King to confer highest valour award to Sarjan Baharuddin and Sarjan Norihan

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat was informed that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (pic) has agreed to confer the highest valour award to two police personnel involved in a border shoot out with drug smugglers on Tuesday (Nov 24).

"In recognition of their services and sacrifices, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has agreed to confer the Pingat Panglima Gagah Berani (Star of the Commander of Valour) to Kpl Baharuddin Ramli and Kpl Norihan Tari, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Hazmah Zainuddin.

"In addition to this, the Home Ministry has agreed to promote Kpl Baharuddin to the rank of Sarjan posthumously and Kpl Norihan to the rank of Sarjan," he said to thumps of approval from lawmakers in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Nov 26).

Baharuddin, 54, was killed in the shootout while Norihan, 39, was seriously injured.

Hamzah, who was answering a question by Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PAS-Kuala Krai), said that 19 suspects - 15 locals and four Thais - were so far arrested by police following investigations into the incident which took place at about 3.10am at the Malaysia-Thai border in Padang Besar, Perlis.

He added that police in Thailand arrested four Thai suspects, three of whom had sought treatment at the hospital for gunshot wounds.

"Initial police investigations showed that the smugglers were involved in drug smuggling using barter-trade, where they would exchange ketum leaves from Malaysia with drugs from Thailand," he said.

Hamzah said the ministry is drafting a comprehensive plan to bolster border security.

He added that this included procurement of modern equipment such as drones, armoured personnel carriers, night vision goggles and GPS trackers.

He also said that better training and strategies would be implemented among local enforcement and foreign agencies to improve surveillance and border operations.

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