Some poor iddy biddy drug syndicate's RM5.2bil poorer as our Customs Department seizes 16 tonnes of pills. It's the biggest single narcotics haul in our history. Bloody hell!

In other news, the IGP's refusing to bow to pressure to name the upstarts in the force seeking his ouster. And is the great PAS admitting to gerrymandering plans?
Oy vey!

No more amphetamines for Annie

A mammoth haul!

Our Customs folks have certainly been reeling them in.

Yesterday, they raided an illegal “mini brewery” in Negeri Sembilan and seized all sorts of items worth a cool RM3mil. But that’s pocket change compared to a smuggled drug haul they had at Port Klang recently, the biggest drug seizure in the country’s history.

Thanks to a tip-off from Saudi Arabian authorities, Customs checked a shipment from the Middle East and seized 94.8 million amphetamine pills worth a jaw-dropping RM5.2billion. Yes, BILLION.

The Captagon pills, hidden in trolley tyres, had been meant for a third country in the “Far East”. Which? We know not. Fun fact: The haul weighed 16 tonnes. That’s even more than three full-grown Asian elephants! (Just what’s Captagon? You can read more about it here).

This news comes just a day after IGP Abdul Hamid Bador had said police seized RM35mil worth of syabu in Kajang. This was on top of RM245million worth of illegal narcotics seized in the first two months of the year. 

Before this month’s mammoth seizure, the previous largest bust was a 12-tonnes haul of cocaine from Latin American worth RM2.4bil, with Malaysia once more playing transit point.

Yes, Malaysia has a drug problem. Not-So-Fun Fact #1: The youngest drug abuser on record here is reportedly 7-years-old! Not-So-Fun Fact #2: Opioids used to be our drug of choice, but these have now been replaced by amphetamine-type stimulants.

But these busts have shown Malaysia’s also a transit hub for all manner of illicit things, especially drugs (and trafficked wildlife), thanks to our strategic location

Now, this is a Malaysia Boleh (Malaysia can) honour we can all do without!

🎶 Macho, macho man 🎶

Less than a week after crying out that a cartel of dirty, dirty coppers was (allegedly! allegedly!) out to take him down, IGP Hamid’s now saying he wants to do nothin’ about it.

Our top cop’s said he could handle the heat from the young punks seeking his ouster and echoed gomen’s sentiment that no formal Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is necessary. 

So why bring it up, and so publicly, in the first place? Well, Hammy’s claimed he merely intended for the public to know what’s plaguing the force and to warn any plotting officers to cease and desist.

Problem. We only have Sir IGP’s word on the existence of said “cartel”. Also, if true, where’s the transparency, bub? He’s claiming some Netflix series-level conspiracy here involving our largest law enforcement agency. Surely this, together with his claim of corruption in high-ranking coppers, would warrant some form of probe, if only to save the force’s public image?

To refresh your memories, this isn’t the first time Ham’s spoke about cartels in PDRM. He made similar public claims in Jan that ‘mid-level senior police officers’ (What the hell are mid-level senior officers anyway? You’re either mid-level or you’re senior lah!) were trying to get collaborators promoted to influence police hierarchy.

Also, how long has this been going on, and how deep does this shit go? Your predecessor Musa Hassan claimed he tried but failed to take out errant cops in time. How can you fare any better with just a coupla months to go till your contract ends?

Opposition MPs seem to think so too. Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo’s said an internal probe wouldn’t cut it, while his DAP big boss Lim Guan Eng’s insisting only an open RCI could clean things up. 

Young party MUDA, meanwhile, has submitted a memo to Hamid urging him to name the dirty cops. (Side note: Wouldn’t it be “awesome” if there were 12 of ’em, so we can call em “The Dirty Dozen”?) 

Seriously, though, this is one of the reasons why many rights groups and lawmakers have clamoured for an external independent oversight body a.k.a the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) for years.

Instead, we got a watered-down, defanged version in the Independent Police Conduct Commission Bill, and even that hasn’t been passed yet!

PAS talking whack

PAS has a cunning plan

According to Central committee member Khairuddin “no quarantine” Aman Razali , PAS wants to work with the two other big Malay parties – Bersatu and Umno – to win a two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat so that they could redraw election boundaries in a way that would benefit Muslims. 

Why is redelineation necessary? So more Malay reps could be added to Parliament roll call, of course! Umno bigwig Nazri Aziz, meanwhile, said PAS’ “good” plan could only be achieved by working with Muafakat Nasional (meaning working with Umno only la) – and not Perikatan Nasional/Bersatu. After all, the great Sparta only had two kings, not three, we guess. 

We’re surprised we have to spell this out, but this is gerrymandering – the (re)drawing of the electoral boundaries to give one party/group an unfair advantage over others. Also, may we point out that out majority of MPs in the country are already Malays?

Now, this isn’t new. Malaysia’s been plagued with concerns over gerrymandering and malapportionment (inequitable voter ratio per electoral zones) for years.

The thing is, you don’t need a two-thirds majority in Parliament to approve a redelineation exercise, according to the Federal Constitution. So why is PAS calling for this? What are you planning, guys?

Also, all of this is even more tragicomic considering it comes 3 days after the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Only in Malaysia, folks!

Meanwhile, in sorta related news, the Selangor sultan’s joined his fellow ruler in Johor in opposing the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, ordering the state’s Islamic Religious Council to intervene in the appeal against the recent High Court decision. Lovely.

In other political news, we learned:

  • The Umno AGM will go ahead this weekend after the party received the National Security Council’s approval. Main thing on the agenda is whether to part ways with Bersatu come GE15.

    On this, Umno man Zahidi Zainul Abidin’s voiced out whether breaking up with Bersatu/PN is smart and if el presidente Zahid Hamidi has a secret weapon up his sleeve.

    Meanwhile, analysts have said no matter how heated the argument against divorcing Bersatu will be at the AGM, it could all mean naught as the institution makes things nigh impossible to oppose anything the party’s supreme council decides. 
     
  • Titi Serong rep Hasnul Zulkarnain Abdul Munaim has been booted from Bersatu for his alleged role in the ouster of party numero dos Ahmad Faizal Azumu as Perak MB. Hasnul has, meanwhile, denied rumours he’s scouting for a new party.
     
  • Amanah’s Permatang Pasir assemblyman Faiz Fadzil has denied molesting a woman despite being named in a police report

The best of the rest

We try to keep things short, even if not always sweet. Hence, here are main news from yesterday in bite-sized chunks:

  • Malaysia and Singapore will work towards easing cross-border movement, including recognising each other’s vaccine certificates. PM Muhyiddin Yassin hopes restrictions will be lifted soon
     
  • The country saw 1,384 new Covid-19 infections and 6 deaths yesterday, bringing the total cases to 335,540 and death toll 1,244. The number of active cases stands at 14,454
     
  • Malaysia has heightened vigilance in case of retaliation from North Korea after we deported a North Korean businessman. They’ll probably not nuke us (we hope!), but it doesn’t hurt to be watchful.
     
  • Existing parts of the SUKE highway will be closed following the fatal crane collapse a few days back, as the Malaysian Highway Authority has ordered a check on all gantries and beams. Meanwhile, the Fire and Rescue Department has said stabilisation of the U beam at the site has been completed
     
  • DAP’s P. Ramasamy is insisting Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) apologises for the use of “keling” in its online dictionary, but DBP is insisting it won’t

    The latter said the use of the word wasn’t intended as derogatory and that its other dictionaries point to the word being seen as taboo today. Dude, it is derogatory and just cos a previous edition used it doesn’t mean it isn’t. 

    But get this – this isn’t the only example of offensive shit in DBP’s dic. Here are some other examples that range from ‘huh’ to ‘wt-bloody-f’!
     
  • The court hearing a suit brought by Altantuya Shaariibuu’s family against the gomen and several others heard that residue of an explosive called RDX, the kind used by the military, was found at the spot where she was murdered. 

    It has been 15 years since this poor woman’s horrifying murder and her family is still seeking justice. So sad. 
     
  • The High Court has ordered the AG’s Chambers and police to provide updates on their search for the daughter of M. Indira Gandhi who was kidnapped by her ex in 2009. Another case that’s been going on forever with no resolution.
     
  • The humble kain pelikat has taken its place in high fashion, according to GQ. But the style mag has mislabelled it a “skirt”. Sheesh! What a fail!

“Don't do drugs because if you do drugs you'll go to prison, and drugs are really expensive in prison."

- John Hardwick -

IN INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • A 21-year-old man has been charged with murder, hours after he shot and killed 10 people at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. The state has already seen two of America’s most infamous shootings, the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and the 2012 Aurora shooting at a movie theatre. 
     
  • A 7-year-old girl has become the youngest victim of violence in Myanmar, allegedly shot dead inside her own home by security forces in Mandalay.
     
  • An independent US review board has raised concerns about the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine’s efficacy, but the company is standing by its data, which it said it would release in full soon. 
     
  • Meanwhile, the EU plans to extend its vaccine import curbs to the UK to cover instances of companies backloading contracted supplies. 
     
  • Delhi and Mumbai have banned Holi celebrations over fears of Covid transmissions. In case you’re wondering what Holi is, it’s the one which you see on movies and TV shows, where people throw coloured water or powder on each other. 
     
  • A painting by Banksy honouring UK healthcare workers was auctioned off for a record £16.7 million, the proceeds of which will go to National Health Service charities. 

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER

This weekday newsletter is brought to you by Trident Media, a group of Malaysian journalists with 60 years of combined media experience in four countries across TV, print and digital media.

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Trident Media · Seksyen 35 · Shah Alam, Selangor 40470 · Malaysia

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