Warning:-Hands off Security Sector Issues, Security forces, Succession & Commander-in-Chief Defence Forces!

mushohwe (3)
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe , yesterday said journalists should not meddle in security sector issues, urging them to appreciate the peace and freedom the forces ensure in the country.
 
Officiating at the Herald editorial end-of-year party at Meikles hotel in Harare yesterday, Dr Mushohwe said some journalists were losing their way by treading into sensitive security sector matters.
 
“Some of the media houses seem not to understand which forests to tread in and which forests not to tread in. There are some of our journalists who are now getting lost in sacred forests.
 
“I advise them that while they may be allowed to play around carelessly the sacred forests of security sector should never be tampered with. You should never tread into those areas and, as Government, we will not allow anybody to cause despondency or divisions through issues of succession and factionalism. You are not doing yourself any justice,” he said.
 
Dr Mushohwe said journalists should not use the excuse that President Mugabe talked about security forces and succession saying, the Head of State and Government was speaking as the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and no journalist could equate him/herself to that lofty office.
 
“A mere journalist cannot equate himself or herself to President Mugabe. He is President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces. Let us not start poking our noses into the security sector. This is not a threat, but loving advice. You should not start a war that you are not able to finish.
 
“If you enter a river infested with crocodiles what do you think will happen to you?” he said.
 
Minister Mushohwe urged journalists and the public to honour the peace prevailing in Zimbabwe and advised them not to disturb the peace and security through reckless reporting.
 
He said journalists should have some limits.
 
“A pencil cannot be greater than security. A pencil must know its limits and those who direct pencils must know where to direct pencils. Even the opposition knows that when there is no peace there is no opposition politics to talk about,” he said.
 
He applauded Zimpapers for inviting him to the end-of- year party which he said gave him the opportunity to meet with the rest of the editorial team.
 
He said it took him a long time to visit the newsrooms as he was still learning about the industry.
 
“I am no longer as ignorant as I was before I joined the industry.
 
Dr Mushohwe applauded Zimpapers for excelling in the media industry despite the economic challenges facing the country.
 
“Even if Zimpapers, particularly The Herald, you are grappling with economic challenges, you are still the prime newspaper. You still command the highest market share compared to others.
 
“Now you face stiff competition from the electronic media and social media and you should be innovative and think outside the box to keep yourself afloat,” he said.
 
Zimpapers Editor Mr Caesar Zvayi said the Herald editorial team had managed to excel as a team.
 
At the party outstanding journalists in 2015 were rewarded. Those voted best reporters in 2015 were Edison Chikamhi, who scooped the best senior reporter award while Samantha Chigogo walked away with a prize for being the best junior reporter in 2015. Photographer Innocent Makawa was voted the best photographer in 2015. by Elita Chikwati. Source: Herald
photo-nehandaradio-Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe

The Newzimbabwevision.com, Team Wish All Our Readers, A Merry Christmas!

merry_christmas_card_57710 (1)

All of us behind the news desk at newzimbabwevision.com and our partners and  friends worldwide would like to thank you all our readers for your continued support and wish you all a safe, and Happy Christmas,..enjoy! by Sibusiso Ngwenya

Free Christmas card image image

Unattended Haulage Truck Rolls, Rams Parked Car And Chinhoyi Shop Trapping Customers

zrp1-674x280

A parked haulage truck rolled on a steep slope in Chinhoyi’s central business district (CBD) and smashed a parked Toyota Hilux vehicle before ramming into a shop and trapping people inside.

The haulage truck was left with its engine running when its driver disembarked and started arguing with another motorist who was offloading goods from his lorry.

Witnesses say the haulage truck rolled down along a delivery pathway unattended and hit a parked Toyota Hilux, damaged an electricity pole before ramming into a shop causing panic to people who got trapped inside the building.

Owner of the shop that was rammed into said he was terrified as the incident happened in a flash, and was lucky to be alive as he was close to the entrance when the freak accident happened.

The total value of the damage to the shop and the two vehicles is yet to be ascertained.

Meanwhile, the man who was involved in an argument with the truck driver disappeared into thin air as soon as the haulage truck started sliding down the slope.Source: ZBC

Five People Died In Unity Day Road Accidents

news_bcharamba

 

FIVE people died in road traffic accidents across the country on Unity Day this year, police have confirmed. Four people died on the same day last year. National police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said 78 traffic accidents were recorded this year, compared to 85 last year.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to inform the nation that the following road traffic accident statistics were recorded on December 22, 2015 compared with the same day in 2014,” she said.

“Total road traffic accidents this year are 78 against 85 last year; five people killed this year against four last year. 38 people were injured this year against 61 injured last year.”

Snr Ass Com Charamba said 149 vehicles were impounded for defects and being unroadworthy this year. She said during the same day last year, 223 were impounded.

“About 7,448 people were arrested on December 22 this year against 7,479 arrested last year,” said Snr Ass Com Charamba. She urged motorists to be cautious and avoid speeding to safeguard lives on the road saying, ‘Speed thrills but kills.'”

Meanwhile 17 passengers travelling in a Bafana Bafana bus were hospitalised after the vehicle veered off the road, overturned and landed on its side on Monday, the eve of Unity Day.

The bus which had 71 passengers on board was travelling to Filabusi.

National Traffic spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said no one was killed.

“On approaching the 20 kilometre peg, it is alleged that the bus hit a pothole, the driver lost control, it veered off the road and it overturned landing on its side,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.

He said the injured were rushed to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH). by Auxilia Katongomara.  Source: Chronicle

Zimbabwe School Council (Zimsec) Deliberately Lowers Pass Marks

zimsec (2)
The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) has been accused of lowing pass marks to allow low-scoring candidates to achieve distinction grades.
 
Based on a Zimbabwe Independent report, grades have been reduced to as low as 30% for some subjects, contrary to the popular view that a grade C pass starts with a 50% mark.
 
“An ‘A’ starts at 56% here. A mark in the forty-something range will give you a B and the C is in the 30 thirty-something range,” said one of the examiners who recently marked an A Level subject in Mutare.
 
“We have been told by the new subject manager in no uncertain terms that candidates have to pass. The candidates are passing with very high grades because most of the marking restrictions were relaxed, for instance, we are giving them marks for giving an example of a country,” added the examiner.
 
She said performances in A Level subjects such as Geography, Accounting, Mathematics and Chemistry have been dismally poor over the years, recording a 30% national average.
 
“Geography, Accounting, Mathematics and Chemistry have been the worst in terms of performance. Candidates in these subjects generally score below 40% in terms of national average,” the examiner said.
 
The practice is, however, not restricted to A Level examinations as revealed by another former examiner who alluded to the lowering of pass marks to 35% for the O Level English Literature examination, which she marked from 2003 to 2009.
 
“We only marked the scripts and another team would come in to determine the grades during a process they called the grade review. The national chief examiner would tell us that 35% mark guaranteed a C grade. You required at least 60% to obtain an A while marks within the 45% to 59% range gave a B grade,” said the examiner.
 
The examiner said there was, however, nothing unusual about having 30% as a pass mark as this is also happening in the South African education system.
 
“Thirty percent is also a pass in South Africa, although a student cannot be admitted to study a bachelor’s degree. They will have qualified to do a certificate. Universities consider 50%, but then it will depend on your degree and competition of points,” said the examiner, adding that the South African school certificate will show the actual marks obtained by the student.
 
Last year the pass rate for O Level students was 30% while the figure was much higher for A’ Level students with an 82% pass rate, while private candidates recorded a 57% pass rate.
 
Problem subjects like Geography still recorded very low passes with 36% attaining E grade or better. History (98%), Chemistry (74%), Mathematics (68%) and Accounting (58%) fared better after the moderation.
 
Source: Zimbabwe Independent

Kenya-British American Tobacco (BAT) Tactics To Undermine Tobacco Control Regulation..

400px-UKproposedplainpacks (1)
 
Kenya has the highest recorded smoking prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa, and ten percent of 13-15-year-olds smoke. Since Kenya’s ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2004, the Ministry of Health has been advocating for legislation that decrease the prevalence of smoking.
 
Kenya’s efforts to try and introduce tobacco control legislation that regulates the marketing and sale of tobacco products has been resisted by British American Tobacco (BAT) and other tobacco companies, which see Kenya as a key frontier for profit growth. Consequently legislation in the country has repeatedly been thwarted by the tobacco industry.
 
Kenya’s Tobacco Control Act 2007 took over 13 years to be passed, largely due to what has been labelled by the Kenya Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation as “intimidation” and “interference” from the tobacco industry.[5] The Act tried to introduce regulations that already exist in much of the Western world, such as required text warnings on cigarette packets, designated smoking zones in public places and the prohibition of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. However, since its creation in 2007, implementation has been difficult.
 
More recently, Kenyan policymakers have been trying to pass new regulations- which would strengthen the evidence-based framework established by the existing Tobacco Control Act.[8] As of May 2015, the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 are still awaiting enactment from the Kenyan parliament before being passed into law.
 
TOBACCO INDUSTRY OPPOSING REGULATIONS
 
The tobacco industry’s main quarrels with the new regulations remain:
the imposition of a small financial Contribution of 2% of the value of manufactured and imported tobacco products (which would go towards mitigating the health and socio-economic consequences caused by the products the industry sells
 
SOME TACTICS USED BY THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY TO INTERFERE WITH THE REGULATIONS INCLUDE:
 
Getting Senior Government Officials to Lobby on Their Behalf.
On February 3rd 2015, the Kenyan Ministry of Health received a letter from the President’s Office requesting a meeting to “come up with a common understanding” on the new regulations and to discuss concerns listed in a briefing passed on from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. This document proposed that the regulations be withdrawn completely or redeveloped in collaboration with stakeholders, of which tobacco companies are highly prominent.
 
Influencing Policymaking Through Trade Committees and Third Parties
On 20th January 2015, the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee in Kenya held a meeting to discuss the draft regulations. The meeting was attended by two staff members of BAT as well as representatives of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), of which BAT is a member.
 
At the meeting, KAM gave a presentation offering the exact same arguments that tobacco companies have used in their correspondence opposing the regulations. The TBT Committee has been utilised by the industry as a key outlet for influencing policy. In March 2012, the Ministry of Trade collaborated directly with the tobacco industry to host a workshop for all stakeholders at a resort spa meant to “build the technical competence…on the trade issues of concern”.
 
Requesting Information Indirectly Through Seemingly-Independent Parties
In January 2015, the Kenya Ministry of Health received a letter from an individual describing herself only as “a citizen of the Republic of Kenya” requesting all available information and correspondence pertaining to the regulations be handed over. Her contact information was the same as BAT Kenya’s headquarters although she failed to disclose this conflict of interest.
 
Engaging with Policymakers in Violation of International Treaties
Both BAT and Mastermind Tobacco Kenya (MTK) have, on multiple occasions, directly engaged Parliamentary Committees using what have been described by senior civil servants at the Ministry of Health as “manipulative tactics”[18] declaring their objections to the regulations and requesting meetings in person to discuss alterations.
 
As a signatory to the FCTC, there is meant to be limited, supervised interaction between the industry and government officials.
Filing a Legal Claim Against the Ministry of Health
 
On the 14th of April 2015, BAT Kenya filed a petition at the High Court insisting the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 were “unconstitutional” and requesting that the regulations be dismissed entirely.
For more information on how the industry has used the legal strategy to influence the policy process in other parts of the world, see Legal Strategy. Source-http://www.tobaccotactics.org/
see more at
photo-Plain packs proposed by the UK Government Source: UK Gov website

25 Killed And 100 Injured In Saudi Arabia Hospital Fire

CW9kWtDVAAEXECW the guardian.com.

A hospital blaze that broke out in a a southern Saudi Arabia Hospital, starting in the intensive care unit resulted in at least 25 people deaths  and 100 people injured.

 The devastating fire  in the intensive care and maternity departments of the Jazan General Hospital was later brought under control, and the injured were transferred for treatment at private and general hospitals in the area. By Sibusiso Ngwenya

photo- theguardian

Bethlehem Christmas Decorations And Lights Subdued Because Of West Bank Violence

Jerusalem_570 (1)

The  biblical birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem is a prime destination for Christian pilgrims-particularly over Christmas. But  recent violence between Palestinians and Israeli’s has led to a decline in bookings and cast a pall over celebrations. West Bank has been shaken by violent clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces this year. Bethlehem has seen its own share of unrest, and local officials fear this may have turned visitors away.

With Christmas around the corner, the city is all set to welcome visitors on what is normally its busiest time of the year. But alongside the customary Santa Claus figures, storefronts are announcing unusually early sales.

Johnny Masharbesh, whose shop is normally bustling with crowds in the buildup to Christmas, says he has no choice but to slash prices.

“This year we had to do promotions early on, because we are not selling enough. We’ve made a 50 percent discount on all sales to attract customers,” he says.

In spite of the difficult times, local Christians are determined to maintain the centuries-old tradition and keep the Christmas spirit alive.

“We have fewer decorations and lights because of what’s going on,” says Father Jamal Khader, a Latin patriarch. “But religious celebrations of Christmas will go on as usual – praying for the martyrs, for the prisoners and for everyone who’s suffering.” source-http://www.france24.com/

photo-ibookisrael-Jerusalem

‘Islamic State Of Somalia Bans Christmas Celebrations: ‘Because They Are Contrary To Our Culture’

hassan12

Islamic nation of Somalia follows Sultan of Brunei’s example and bans Christmas celebrations because ‘they are contrary to our culture’
Security forces primed to break-up festivities in the capital Mogadishu
Feared Christian events may provoke attacks by Al Shabaab terror group
Sultan of Brunei has threatened to jail Muslims who celebrate Christmas

President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has banned Christmas celebrations because they ‘contrary to Islamic culture’
Somalia has banned Christmas and New Year celebrations because they are ‘contrary to Islamic culture’ – days after a similar move by the Sultan of Brunei.
Director General of Somalia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow, warned that security forces would break-up any gatherings held in the capital Mogadishu.
He said: ‘All events related to Christmas and New Year celebrations are contrary to Islamic culture, which could damage aqidah (faith) of the Muslim community.
‘There should be no activity at all.’
Sheikh Nur Barud Gurhan, deputy chairman of the Supreme Religious Council of Somalia, said Christian events might provoke further attacks by the Muslim terror group Al Shabaab, it was reported by Ugandan daily New Vision.
He said: ‘We Islamic Scholars are warning against the celebration of such events which are not relevant to the principles of our religion. Such events give also Al Shabaab to carry out attacks.’
In the latest attack, on Monday, passengers on board a bus bravely defied Al-Shabaab militants who ordered them to sacrifice the Christians on board during a deadly standoff in Kenya.
When the 10 Al-Shabaab militants stormed the bus in the country’s north, they demanded Muslim passengers separate themselves from the Christians on board.
But the passengers refused – even giving some of their fellow travellers Islamic articles of clothing to wear so they could not be distinguished.
A year ago, Al-Shabaab gunmen – who operate as Al Qaeda’s affiliates in east Africa – stormed a Nairobi-bound bus in the same area and killed 28 non-Muslim passengers execution-style.
The move comes days after the Sultan of Brunei’s decision to jail Muslims who celebrate the festivities.
The super-rich ruler, Hassanal Bolkiah, told residents of his country that if they plan on celebrating December 25, they could face up to five years in jail.
There are fears Christian events might provoke further attacks by the Muslim terror group Al Shabaab (above)
Banned Christmas: Oil-rich Brunei has banned public celebrations of Christmas for fear of Muslims being led astray.
There may be no Christmas in Brunei – but there is at the nation’s leader’s Beverly Hills Hotel. The Sultan owns the Dorchester Collection of hotels including the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel Air.
While non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate the holiday within their own communities, they must not disclose their plans to the nation’s Muslims – which make up 65 per cent of the 420,000-strong population.
Around 20 per cent of Brunei’s residents are non-Muslim, including substantial Buddhist and Christian communities.
‘These enforcement measures are…intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community,’ said the Ministry of Religious Affairs in a statement.
The small Borneo nation prohibits propagating religion other than Islam to a Muslim, and breaking this is a violation of the penal code.
Other banned activities include putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs and sending Christmas greetings, reported the Borneo Bulletin.
‘Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue,’ the imams are quoted as saying in the Bulletin.
‘But as Muslims…we must keep it [following other religions’ celebrations] away as it could affect our Islamic faith.’

The Los Angeles property, owned by the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection, is covered in Christmas decorations – which would land a Brunei resident in jail

Harsh: The tiny state of Brunei on the island of Borneo is ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and relies on oil and gas exports for its prosperity
Religion: Around 35 per cent of Brunei’s residents are non-Muslim, including substantial Buddhist and Christian communities.
Religion: Around 35 per cent of Brunei’s residents are non-Muslim, including substantial Buddhist and Christian communities. Pictured here is the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and Clock in Brunei
Some Burnei residents, however, are risking jail time by still celebrating Christmas and uploading pictures to social media as part of a #MyTreedom campaign that celebrates religious freedom.
Imams have told followers to abide by a government edict banning celebrations that could lead Muslims astray and damage their faith
The tiny state on the island of Borneo is ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and relies on oil and gas exports for its prosperity.
The nation embraced a harsh new penal code in April 2014, led by 68-year-old Bolkiah.
At the time, he said: ‘Today I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow,Thursday, May 1 2014, will see the enforcement of Sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases.’
The change means people can face conviction by Islamic courts and fines or jail terms for a range of offences such as pregnancy outside marriage, failure to perform Friday prayers and propagating other religions.
A second phase of the law comes into effect in May this year covering theft and alcohol consumption by Muslims, which would be punishable by whipping and amputation.
The death penalty, including death by stoning, will be introduced in the final phase a year later for offences such as adultery, sodomy and insulting the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad.
The Sultan lives in the Istana Nurul Imam, also the seat of Brunei government (effectively the sultan and his family). The palace has over 1700 rooms and 350 toilets.
The Sultan lives in the Istana Nurul Imam, also the seat of Brunei government (effectively the sultan and his family). The palace has over 1700 rooms and 350 toilets. The Istana is pictured here when the Sultan’s daughter Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah and her groom were presented to the royal court in 2012
Most of the laws will also apply to non-Muslims.
The Sharia Penal Code calls for the stoning of people who commit a variety of sexual ‘crimes’ including sodomy, adultery and rape.
The strict Islamic law code also includes flogging, stoning and amputation.
‘By the grace of Allah, with the coming into effect of this legislation, our duty to Allah is therefore being fulfilled,’ the sultan said at a legal conference in Brunei’s capital last year.
Even before that law was passed, there was a ten year prison sentence for gays.
The land of gold-plated mosques and wooden water villages is so rich from its oil and gas resources that no one pays tax.
Alcohol is also banned in the nation.
Under the Sharia code theft and alcohol consumption are punishable by whippings and amputation.
Smoking is also banned in public.
The Sultan owns the Dorchester Collection of hotels.
The chain’s two American hotels are the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel Air.
In the spring of 2014, after the move to sharia law, celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres led the charge for massive boycotts at the properties.
Despite the no alcohol, no smoking and strict sexual laws in place in Brunei, the Sultan has an infamous playboy brother.
Prince Jefri gained notoriety for his harems of beautiful women, his flotilla of luxury yachts including a boat named ‘Tits’ and his alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars while he was finance minister.
The Sultan lives in the Istana Nurul Imam, also the seat of Brunei government (which is effectively the sultan and his family).
The palace has a reported 1788 rooms, a 110-car garage, a stable for the sultan’s 200 polo ponies, five swimming pools and 350 toilets.
Implementation of Sharia law was denounced by United Nations Commission on Human Rights and also is concerning to Western workers in the oil sector and the tens of thousands of ethnic Chinese Bruneians and 30,000 mostly Roman Catholic Filipino migrant workers living in Brunei.
Jewish extremist Benzi Gopstein has called for Israel to ban Christmas – days after the Sultan of Brunei’s decision to jail Muslims who celebrate the festivities
Hypocrite?
Meanwhile, a Jewish extremist also called for Israel to ban Christmas.
Israeli anti-racism activists have called for an investigation after Benzi Gopstein urged a ban on Christmas celebrations in the country and called Christians ‘vampires’.
Gopstein, who heads the far-right Lehava organisation and has been arrested a number of times, made the comments in an article on the ultra-Orthodox Jewish website Kooker.
‘Christmas has no place in the Holy Land,’ wrote Gopstein, who lives in a Jewish settlement in Hebron in the occupied West Bank.
He spoke of the ‘fall of the line of defence of the Jewish people for hundreds of years against our enemies, the Catholic Church.’
‘The mission of those vampires and bloodsuckers remains. If Jews cannot be killed, they can be converted,’ he wrote.
‘We must remove the vampires before they drink our blood once again.’
The Coalition Against Racism in Israel and others have called on authorities to investigate Gopstein.
In August, Israeli police questioned Gopstein after he condoned torching churches amid an uproar over recent hate crimes, including the firebombing of a Palestinian home that killed a toddler and both his parents.
On June 18, an arson attack occurred at a shrine on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel where Jesus is believed to have performed the miracle of loaves and fishes.
Israeli prosecutors have charged three Jewish extremists in that case.
Lehava claims to fight for Jewish identity, in particular by opposing marriages between Jews and gentiles. By Simon Tomlinson  For MAILONLINE : @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

 

photo-wacaal-President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has banned Christmas celebrations because they ‘contrary to Islamic culture’

Sultan Of Brunei Bans Christmas ‘Because It Could Damage Muslim Faith’

Brunei a throwback to an age of absolute monarchy: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah  Photo: EPA

Tiny conservative nation on Borneo warns citizens that putting up festive decorations or singing carols could threaten the country’s Muslim Faith.  Brunei has banned public celebrations of Christmas, warning that putting up festive decorations or singing carols could threaten the country’s Muslim faith.

The conservative Islamic country on the island of Borneo allows non-Muslims to celebrate Christmas, but only within their communities, and they must first alert the authorities.

At least 65 per cent of the 420,000-strong population of the oil-rich state are Muslims.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs said in a statement: “These enforcement measures are … intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community.”

In a warning to Muslims earlier this month, a group of Imams warned that any celebration “not in any way related to Islam” could lead to “‘tasyabbuh’ (imitation) and unknowingly damage the ‘aqidah’ (faith) of Muslims”.

“During Christmas celebrations, Muslims following that religion’s acts – such as using their religious symbols like cross, lighting candles, making Christmas trees and singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings, using signs praising the religion, putting up decorations or creating sounds and doing anything that amounts to respecting their religion – are against Islamic faith,” the Imams said, according to the Borneo Bulletin.

“Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue. But as Muslims and as a Zikir Nation, we must keep it (following other religions’ celebrations) away as it could affect our Islamic faith.”

Some Brunei residents rejected the ban, by posting Christmas pictures on social media using the #MyTreedom hashtag.

Political discontent is limited thanks to a high standard of living and free education and health care, although members of the royal family have been criticised for their extravagant lifestyles.

Michael Jackson, the late pop singer, was reportedly paid more than £10 million to give a concert in Brunei in 1996 to mark the sultan’s 50th birthday.

Last year, the sultan caused controversy by introducing Sharia criminal law, which allows for punishments including stoning, whipping and amputation.

This policy triggered a boycott of the hotel chain owned by the Sultan of Brunei’s sovereign wealth investment agency by a group of celebrities, fashion designers and other famous names.

Backed by the likes of Stephen Fry, Stella McCartney and Sir Richard Branson, the rich, famous and chic were urged not to book into any of the Dorchester Collection venues, including the Dorchester in London, Le Meurice in Paris, the Beverly Hills Hotel in LA and Il Principe in Milan.

Brunei, a former British protectorate, is run as an absolutist Muslim monarchy by the Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, 67.

source-http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
1 207 208 209 210 211 255