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Judicial CP - August 2001

masthead The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 12 August 2001

Govt: Enough laws to cover young offenders

PORT DICKSON: There are enough provisions to punish young criminals, said National Unity and Social Development parliamentary secretary Datuk S. Veerasingam.

There is, therefore, no need to review existing laws to cover young offenders, he said.

However, he added that the Child Act 2001, which had been passed last year, would be enforced only after the Penal Code had been amended and gazetted.

This was due to the age limit specified in the criminal section of the Act and the Penal Code, he told reporters after opening a seminar on the development of Tamil schools in Pahang yesterday.

Veerasingam said the Child Act governed offenders of criminal acts who were between the ages of 10 and 18 years while those over 18 years came under the purview of the Penal Code.

He was commenting on concerns voiced by various quarters on the sentences to be meted out against young serious crime offenders.

He said there were provisions in the Child Act which enabled a jail sentence or caning on such offenders.

"Under the Child Act, the courts can impose imprisonment on a child over the age of 14," he said.

They could be jailed in a special area which is separated from other criminals, he said.

On caning, he said, it should not be conducted in public.

The thickness of the cane is specified and the manner in which the caning is to be conducted is also provided for in the Act, he added.

Veerasingam said currently there were no facilities in welfare homes to house young serious crime offenders.

The welfare homes housed only those who were awaiting trial for petty offences, he said.

Those who have committed serious crimes would be kept separately in a special cell at the Sungai Buloh prison while awaiting trial.

masthead BBC News Online, London


Malaysia's illegal immigrants face cane

By South-east Asia correspondent Jonathan Head

The Malaysian Government has announced that illegal immigrants could be caned in future if they are caught.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said legal amendments to allow the use of the cane would be submitted to the cabinet to try to deter the growing numbers of those entering the country unlawfully.

Government statistics estimate there are around 600,000 illegal immigrants in Malaysia but unofficial figures put the total much higher.

Most have come from poorer neighbours like Indonesia and the Philippines in search of work.

The impact of the protracted political and economic crises in Indonesia has driven hundreds of thousands to move abroad in search of work.

The most popular destination is inevitably Malaysia - a close neighbour with a similar language and culture but with a much more advanced economy.

Slowing economy

The hunger for jobs has also attracted large numbers of Filipinos to Sabah, the Malaysian area of Borneo which lies close to the southern Philippines.

With a population of just over 20 million, Malaysia does need extra workers to do many of the more menial jobs.

But with the country now badly affected by the slowing economy in the United States, the government is under pressure to control the flow of illegal immigrants.

Mr Badawi accused the incomers of causing more crime and other social problems and he said he would propose increasing the punishment for illegally staying in Malaysia to include caning.

He said the increased penalties would also apply to those who helped to bring illegal aliens into the country.

Given the desperate conditions many of the immigrants are fleeing in their own countries and the difficulty of catching them, it is not clear how effective a deterrent the stiffer penalties will be.

The new policy will also do little to ease the difficulties of those whose jobs are at risk from the economic down-turn.

Most of those are in Malaysia's once-booming high technology sector, which exports heavily to the United States - and that is not an area where poorly-educated illegal immigrants go looking for work.

Sarawak Tribune, Kuching, 23 August 2001

Jail and rotan for former administrative assistant

By Harun Jau

KUCHING - A former administrative assistant were ordered to be jailed for three years and given three strokes of the rotan by the Magistrate's Court here yesterday after he pleaded guilty to three counts of misappropriation of money entrusted to him.

Bakat ak Sabai, 37, from Lubok Antu pleaded guilty before Magistrate Awang Kerisnada Awang Mah-mud to the three charges framed under Section 403 of the Penal Code, which carries imprisonment for a term of not less than six months and not more than five years plus whipping and fines for each of the offence.

He was firstly accused of misappropriating RMRM14,613.87 belonging to a property buyer named Talib Mon, at Sarawak Housing and Development Commission's office on the 19th Floor of Wisma Saberkas, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg here, between 9 am and 4 pm on 16 March, 1994.

Secondly, he was also accused of committing a similar offence by misappropriating RM209.20 which belonged to another person named Kosir ak Asek, also at the same place between 9 am and 4 pm on 16 March, 1994.

Thirdly, he was accused of misappropriating RM2,773.63 belonging to a woman named Norma Hamdan, also at the same place between 9 am and 4 pm on 17 May,1994.

He was sentenced to two years' jail and a stroke of the rotan for the first charge, two years' jail and a stroke of the rotan for the second charge, and three years' jail plus a stroke of the rotan for the third charge.

The court ordered the accused to serve the jail sentences concurrently and the whippings consecutively.

In his mitigation, Bakat, who was not represented, pleaded for leniency, saying that he was married and had children who were still schooling. Chief Inspector Md Fazri Yusoff prosecuted.

Copyright &COPY1999 Sarawak Press Sdn. Bhd. All rights reserved.

masthead Straits Times, Singapore, 31 August 2001

Malaysia File

Call for vandals to be whipped

SPECIAL legislation should be drawn up to allow vandals to be whipped with a rattan cane because punishments such as fines and jail have proven ineffective, said Mr Lee Lam Thye, anti-vandalism panel chairman for the Kuala Lumpur region.

Current laws allow a maximum punishment of a RM2,000 fine (S$900) and one year in jail. --AP

Copyright @ 2001 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

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