wary of the damage a ruling against Apple could do for the foreign business climate in China.

Greater China — which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan — has become Apple’s fastest-growing region, with revenues second only to the United States.

(c) 2012 AFP

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Be Alert and Vigilance to Stay Safe!


Smash-grab victim takes to the Internet to spread message of vigilance

PETALING JAYA: A vehicle smash-and-grab victim has set up a website called Be Alert Stay Safe to spread the message of vigilance.

Crime Scene

The website, www.bealertstaysafe.tumblr.com, features stories from victims as well as those who witness similar incidents.

Ling (who only wants to be known by her first name) said: “I’m so tired of people just talking about it. I’m very angry at what’s happening and Malaysians need to stop talking and take action.”

She had lost her laptop and six months’ worth of dissertation research in an instant when the assailants smashed her car during a traffic jam.

In an interview recently, Ling said her traumatic experience was worsened by the “nonchalant attitude” of the motorists around her, who did not bother to get out of their car despite witnessing the incident.

Another woman who has taken to the Internet to spread awareness is Anna Chew, whose women’s

Venusbuzz.com

e-magazine (www.venusbuzz.com) runs an awareness campaign called the CARing project.

Besides featuring articles on self-protection tips, the website also has a “car park rating system” where people can rate the safety of shopping mall car parks in the Klang Valley.

The ratings are based on 10 questions, including whether there were CCTVs, active security guard patrolling, buggy services and panic buttons installed.

Chew said reports would be compiled based on the ratings received and handed over to each shopping mall’s management.

“We hope the respective managements will take this seriously and not implement superficial services just to make themselves look good,” she stressed, adding that women must be proactive.

When contacted, Malaysian Association for Shopping and High-Rise Complex Management general manager Evelyn Lo said they would be having an open dialogue with Bukit Aman next Friday.

“We will be discussing a variety of security issues and we have invited all the shopping malls,” she said, urging all mall visitors to remain alert of their surroundings despite existing security systems.

Mid Valley Megamall public relations assistant manager Stephanie Tan said security had been beefed up in the mall’s car park after a recent assault on a female shopper there.

She said the mall had increased the number of panic buttons, adding that these were prominently displayed on black and red checkered pillars marked with a “HELP” sign.

“We also have escort services for which shoppers can request from the information counter, car park lobby security booths or our hotline,” she said.

By ISABELLE LAI isabellelai@thestar.com.my

The rise of mega-churches in Singapore


There are several mega-churches in Singapore with evangelical fund-raising zeal, posing potential problems for this multi-religious country.

THE city is abuzz with anticipation over the coming trial of leaders of the largest and richest charismatic church on charges of misuse of charity funds.

It is the result of two years of the biggest investigation of a religious institution.

Five leaders of the City Harvest Church (CHC) – including co-founder pastor Kong Hee who preached a form of money-generating prosperity gospel – were charged with criminal breach of trust.

Generic photograph of the Parliament building in Singapore. A question touching on the City Harvest Church saga has been tabled for the next Parliament sitting on Monday, July 9, along with others on voters, transport, education, health and manpower issues. — ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Singapore is often stereotyped as a society that only worships money.

“Now, some pastors are cashing in on it being true,” said a banker.

Over the past week, the case stirred up a hot public debate on and offline, with most supporting the court action.

Altogether eight leaders, including the arrested five, were suspended from charity duties, but the church itself was unaffected and allowed to carry on.

It could shape up into a judiciary benchmark of sorts because the new church leadership – with two pastors from abroad – and the majority of CHC followers have thrown their support behind their leaders.

A statement released by executive pastor Aries Zulkarnain said the church was standing by the five men.

“The people are our pastors and trusted staff and leaders who have always put God and CHC first,” he said.

“As a church we stand with them and I believe fully in their integrity.”

In two weekend services, 14,000 placard-carrying followers gave Kong Hee a standing ovation and a show of support.

Looking haggard, the pastor told his cheering supporters that there were two sides of the story and he would give his in court, adding: “I maintain my integrity.”

The five were charged with misconduct and mismanagement of tax-free charity funds amounting to at least S$23mil (RM57.6mil).

According to an official report, the money was intended for use to finance the music career of the pastor’s wife, Sun Ho, with the objective of winning more converts.

The case shows how vulnerable tiny Singapore is to foreign, especially Western, norms.

Many social trends from abroad end up in Singapore, including this form of money- raising religion.

City Harvest was co-founded by Kong Hee more than 20 years ago and now has about 24,000 followers, according to a Wikipedia report.

A father, who attended one of its early ser­vices with his daughter, said what he saw shocked him.

“There was a pop-style band playing deafening music – more like a rock concert than a church service.

“The congregation would dance trance-like and pop their tongues in and out in quick succession, like monitor lizards, making strange animal-like noises.

“The band music would be interspersed with instalments of a sermon, during which the pastor would cajole the congregation to donate generously, preaching that their donations would be rewarded – repaid exponentially by God.

“I saw the congregation members, mostly young men and women in their 20s and 30s, depositing cash into the donation box.”

The ultra modern City Harvest uses bright flashing lights, loud music and modern stage technology to appeal to young Singaporeans who feel bored by the quiet sermons of traditional churches.

Most of its followers are in their mid-twenties. Pre-university and undergraduates are targeted for recruitment.

Videos of past sermons show charismatic preachers such as Kong Hee conduct services like a master performer at work raising funds.

Once, he took the microphone to thank recent contributors, who included a couple selling their five-room public flat to downgrade to a three-roomer and offered S$20,000 (RM50,091) of the proceeds to the church building fund.

Another was a young man who sold his motorcycle and donated the entire proceedings. With each name mentioned, the audience cheered.

It led a cynic to comment: “They have turned religion into show business, like America’s TV evangelism.”

Prosperity theology began in the USA decades ago. It claims that financial donations were needed as proof of faith and they would increase the giver’s material wealth many times over.

In the 60s, some US mega-churches resorted to TV evangelism to reach its mass following, raking in large amounts of money.

There are several similar mega-churches here with evangelical fund-raising zeal, posing potential problems for this multi-religious country.

One is The New Creation Church, which plans to invest S$280mil (RM701mil) to build a mega-complex with a lifestyle-entertainment-cultural theme.

With some 22,000 members, the church raised eyebrows when it was reported that its charismatic preacher was paid a salary of S$500,000 (RM1.2mil).

The investigation into CHC came seven months after a top Buddhist monk, Venerable Shi Ming Yi, was convicted of misusing donated money and sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment (reduced to six on appeal).

The 2009 trial of the English-educated, high-living Buddhist monk who owned three properties and loved luxury cars showed how far the money culture had spread in Singapore.

In his trial, the 48-year-old monk told the Court that “we live in a modern world … no longer like what it was in the past”.

When asked to elaborate, the monk said: “If people earn more, they will spend more. Many religious people, not just myself, are very different now.”

NSIGHT: DOWN SOUTH By SEAH CHIANG NEE cnseah05@hotmail.com

Whose Policies Benefits the Country Most, MCA or DAP? Chua-Lim Debate 2.0


PETALING JAYA (July 8 2012: The second debate between MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has started at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre in Subang Jaya.

Dr Chua being greeted by a well-wisher upon his arrival at the hall.

The debate started with Lim’s opening remarks.

Lim: “MCA is not qualified to talk about politics here, as it is not MCA who decides – it is Umno who decides.

“The MCA speaks only for the Chinese, and those from the Peninsula – not Sabah or Sarawak.

“It is different for DAP – we want to speak for all Malaysians. Malay, Cina, India, Iban, Kadazan.

“We are all Malaysians. Look at the NFC scandal,” he said.

“Who gains? The cronies. The losers are the citizens of Malaysia.

“For last 50 years, consumed by race and religion. For the next 50 years, let us be consumed with the tasks of economic wellbeing.

“BN has never spoken truthfully to the people. Let Pakatan Rakyat speak truthfully to you.

“DAP believes a clean govt can always perform better than a corrupt govt.

“If Penang dares to review the assets of the CM, why is the PM afraid of reviewing his assets and those of his ministers?” he said.

Dr Chua: “Just now YAB asked why the PM didn’t want to debate with Anwar. I want to say here, it hasn’t happened because he is the prime minister.

“From 2008 to 2011, the ease of doing business compared from 2003 to 2008. The fifth most favored FDI nation in Asia.

“They haven’t been empty promises like those from Pakatan Rakyat. The promises were fulfilled. These three years, the rakyat has gotten what was promsied under the leadership of DS Najib.”

“Anwar is full of rhetoric, no specific, short on delivery. He has to convince us to translate this rhetoric into what we call delivery.

“MCA has been involved in nation building from day one. We were the one involved in the fight against the communist insurgency, the resettlement of the Chinese in new villages, the fight for independence, the right of citizenship after independence. That’s why citizens like LGE are citizens of the country.

“We laid down the foundations. We have progressed, advocated integration not assimiliation. That’s why LGE is not called Sukarno Lim.

“These are history. All part of nation building. DAP has no role to play.”

“What has PR done for us? No clear direction.

“Look at the four PR states, 95pc of the promise is janji janji kosong.

“Everyday tell the whole world you give hundred dollars to the old people.

“Two hundred to the newborn and they must be voters. We give 200 to our newborn babies.

“State govt giving 100, 200 are all populist policy. Does not address fundamental problem of country.”

“DAP has only one thing to show. They collect a lot of money from the rakyat. Despite calls of accountability, transparency – nothing to show. Transparency, Accountability, where are they? Where has the money collected gone to?

“DAP is a camoflauge for Chinese chauvinist party.”

Question: Mr President, stated number of major achievements of MCA, contributions to nation building. Yes today, many urban voters perceive MCA has not done enough. Perception that many urban voters are not supporting MCA. What would you do to try regain more support for MCA.

Dr Chua: We accept the fact this is a multiracial country and the policy of BN is the policy for balancing. DAP likes to tell the Chinese they are marginalised. The povery rate of Chinese is still lowest among three major races. Employment highest. Property ownership largest. Cannot deny in implementaion process there are people who benefit more than others, this is the bone of contention, cause a lot of Chinese to be angry with the govt and MCA bears the burden of this.

“DAP tries to portray itself as a multiracial party, but only dares to contest in chinese constituenciaes.

“Why don’t you contest in multiracial constituencies? We are a mono-ethnic party, but our aims are clear.

“In this country we have to balance the needs and sensitivities of all countries. No particular race will feel happy.

“In the same way we sometimes feel govt giving too much to bumiputra. but some bumiputras not happy with govt.”

Question: Many people still see DAP as Chinese-based party. Are you a Chinese party or multi-racial party, how would you try to win more support among other races if the latter is true.

Lim: From the very start we are a multiracial party. Our chairman is Indian, we have Indian MPs, have Malay MPs and state assemblymen in the past. We are fair to all regardless of race and religion. Would like MCA president know that not every Chinese rich as the MCA leaders.

Not every Chinese can apply for PR in Australia.

Don’t forget that the Chinese community pays the most taxes in Malaysia.

At the same time we want to see justice and see our Malay brothers and sisters are assisted.

Why is it poor Chinese can’t get scholarship but rich bumiputras can?

Dont go and talk about DAP forming a kindergarten. We are a political party to determine the future of Malaysia.

TAR College is clearest example of failure of MCA. Why was it established? Because of unfair quota policies where qualified students cannot enter public universities. so you formed TAR College. Shame on you MCA.

Dont say we haven’t built low ccost housing. We have build. Don’t lie.

Question:Is MCA scared of Umno

Dr Chua: I take objection to that question to say MCA is sacared of Umno. Not a fair question. If I say – and I’ve always said – if the state Cabinet, state exco and federal Cabinet, all the discussion are all taped. The govt should declassify the tape and then they und better the role of mca in a multiracial country.

Why is DAP so quiet about Anwar’s alleged account of RM3bil, this from a statutory declaration.

This is equal partnership, let me tell you PR seize equal partnership but until today PAS have never openly endorsed Anwar as prime minister.

You can’t event agree on a party common symbol and logo and register to party.

Question: I’ve read your Buku Jingga, stated among other things that if party win GE, forms central govt, going to abolish all road tolls, PTPTN and give income to houses that make less than 4K to make up that amount. Lots of other goodies. How are you going to implement these policies bearing in mind annual revenue does not exceed RM200bil.

Lim: This the first time I’m hearing from a minister admitting corruption cost us RM26bil. Question is, what you doing about it? Are you accepting the fact that BN permits corruption? That’s why I say shame on you again.

Talk about collections from public. When DAP organises dinner, we don’t give free dinners like MCA or Umno. We charge because we rely on public funds to survive. We don’t steal the govt’s money. That is the difference between BN and PR, the difference between MCA and DAP.

I think you need to read the right Buku Jingga, I think you read the wrong one. Abolish tolls, estimate of RM35mil. If you don’t believe can be done, vote us into power and we show you can be done.

Question: On Chinese independent schools

Dr Chua: I only wish DAP is more specific as when they see a Chinese… why is it not written more clearly they will build more Chinese schools? indeopendent schools? recognise UEC?

I openly asked Anwar, are you going to build more Chinese schools? More independent scghool? pls tell me.

Because if it is from DAP, I dont trust. Why? Cos DAP will say this is not common policy framework.

Lim:We are not like MCA leaders who go to jail for cheating rakyat of its money.

When you talk about building of schools, judge by the deeds of the PR govt in Selangor and Penang. We have given land, we have given funding, we have given funding every year. If PR can give to all these schools, independent, Indian, Chinese, every year funding, why BN cannot do so?

Don’t question our oppeness to allow indepndent Chinese schools.

Anwar, I cannot blame CSL because he gets his buku jingga from Chor Chee Heung, don’t know what document they are reading. Maybe I should send videotape to you.

When you talk about Anwar if PR wins power he will be PM.

—————————————————————

PETALING JAYA: The Star Media Group will provide live coverage of the debate between Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and Lim Guan Eng tomorrow.(8 July 2012, Sun 2:30pm)

SwitchUp.TV, The Star‘s web TV site, will stream the debate live at 2.30pm. Those who wish to view it can watch live from the switchup.tv here below:

Catch the streaming video of the Chua-Lim debate on the topic, “DAP & MCA: Whose Policies Benefit the Country More?” live from Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1430-1630hrs (13342):

The debate will also be broadcast live over the radio by The Star‘s radio stations 988, Capital FM and Red FM.

Another option is to listen to it via the stations’ websites www.988.com.my, www.capitalfm.com.my and www.red.fm.

Updates will also be provided on The Star Online as well as via Twitter through @staronline.

The MCA publicity bureau will also be streaming the debate live through the party’s website at www.mca.org.my or its official UStream homepage at www.ustream.tv/channel/mca-tv1.

Unlike the previous debate which was televised live, a delayed recording of tomorrow’s event would be shown on Astro Awani and Astro AEC at 11pm on the same day.

Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute will provide video recordings on YouTube with a delay of between eight and 10 minutes.

Its senior vice-president Ng Yeen Seen said plainclothes security officers would be among the audience during the debate to ensure that order was maintained.

This is one of the security measures to be taken by Asli, which is the organiser of the debate.

“While we are not expecting things to get violent, it is important to have moves in place in the interest of safety,” Ng said.

She said there were no untoward incidents in the first debate between the two politicians on Feb 18 and the same was expected for the one tomorrow.

During the first debate on Feb 18, some of the audience turned rowdy when posing questions to Dr Chua, who is MCA president, and Lim, who is the DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister.

Some were seen snatching the microphone and shouting during the debate titled “Chinese at the crossroads: Is the two-party system becoming a two-race system?”.

For tomorrow’s debate at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Cen-tre, Ng said MCA and DAP would each be allocated 400 seats for their supporters at the right and left sides of the hall, respectively.

“In the centre rows, 500 seats have been sold to the public while another 100 are reserved for Asli’s guests,” she said, adding that reporters would be seated at tables in front of the hall to allow them to monitor the debate.

The debate, titled “DAP & MCA: Whose Policies Benefit the Coun-try More?”, will be conducted in English in front of a 1,500-strong audience.

By YUEN MEIKENG meikeng@thestar.com.my

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