Policeman killed in shooting with smugglers at Malaysia-Thai border in Perlis

PADANG BESAR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A policeman with Malaysia's General Operation Force (GOF) member was shot dead on Tuesday (Nov 24) while his patrol partner was seriously injured after they were shot while on duty at the Malaysia-Thailand border post in Perlis.

The GOF is the light infantry arm of the Royal Malaysia Police.

Corporal Baharuddin Ramli, 54, died at the scene while Corporal Norihan Tari, 39, is in critical condition from the 3am incident on Tuesday (Nov 24) at the TS9 post along the border.

Both men were from the GOF's Battalion 3 in Bodir, Perak.

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said in a statement that the two officers were involved in a shootout with smugglers at the Malaysia-Thailand border, and instructed the police to identify and apprehend the assailants involved.

An initial investigation found that the officers were involved in intelligence work at the location when they were set upon by two groups of smugglers, Datuk Seri Hamzah said, as quoted by Malay Mail online news. He said the smugglers were believed to comprise locals and foreigners.

Malaysian commandos who swept the area where the shootout took place have arrested one injured smuggler while three others were nabbed by Thai police at a Hatyai hospital, a source says.

Another smuggler was arrested later on the Malaysian side, and four on the Thai side, Bernama news agency reported.

"The smugglers were believed to be carrying about 12 packages of ketum leaves (estimated at 400-500kg) and a gunny sack of cough medicine,” Perlis police chief Datuk Surina Saad told reporters near the scene of the shooting, as reported by Bernama. The ketum leaves are sometimes boiled and the liquid used by drug addicts, and is the cough medicine.

Mr Hamzah said he was informed that the shootout occurred at about 3am along Border Wall TS9 in Padang Besar, a town at the Thai-Malaysia border.

Mr Baharuddin's body was taken to Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Alor Setar for a post-mortem while Mr Norihan was transported to the hospital after getting initial treatment at Hospital Tuanku Fauziah in Kangar.