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A triumphant return

There are thousands of Indonesian women working in Malaysia, the majority of them as maids. They come in search of decent paying jobs to support the families they left behind. That much Malaysians know. Yet, few employers really know what the salaries they pay their maids mean to these women and their families and how their lives are actually transformed. I>StarMag/Idecided to find out by following one maid home when she returned for her granddaughter#8217;s wedding. B>PHILIP GOLINGAI/Breports from Banyuwangi, Indonesia.

Heart transplant

From Kee WS

Tower power

THE world#8217;s tallest man-made structure could soon be towering over the Australian outback as part of a plan to capitalise on the global push for greater use of renewable energy.

Lepak upgraded

Hot on the heels of the polygamy storm, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim proposed another bombshell last week #8211; that Perlis impose a 10pm- 6am mandatory curfew on youngsters aged 18 and below to stop them from patronising nightclubs, karaoke joints, video arcades and 24-hour convenience stores at night. The move, he explained, would curb social ills, improve discipline and discourage the culture of I>lepak/I(loafing). He later #8220;clarified#8221; that it was not an #8220;outright curfew#8221; but merely #8220;something to effectively curtail#8221; the young ones. We met a certain #8216;Datuk Professoré close to the pulse of Perlis to get a better picture.

Bordering on injustice

How would you like to get married in this town? Doesn't look too romantic, huh? This is Pekan Siam, across the border from Padang Besar, Perlis, where rice retailing and polygamy peddling can go on in the same shoplot.

Illegal bargains galore

MARKED poverty triggered by the Asian meltdown has fuelled a burgeoning trade in wild animals in Indonesia, where an orangutan costs less than RM900 and rare birds the price of a meal. Endangered species are threatened with near extinction, and habitats are being torn apart. Yet there is little the government can - or will - do about it.

Jailhouse moonshine

US prison officials struggle to put a cork in inmates#8217; illegal alcoholic brew called pruno, writes RICHARD FAUSSET.

An outdated practice?

SEVERAL Muslim men express their take on polygyny in Islam and how they feel about a practice that allows them to take up to four wives. JACQUELINE ANN SURIN speaks to them at a meeting of Islamic groups.

Exotic and endangered

The Indian star tortoise is a common sight in pet shops. Charmed by the exquisite star-burst patterns on its shell, many pet lovers may be tempted to carry home a specimen or two, little realising that they are feeding a flourishing international trade in exotic - and sometimes endangered - pets.

No regard for rare pets