Iranian smuggler in a pickle
An Iranian man was arrested after trying to smuggle 5.7 million ringgit (US$1.61 million) in drugs disguised as pickled cucumbers, it was reported yesterday. Customs deputy director general Mohammad Hassim Pardi told state media the Iranian was detained with liquid methamphetamine at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on Friday after arriving on a flight from the Middle East. He said inspectors became suspicious after inspecting one of two bags the man was carrying, which contained five cans labeled as pickled cucumbers. However, no cucumbers could be seen when the luggage was screened. Mohammad Hasim told the news agency Bernama it was the first time that customs officials had detected and foiled an attempt to smuggle liquid methamphetamine in the country.
Council opposes caning
The country’s bar council said yesterday it was opposed to a judge’s plan to cane an offender in his court, saying he could not be both “judge and executioner.” Sessions court Judge Zainal Abdidin Kamarudin said on Friday he planned to cane 20-year-old sales promoter Syafiq Abdul Wahab in his courtroom on July 15, after he found him guilty of gang robbery. Zainal also ordered Syafiq’s parents to be present in the courtroom where he would mete out the punishment of 10 strokes of the cane, known locally as the rotan. Law society president Ragunath Kesavan said judges could legally inflict corporal punishment, but added that this had last been done over 30 years ago, with the high court swiftly reprimanding the judge for doing so.
Teacher shot on road
A female Buddhist teacher was shot dead by suspected insurgents in the restive Muslim south yesterday, police said. Two gunmen riding a motorcycle fled after killing the 38-year-old victim on a road in Narathiwat Province. In an incident in the south on Saturday, a suspected insurgent and two security officers died in a gun battle in the province of Yala. Two other militants managed to get away, even though the house they escaped to was surrounded by 200 police and soldiers.
Teens sell sex for clothes
An increasing number of teenagers are selling sex to earn money for designer clothes, in a trend called “compensated dating,” a survey released yesterday indicated. One in 10 students questioned said they believed schoolgirls were involved in the practice and 6.6 percent said they knew fellow students who had done it. The trend for compensated dating, a euphemism for paid sex with young women usually by older men, is believed to have spread to Hong Kong from Japan.
Aircraft bomb Taliban
Aircraft bombed the Taliban yesterday in their bastion of South Waziristan on the Afghan border after the militants attacked two military camps, killing two soldiers, officials and residents said. The military, near the end of an offensive in the northwestern Swat Valley after two months of fighting, is preparing to launch a new drive in South Waziristan, where Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud is based. The decision to go on the attack came after Taliban gains raised fears of the militants gradually taking over more of the country and even posing a risk to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. The campaign has broad public support and has also won the praise of the US.
Groups oppose car park