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Judicial CP - January 2003

Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 21 January 2003

Local gets 20 years, 15 strokes for syabu

By Md Ezam

A local man, Hj Abd Lamit Hj Shari @ Shaari, currently serving four years imprisonment, is to serve 20 years in jail and 15 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to three charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Before Judge Dato Paduka Steven Chong in the High Court yesterday, he was given a chance to claim his defence though he chose to remain silent and pleaded guilty to the remaining charges.

The Attorney General Chambers Deputy Public Prosecutor Hjh Anifa Rafiza Hj Abd Ghani, who was assisted by Norhafizah Ahmad, said that Lamit first pleaded guilty to charges of consuming Methylamphetamine, a class A controlled drug, and having an apparatus intended for the consumption of the said drugs.

However, he claimed trial for the charge under section 3A of the MDA, for having 55.055 grammes of Methylamphetamine in his possession for the purpose of trafficking.

During the three-day trial, the prosecution called 15 witnesses including the two who were arrested with Lamit. Officers from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) involved in the case were also called to adduce that Lamit did possess the drugs in question for the purpose of trafficking.

Yesterday, for the first charge of having in his possession 55.055 grammes of the said drug, he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with 15 strokes of the cane, four years jail for consuming Methylamphetamine and a month in jail for having the said apparatus. Judge Dato Steven Chong ordered for the sentence to run concurrently.

As revealed in the facts of the case, Lamit and two others, Mohd Sani Hj Othman and Masni Mohd Ranih, were arrested on April 17 last year by a group of NCB officers during a raid at No 21 'D' in Kg Sungai Kebun.

When a search was conducted inside Lamit's bedroom, he handed over a black wallet to an NCB officer containing cash believed to be proceeds from drug sales. A body search was conducted on Lamit and several packets of crystalline substances were found kept inside a small black box in the back pocket of his trousers.

Further search in Lamit's bedroom revealed a black bag on top of a small table containing amongst others a large sum of money and many small plastic packets containing crystalline substances.

The NCB officers also found modified bottles believed to be used for consuming drugs along with one black plastic bag containing many small empty plastic packets. All the seized items together with the arrested persons were brought back to the NCB office for further investigations. Lamit's urine sample was also taken for analysis.

When the seized exhibits were sent to the Scientific Lab for analysis, the crystalline substance was reported to contain Methylamphetamine, a class A controlled drug and the modified bottle also contained traces of Methylamphetamine. Lamit's urine sample also tested positive for the said drug.

Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 31 January 2003

A peek inside prison

By Achong Tanjong

FREE LIFESTYLE ... staff giving a stark caning demonstration but Maraburong Prison is more than punishment - convicts keep abreast of changes in the outside world through academic and skills training, so as to compete with society and be self-reliant once they regain their freedom. Pix: A. Tanjong

Chief Warden of Maraburong Prison, Supt Haji Mohamed, guided the tour by Acting Temburong D.O. Haji Md. Yussop, along with penghulu, village heads and longhouse headmen from Temburong District yesterday.

Although their movements are confined by the walls, its is not the end of the world for the prison inmates as they also have similar freedom like the ordinary citizen of the country.

Many programmes are organized for them with the sole objective of reform and turning them into loyal and law-abiding as well as socially productive, citizens.

According to Chief Warden of the Maraburong Prison, Superintendent Haji Mohamed bin Haji Damit at a briefing during a group visit by Acting Temburong District Officer Haji Md. Yussop bin Bakar with penghulu, village heads and longhouse headmen in tow from the Temburong District yesterday morning.

Functioning as the 'eyes and ears' of a community, the penghulus, village heads and longhouse headmen were given priority to visit and have a closer look at what the government agencies are doing for prisoners, who check in wayward members of society.

They toured the two prisons in Jerudong and Maraburong, accompanied by Director of Prison Tuan Haji Ahmad Haji Dullah. Also with the group was Assistant D.O. Awg. Ramlee Hj. Jamudin and senior staff of Temburong District office. At the end of their visit, they were treated to a lunch.

Haji Mohamed said that since the new prison started its operations on August 1, 2001, many rehabilitation programmes such as psychological rehabilitation, counselling, civic rehabilitation and vocational training, have been held. On top of that, inmates are also given spiritual and physical education. The prison has permanent religious teachers.

He said Maraburong Prison, which can accommodate 150 inmates, now has 157 inmates comprising 125 locals and 32 foreigners. The prison is mainly for first-time offenders. Second and repeat offenders are placed in Jerudong Prison. He said the new prison is located within the Bukit Panggal area, built on 81 hectares at a cost of B$18.8 million. It is one the modern building prisons in the country, which is equipped with sophisticated facilities in terms of security systems.

There are classes, surau, workshops (handicraft), with facilities like dinning hall, kitchen, mini library and volleyball and sepak-takraw courts.

Most of the products produced by the inmates are sold via exhibition and charity bazaars to raise aid for the less fortunate like the Afghan refugees. The public interested in their products can also make a booking through the prison authority.

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