Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he has paid a fine after getting caught smoking during a parliament session recently.
“A wrong is a wrong and I had admitted to it and apologised,’’ an ashen-faced Hishamuddin told lawmakers on Monday.
Smoking is banned inside the Dewan Rakyat, or People’s Assembly, the official name for Malaysia’s parliament.
Offenders must pay a 250 ringgit (60 dollars) fine, with up to two years in jail facing those who do not pay.
On Thursday, Malaysian social media was lit up by footage from Aug. 3 showing the mask-clad minister surreptitiously slipping a vaping device, or electronic cigarette, under his face covering while Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong addressed lawmakers.
After his hidden habit was smoked out on Twitter, the minister replied, saying “I apologise to the Dewan and promise to not do it again.”
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)https://nnn.ng/malaysias-chief-diplomat-fined-for-vaping-in-parliament/
Malaysia opposition leader Ibrahim says seeking to form new government
Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, said on Wednesday he has secured a “strong majority” from lawmakers in order to form a new government.
Ibrahim also said he was seeking an audience with the king to formalise his appointment as prime minister.
Ibrahim, who will need the king’s assent to replace current premier Muhyiddin Yassin, told a news conference his support from lawmakers “means that the administration of Muhyiddin has fallen’’.
The opposition leader’s claim comes less than seven months after Muhyiddin clinched the premiership, following political turmoil that saw the collapse of the previous administration under Mahathir Mohamad.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Sanusi calls for diversification of economy to address poverty, inequality
Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has said that Nigeria must diversify its economy in order to address the high rate of poverty and inequality in the country.
He also said governments at all levels must invest on human capital development and create enabling environment for investments, instead of borrowing to finance development.
Sanusi gave the advice in a presentation during the virtual Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, on Tuesday.
The former Governor of the Central Bank, however, said the Federal Government has minimal role to play in rejigging the economy.
“While everyone looks to the federal government for solutions, the truth is that its role in the economy is small – both in absolute and relative terms.’’
Sanusi noted that the nation’s economy has not been diversified, years after the discovery of oil.
He added that though Nigeria has generated an increase in wealth from $345 in 1985 to $2,655 in 2015 GDP per capita, but there has been no structural transformation in what the country actually produce.
According to him, though the economy is growing, but its non diversification has resulted to the high rate of poverty and high level of inequality in the country.
He explained that the difference between African countries and those in Asia is that they have diversified from primary to secondary and tertiary sectors of the global economy.
“The major difference is that they have moved on but we have not,’’ he lamented.
Sanusi pointed out that Malaysia has the same factors that Nigeria has been using as an excuse for having not developed, adding that both countries are multi-ethnic and have fought wars.
The former Emir lamented that Nigeria is still a consumer nation instead of being a producer, by seizing on the investments that the government has done in technology.
“Africa’s failure has been in not leveraging on the underlying infrastructure – towers and under sea cables- to catalyse the development of other and new industries,’’ he said.
‘’If you use your smart phone which is made in China and order shoes from France and they are delivered to you at home, what have you actually gained? You are just a consumer,’’ he added.
The ex-CBN Governor argued that the same phone can be put to productive use, when it is used to shoot a Nollywood movie and the film clip is distributed.
Sanusi noted that the success of Nigeria’s pre-oil economy was based on the dynamism of its trading sector and the diversity of its export base, which ‘’meant that it was less vulnerable to terms of trade shock driven by any one export.”
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
COVID-19: Organisation to empower 500,000 vulnerable Nigerians
The Project Officer, Health and Education of CEDI, Betty Essien, made this known in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja.
According to Essien, the aim is to complement the Federal Government’s effort to support Nigerians who need help, especially on COVID-19 pandemic, to reduce the impacts.
“CEDI cannot be silent in this trying time in the country and the world at large.
“To promote clean environment and reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic even beyond 2020.
“CEDI calls on concerned individuals and institutions to lend a helping hand to those in need to make the world a better place even after the pandemic,’’ she noted.
She said that the organisation also empowered them with workshop and donation of items.
The items include face masks, efficient stoves, briquettes, rice, beans, cassava floor (gari), spaghetti, packets of magi cube, groundnut oil and tomatoes.
Essien said that the project was carried out in Agwan-Tiv community ACO Estate, Lugbe, Abuja to support 80 most vulnerable households, to ameliorate the impact of the pandemic and reduce its spread.
According to her, the 80 beneficiaries comprising men and women are mostly widowers and widows and are being supported through the life-saving project.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to the death of individuals in many countries including Nigeria.
“About 40 per cent of Nigerians live below poverty line of about of 381.75 dollars, equivalent of N137, 430 per year; therefore support not just to individuals, but households,” she added.
She, however, decried global lockdown of business operations, particularly in Nigeria.
According to her, it has negatively impacted on daily-wage workers, especially women who depend on limited financial savings to survive within rural communities.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Donald Ugwu
‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero says he was duped into coming to Rwanda, NYT reports
Paul Rusesabagina, depicted in a Hollywood movie as a hero, who helped save Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide, said he believed he was flying to Burundi at the invitation of a pastor, but was instead lured to Rwanda and arrested on terrorism charges.
Rusesabagina was speaking to the New York Times on Friday in an interview the paper said had been authorised by the Rwandan government and had taken place in the presence of government officials.
The 66-year-old political dissident and former hotel manager was propelled to fame after the Oscar-nominated film “Hotel Rwanda” portrayed him using his connections with the Hutu elite to protect Tutsis fleeing slaughter during the 1994 genocide.
He had been living in exile for over a decade, where he was a prominent critic of President Paul Kagame, accusing him of stifling political opposition.
Rusesabagina suddenly appeared in custody in Rwanda earlier this month, prompting accusations from his family that he had been kidnapped.
However, he said that he voluntarily boarded a private plane in Dubai that he believed was bound for Bujumbura, Burundi, where he had planned to speak to churches at the invitation of a local pastor.
Instead, he landed in Kigali, where he now faces 13 charges, including terrorism, complicity in murder and forming or joining an irregular armed group.
A spokesman for the prosecution on Wednesday told Reuters that Rusesabagina, who once called for armed resistance to the government in a YouTube video, faces a possible life sentence.
On Thursday, he was denied bail and will stay in jail for 30 days as the prosecution ends its investigations.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim