Malaysian actor jailed for 11 years over Indonesian drug smuggling

Khaireyll Benjamin Ibrahim, alias Benjy, attends his trial at a court in Medan on October 18, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Malaysian actor jailed for 11 years over Indonesian drug smuggling

MEDAN, Indonesia: A Malaysian actor was sentenced to 11 years in prison Wednesday for trying to smuggle crystal methamphetamine hidden in his rectum into the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Khaeryll Benjamin bin Ibrahim was arrested with 4.5 grams of the narcotics in April at Kualanamu International Airport.
In addition to the jail time, the 38-year-old was ordered to pay a fine of $74,000 by the Medan District Court.
However, the prison term was lower than the 14 years recommended by prosecutors and he escaped a possible death penalty.
“We declare the defendant Benjy proven legally and convincingly guilty ... against the law of possessing and controlling narcotics,” head judge Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo said.
Ibrahim — known to fans as Benjy — is the son of legendary Malaysian actress Azean Irdawaty, according to Malaysian media.
Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest anti-narcotics laws and people caught smuggling more than five grams of some controlled substances can be sentenced to death.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched a tough campaign against narcotics use in 2014, which culminated in the execution by firing squad last year of seven foreign drug convicts — including two Australians.
But the move drew worldwide condemnation, and the government has since shown little sign of preparing for more executions, saying it is focused on fixing the economy.


Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

A still from the film.
Updated 19 July 2018
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Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

DENVER: Like a gallery wall-sized enlargement of a microscopic image, “Scenes from a Marriage” is all about size, space and perspective.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman — whose birth centenary was marked this week — at 281 minutes long, its unwieldly length presents an intimidating canvas, yet the claustrophobic intimacy of its gaze is unprecedented: The two leads are alone in nearly every scene, many of which play out for more than a half-hour at a time.
Premiered in 1973, the work is technically a TV mini-series, but such is its legend that theaters continue to program its nearly five-hour arc in its entirety. A three-hour cinematic edit was prepared for US theater consumption a year later (it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was ruled ineligible for the corresponding Oscar).
Not a lot a happens but, then again, everything does. Shot over four months on a shoestring budget, its six chapters punctuate the period of a decade. The audience are voyeurs, dropped amid the precious and pivotal moments which may not make up a life, but come to define it.
We meet the affluent Swedish couple Marianne and Johan — played by regular screen collaborators Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, both of whom clocked at least 10 Bergman credits — gloating about ten years’ happy marriage to a visiting reporter. This opening magazine photoshoot is the only time we see their two children on camera, and inevitably the image projected is as glossy, reflective and disposable as the paper it will be printed on.
The pressures, pains and communication breakdowns which tear this unsuited pair apart are sadly familiar. The series was blamed for a spike in European divorce rates. It may be difficult to survive the piece liking either lead, but impossible not to emerge sharing deep pathos with them both. Sadly, much of the script is said to be drawn from Bergman’s real-life off-screen relationship with Ullmann.
It’s a hideously humane, surgical close-up likely to leave even the happiest couple groping into the ether on their way out of the cinema.