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Malaysia, Philippines in war of words over Sabah claim | Malaysia News

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Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says he is summoning Manila’s ambassador over a social media post from Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr claiming that the Borneo state of Sabah is not a part of Malaysia.

Sabah joined the neighbouring state of Sarawak, and the states of the Malay peninsula to form the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. But the territory was once part of the centuries-old sultanate of Sulu, and Filipino politicians have sometimes used that history to suggest Sabah should be part of the modern-day Philippines.

Hishammuddin announced the summons late on Wednesday, after Locsin replied to a tweet from the US embassy by claiming that Sabah was not a part of Malaysia.

Hishammuddin said Locsin’s statement was “irresponsible”, but the top Philippine diplomat responded in a combative fashion, announcing on social media on Thursday that he would summon Malaysia’s representative to Manila.

In a barrage of social media posts, Locsin stepped up his attack against Malaysia, writing that “no country can tell another what it can and cannot say about what the latter regards as rightfully its own … That holds for Sabah.”

“I am summoning the Malaysian ambassador” to the Department of Foreign Affairs, he added in another post, in response to former Philippine Senator JV Ejercito’s Twitter post that Sabah “historically belongs rightfully to the Philippines”.

Locsin also reposted Ejercito’s statement saying, “They also are allegedly secretly supporting the terrorists in the South. I suspect that a lot of funding and arms of these bandits coursed through Malaysia.” 

The dispute began on Monday night when the US embassy in Manila posted a statement on social media stating that it had distributed hygiene kits to Filipinos who had returned “from Sabah, Malaysia”.

In response to the post, sharp-tongued Locsin wrote: “Sabah is not in Malaysia if you want to have anything to do with the Philippines.”

Malaysia’s Hishammuddin reposted on Wednesday night Locsin’s remark, with his own comment saying, “This is an irresponsible statement that affects bilateral ties.”

He then announced that his office would summon the Philippine ambassador for an explanation.

“Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia,” Hishammuddin wrote. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment further on Thursday morning.

More accusations

In his Twitter tirade, Locsin also claimed that Malaysia “tried to derail” the Philippines’s case against China in The Hague over the South China Sea. In 2016, the court dismissed China’s claims. 

“None may share our [The] Hague victory who worked against it,” he added, blaming the US embassy in Manila for starting the controversy.

Without directly mentioning Malaysia, he also wrote that the Philippine military “does not forget who bankrolled the Muslim secession with arms and cash and bled us dry”.

The Philippines previously blamed groups from Malaysia of supporting secessionist movements among minority Muslim groups in the southern island of Mindanao.

But the Malaysian government had acted as a mediator between the Philippines and Muslim rebels, and was instrumental in the peace agreement between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Rebel groups from the Philippines have sometimes kidnapped people from Sabah for ransom, while a group of armed fighters staged an incursion into eastern Sabah in 2013, leading to a weeks-long standoff with the Malaysian police near the town of Lahad Datu and death of 71 people. After the incident, Malaysia stepped up maritime patrols in the area, and instituted a new security zone.

Locsin, who served as the Philippine ambassador to the United Nations before becoming the country’s top diplomat, is no stranger to the controversy, as he routinely tussles with commenters on social media, calling them “idiots” and “stupid”.

In early 2019, he defended his comments on Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler’s massacre of Jews as “historical fact”, increasing diplomatic tension between Manila and Berlin.

Locsin also wrote that President Rodrigo Duterte’s comparison of the deadly war on drugs in the Philippines to the Nazi leader’s killing of millions of Jews during the Holocaust was “a metaphor”.

“The killing of 6MJews, 20MRussians & innocents like Anne Frank in WW2 is historical fact,” Locsin added in the Twitter post.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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