Corpun file 15758
The Sun, Kuala Lumpur, 13 May 2005
Govt considering more strokes of rotan for shorter jail term
KUALA LUMPUR: Lawbreakers may in future get more strokes of
the rotan in exchange for a shorter jail sentence.
This is among eight alternatives being studied by the government
in a move to reduce the cost of maintaining prisons and
The other alternatives include allowing parole and payment of
fines in instalments for light sentences.
Internal Security Deputy Minister Datuk Noh Omar said today the
government was spending more than RM409 million a year on
"The cost of each prisoner is RM35 a day and there are
32,464 prisoners in the country. The cost includes spending on
food, rehabilitation, training, clothes, guards, equipment and
others," he said during question time at Dewan Negara.
He was replying to Senator Muhammad Shukri who wanted to know
whether the government was studying alternative sentences in view
of the high cost of maintaining prisons.
Noh said other alternatives to jail sentences being considered
included compulsory attendance centre, summons instead of
"arrest and detention" for those on remand, sending
mentally ill prisoners direct to mental hospitals and imposing
fines according to the ability to pay.
He said about 40% or 13,000 prisoners in 29 prisons were on
remand while 2,000 others were serving sentences for light
offences and 198 required psychiatric treatment. The parole
system could affect 2,100 eligible prisoners, he said.
Copyright © 2004 Sun Media Corporation Sdn. Bhd. All rights reserved.
Corpun file 15855
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 14 May 2005
Convicted rapist kicks out at press pixmen
By K. Kasturi Dewi
PENANG: A convicted rapist, upset with press
photographers taking his pictures outside a Sessions Court here,
kicked out in anger, only to hit an innocent bystander in
Tan Ching Leong, 29, became agitated when the photographers
started clicking away as soon as policemen led him out of the
Seeing him kicking his way towards them, the photographers
moved away but the disabled man, in his 40s, could not move fast
enough and was kicked in the left thigh.
FUMING: Tan came out kicking at press photographers who were waiting to take his picture after he was
sentenced to seven years' jail for rape at a
Sessions Court in Penang yesterday.
Policemen escorting Tan held him back and led him away.
The disabled man, who was accompanied by a woman, appeared
stunned and went to a bench to rest.
When reporters tried to interview him, he waved them away. His
companion later led him out of the court.
Tan was jailed seven years and ordered to be whipped three
times by the court for raping a 19-year-old sales assistant two
Tan, who was unrepresented, remained silent when he was
ordered to enter his defence.
He was found guilty of raping the girl, whom he had only known
for two weeks, in a hotel room here at 6.10pm on June 5,
In mitigation, Tan, who has a murder charge pending in the
Alor Star High Court, asked for a lenient sentence. He appealed
to be spared the cane and promised not to repeat his
Deputy Public Prosecutor Razali Che Ani asked the court to
impose the appropriate sentence as Tan had spoilt a girl's
Judge Hadhariah Syed Ismail ordered the jail term to take
effect from Tan's date of arrest on Aug 25, 2003.
© 1995-2005 Star Publications
(Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)
Corpun file 15785
Inter Press Service News Agency, 17 May 2005
Jail and Cane for Legal Nepali Worker Raises Serious Questions
Nepali Mangal Bahadur Gurung, 30, came to the Malaysian capital two years ago, hoping that he would land himself a well paying job and make enough money to send home every month to keep his wife, children and grandparents alive.
By Baradan Kuppusamy
KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 (IPS) - Finding the job was easy but getting paid was a
Month after month his employer did not pay him giving one excuse after another.
Nevertheless, Gurung laboured on as a kitchen helper in a restaurant in Subang Jaya, an upscale suburb outside the capital, for 18 months without being paid a single cent.
But that was mild compared to what was coming.
At midnight on Mar. 6 his world crashed around him when he was swept up in a raid on undocumented foreign workers. Gurung was arrested along with dozens of other foreign workers in Subang Jaya and carted away, packed tight in lorries to a detention center where all his protestations that he had a valid work permit and a passport fell on deaf ears.
His employer, who retained his work permit and passport to ensure Gurung did not suddenly abscond, could have easily protested to the authorities that he had all the right documents and got him released. But he did not.
It was just one worker less for him and there was a ready pool to fill in the slot vacated by Gurung at the restaurant. Besides, the employer owed the Nepali 6,400 Malaysian ringgit (1,684 U.S. dollars) in back wages and with him now arrested and "disappearing into the bureaucratic labyrinth" he could just pocket the money without worry.
Employers know that a foreign worker, once arrested, simply disappears into a bottomless pit. The path, after arrest, is well travelled - detention, charged in court, jailed, whipped and finally deported never to return.
Everything was made worse for Gurung because he spoke little Malay, the local lingua franca, and even less English.
"I tried to explain as much as I could with all kind of words and gestures that I had a valid permit and passport but no officials wanted to even listen to me," Gurung told IPS through an interpreter.
Gurung spent 18 days in the detention camp, forgotten and lumped together with some over 9,000 other undocumented workers who were awaiting "processing", conveyor-belt style, by the immigration department officials before they were brought before the Magistrates Court for sentencing.
"I was sentenced to 10 months jail," said Gurung. "I was also caned."
In 2002, Malaysia amended its Immigration Act to include sentences of up to five years imprisonment and six strokes of the cane for any undocumented worker found working illegally in the country.
About 100,000 Nepalese are working in the Malaysian capital and surrounding suburbs, with the majority in the manufacturing sector while the rest employed as security guards and labourers in the services, construction and plantation sectors.
Gurung is shy to relate his ordeal in prison, especially the canning [sic]. It still hurts when he sits but the hurt to his psyche is even more painful, said his friends.
The Bar Council, the Attorney General's Office and the judiciary are now probing to determine how the charge was read to Gurung and his guilty plea recorded when he did not understand the language and neither was an interpreter present.
Gurung served 51 days of his sentence before he was released last week after a friend intervened and Tenaganita, a human rights group, actively took up his case. A higher court set aside his conviction and ordered his immediate release.
Copyright © 2005 IPS-Inter Press Service.
All rights reserved.
Corpun file 15859
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 28 May 2005
Longer prison stay for teen guilty of incest
By Chan Li Leen
IPOH: A factory operator, convicted of incest with his
younger sister, had his jail term enhanced when a High Court here
allowed the prosecution's appeal to have him serve his
The 19-year-old, who blamed pornography for causing him to
have sex with his younger sister twice every week since she was
five, will now spend a total of 24 years in jail instead of the
eight years meted out by a lower court.
On Sept 22 last year, he had pleaded guilty to three counts of
committing incest with his sister and was sentenced to eight
years' jail for each offence at a Sessions Court here.
He was ordered to serve his sentences concurrently and to be
whipped three times for the third offence.
The offences took place at an unnumbered house in Kampung
Mendok, Sahom in Kuala Dipang between noon and 5pm, between
January and December 2002, January and December 2003 and January
and July last year.
© 1995-2005 Star Publications
(Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)