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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

PEOPLE

By Alexandra A. Seno

As Pretty as a Picture


(Asiaweek Pictures)

LIFE HAS BEEN LOOKING pretty good for Michelle Yeoh lately. The next 007 flick doesn't come out until December, but the first Chinese Bond Girl is rapidly racking up those international glamour points. Yeoh (also known as Michelle Khan and Yeung Chi King) has placed No. 35 in People magazine's annual list of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. These days, the 33-year-old Ipoh-born Hong Kong resident may be better known as Asia's highest-paid female action star, but loyal fans will remember that it was her looks that started it all for her years ago. Before going into the movies, the former ballet dancer won the Miss Malaysia crown in 1983. Fourteen years later, those looks are still there. Any secrets? Yeoh doesn't give away many, but she tells People that she is careful to thoroughly cleanse her skin before turning in for the night. And she always finds time to give special attention to her hair. Her stylist says it is enhanced with "tones of ash matte brown." Those flowing locks have been her trademark since the early days, though she did once have them shorn. "Someone thought I was a boy," she said of the experiment. "I'll never do it again. I want to make sure everybody knows that I'm feminine -- a woman." Stop worrying, Michelle.

MP Mohammed

The recent British general election changed the face of government in more ways than one. Tony Blair's runaway victory has not only given the country its first Labour majority in almost two decades. It has also produced the first Muslim Member of Parliament in history. Pakistan-born multi-millionaire Mohammed Sarwar won a seat for Labour in the staunchly working-class constituency of Glasgow Govan, in Scotland. The 44-year old immigrant, who moved to Britain some 20 years ago, took 44% of the vote, thanks, partly, to his support for greater political autonomy for Scotland. He is known to be something of a maverick, and more conservative members of his faith may not totally approve of him. He figured quite prominently in a highly publicized rescue of a British-Pakistani woman from an arranged marriage she did not favor. Sarwar, a father of four, is said to be the 62nd-richest Asian in Britain. He made his fortune operating no-frills grocery stores.

The Giant from Pyongyang

At 2.40 meters (7 ft 9 in), Ri Myong Hun is already a giant among his fellow North Korean basketball players. Now he has even loftier ambitions: the NBA. But it is not going to be easy. Laws that ban "trading with the enemy" bar any of the U.S. teams from signing him. But that is not stopping Michael Coyne, Ri's Ohio-based sports agent. "We believe he will play in the 1997-98 season," he told Asiaweek. For now, Ri, 28, remains in Pyongyang, where he plays on the city team and takes English lessons in his spare time. If he gets past the U.S. State Department's defense, he may soon be able to show American fans his special party trick: he can dunk with both feet on the ground. He will also give the NBA's current tallest player, 2.34-meter (7 ft 7 in) Romanian Georghe Muresan of the Bullets, someone to look up to.


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