Death toll from Malaysia construction site landslide at 11

Above, rescue workers carry a landslide victim into a lorry at a construction site in Tanjung Bungah aorth of Penang. (Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia / AFP)
Updated 22 October 2017
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Death toll from Malaysia construction site landslide at 11

KUALA LUMPUR: Eleven foreign workers were killed in a landslide at a construction site in northwest Malaysia on Saturday, authorities said.
Earlier estimates had put the George Town death toll at 14, but three workers had managed to escape, said Ervin Galen Teruki, deputy operations head of the Fire and Rescue Department in Penang state.
A seventh body was found on Sunday morning.
Fire officials earlier identified the victims as foreign workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. The construction site supervisor, a Malaysian, remains missing.
The landslide occurred on Saturday morning at a site where two 49-story condominium towers are being built. The cause has yet to be determined.
A stop-work order had been issued for the development, pending investigations, according to the Penang Island city council mayor Maimunah Mohammad Sharif.
Several residential and commercial towers are still under construction in the area.
Local media reported anger among residents and activists, some of who said they had previously protested against the increasing development of hillslopes around the area.


Indonesia sentences eight Taiwanese drug smugglers to death

Updated 12 min 21 sec ago
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Indonesia sentences eight Taiwanese drug smugglers to death

  • Around 250 tons of illegal drugs passed through Indonesia’s borders in 2016, according to figures from the National Narcotics Agency.
  • Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws, with sentences including the death penalty for smugglers who carry five or more grams.

Jakarta: Eight Taiwanese drug smugglers were sentenced to death by an Indonesian court Thursday after being nabbed with around a ton of crystal methamphetamine in a country that has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws.
The men were arrested during raids last July, when the drug network’s suspected leader was killed in a shootout with Indonesian police.
“The defendants have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of colluding and smuggling narcotics,” presiding judge Haruno Patriadi said as he passed sentence at the South Jakarta District Court.
Tipped off by their Taiwanese counterparts, Indonesian police said they discovered some 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of crystal meth — shipped by boat from China — packed inside about 50 boxes. The haul was reportedly worth some $144 million.
Some of the suspects were arrested at a beach where the drugs were delivered some 125 kilometers (77 miles) west of Jakarta, while others were apprehended in the suspected drug boat near Singaporean waters.
The sentence passed on the men — Liao Guan-Yu, Chen Wei-Cyuan, Hsu Yung-Li, Juang Jin Sheng, Sun Kuo Tai, Sun Chih-Feng, Kuo Chun Yuan, and Tsai Chih Hung — comes after 11 other Taiwanese drug smugglers were condemned to death in Indonesia in recent years.
Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws, with sentences including the death penalty for smugglers who carry five or more grams.
Several foreign and Indonesian nationals have been executed by firing squad in recent years for drug trafficking, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in 2015, a case that sparked diplomatic outrage and a call to abolish the death penalty.
Capital punishment is carried out by firing squad in Indonesia, which has slowed the pace of its executions in recent years despite broad public support for the penalty.
President Joko Widodo has said Indonesia is in the grips of a drug “emergency” and called for police to shoot suspected drug dealers who attempt to resist arrest.
The police regularly announce drug busts including one in February when they seized 1.6 tons of crystal meth hidden on a Singapore-flagged ship between Indonesia’s Sumatra island and the city state.
A subsequent search of the ship turned up the huge haul of narcotics stuffed into some 81 rice sacks. Four Taiwanese crew were arrested including a 69-year-old man.
Around 250 tons of illegal drugs passed through Indonesia’s borders in 2016, according to figures from the National Narcotics Agency, with China listed as the biggest source country.