Malaysian foreign minister sorry after caught vaping in parliament
- A video showed Hishammuddin Hussein sneaking a vape behind his face mask while transport minister Wee addressed lawmakers
- The minister promised not to vape during parliament proceedings again
The video shows Hishammuddin sneaking a vape behind his face mask while his colleague, Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong, is speaking during Parliamentary proceedings.
The eight-second video is believed to have been taken on Monday, when Dr Wee was delivering his winding-up speech. Hishammuddin, however, apologised on Twitter and promised not to vape during Parliament proceedings again.
“Sorry, I didn’t realise – it’s a new habit. I apologise to the Dewan and promise not to do it again,” he tweeted.
The minister also paid a fine to the health ministry.
Smoking is strictly prohibited in Parliament and the rule was tightened during Pakatan Harapan’s former administration.
Former health minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had declared Parliament as a non-smoking area in October 2018.
Anyone found breaking the law can be slapped with a maximum of RM500 (US$119) compound and can be fined up to RM10,000 (US$2,387) or face imprisonment of up to two months, or both.
Meanwhile, Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang) raised the issue to Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon during Parliament on Thursday, asking if smoking was allowed in the House.
She had quoted Standing Order 41(d) on “Behaviour of Members not speaking”.
“A Twitter user raised the issue about Sembrong vaping on Monday when Transport Minister was speaking and Sembrong has apologised on his Twitter.
“I believe it is better for Sembrong to apologise formally in this House,” Wong said.
Rashid, in response, said he took note of the matter and the House would look into it.
Meanwhile, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) said it was shocking for Malaysians especially those who are fighting against smoking to learn that a senior minister was vaping inside Parliament.
“Parliament was declared on October 2018 as a non-smoking area. So whoever was found smoking must be charged according to the law,” said CAP education officer N.V. Subbarow in a statement.
“Hishammudin should be a role model for others. He cannot escape from the hands of law. He should he fined or compounded,” Subbarow added.