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New sec-gen takes office at Mindef

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KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Halimi Abd Manaf, 59, started his duty as the new secretary-general of the Defence Ministry at Wisma Pertahanan here.

He takes over from Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi who retired yesterday.

His arrival was welcomed by a guard-of-honour mounted by three officers and 103 men of the 1st Battalion Royal Malay Regiment.

Halimi was the ministry’s deputy secretary-general (Development).

Also present at the event were Armed Forces chief Jen Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor, Army chief Tan Sri Zulkiple Kassim and Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin. — Bernama

Increase excise duty on ciggies, Govt urged 

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government should consider increasing the excise duty on cigarettes to maintain current prices, said National Cancer Society of Malaysia PR and communications assistant manager Mandy Thoo.

She points out that the World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 70% of the retail price of cigarettes as excise tax but Malaysia’s excise tax is currently 47.06% of the retail price.

“The excise tax will prove to be a valuable source of revenue to the Government, especially in this time of need,” she said.

On Thursday, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the ministry has decided to maintain the price of cigarettes after the Goods and Services Tax has been zero-rated.

Teen caught with 1,000 Eramin 5 pills 

KOTA BARU: A teenager was caught at the Malaysia-Thailand border carrying 1,000 Eramin 5 pills in a plastic bag.

Police believed the 19-year-old bought the drugs worth RM15,000 from a Thai national living in Kampung Padang Nyiur in Munduk, Thailand.

Pasir Mas OCPD Asst Comm Abdullah Mohammad Piah said a seven-day remand had been obtained to facilitate investigations.

“Initial investigations confirmed the suspect obtained the drugs from Thailand for distribution in Jeram Perdah (in Kelantan).”

Generous man  wins RM1mil

PETALING JAYA: A man from Kajang who bought lottery tickets to support a handicapped seller was rewarded when he won the RM1mil second prize.

Pan Malaysian Sweeps Sdn Bhd said in a statement the winner bought 10 tickets without hesitation when approached by the seller while having lunch at a Seremban coffee shop.

Besides the winning (RM1mil) 2561225 ticket, the other nine also matched the front four digits and he won a further RM900.

The winner recently started buying more tickets after learning all surpluses from Big Sweep would be donated to the Yu Cai Foundation, a charitable organisation that nurtures talent through education.

Gawai a time to reunite after GE14

MIRI: Gawai Dayak, the harvest festival for Sarawak’s Dayak communities, was celebrated in a rather subdued fashion following the recent general election.

Progressive Democratic Party deputy president Datuk Nelson Balang Rining said it is a time to heal political wounds caused by GE14.

“It’s a time for families to come together again. Neighbours should reunite and political groups set aside differences to celebrate as one,” he said.

Balang said his community is holding the annual Irau Aco Lun Bawang festival, which includes games, songs and dances, in Lawas town for Gawai.

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