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Judicial CP - August 2002


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 10 August 2002

Seven foreigners to be jailed and caned under amended law

KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time in Malaysia, seven foreigners have been ordered by the court to be whipped for entering the country illegally.

The penalty is provided for under the latest amendment to the Immigration Act, which came into force on Aug 1.

In Penang yesterday, a magistrate's court ordered two Bangladeshis, Md Khairul Islam Habibul Rahman, 30, and Kamal Ishaq Mollah, 38, to be whipped once each in addition to two years' jail each.

Magistrate Shahrizat Ismail ordered that their jail sentence begin from the date of their arrest on Aug 4.

PAINFUL OUTCOME ... an Immigration enforcement officer escorting (from left) Md Kawser, Kamal Ishaq, Kayum, Md Khairul and Rafiullah Fazal out of the Penang court lock-up Friday.

The two had admitted to separate charges of being in Malaysia without a valid pass or permit at a house in Jalan Sungai Dua at 11.20pm on Aug 4.

The offence, under Section 6(3) of the Immigration Act (Amended) 2002, carries a fine of up to RM10,000 or a jail term of up to five years or both, and mandatory whipping of not more than six strokes.

According to the facts presented by prosecuting officer Ahmad Shukri Kasim from the Immigration Department, investigations showed that Md Khairul Islam entered the country in 1999 and Kamal Ishaq the following year to seek employment here.

Shukri pressed for a deterrent sentence to help control the problem of illegal foreigners in the country.

In another court, Bangladeshis Md Kawser Md Afazuddin and Kayum Abdus Sattar, both 28, admitted to overstaying after the expiry of their social visit passes (with temporary work permit) at the same time and place.

The offences under Section 15(4) of the Act carries a minimum fine of RM10,000, a jail term of up to five years or both.

Immigration prosecuting officer Grace Samuel pressed for a deterrent sentence, saying that the Government had given illegal foreigners amnesty (in the past three months) to return to their homeland without any punishment.

Magistrate Priscilla H.N. Rajan jailed Md Kawser 12 months and Kayum eight months, the sentences to run from the date of sentencing.

All the four Bangladeshis, in pleading for leniency, had asked for light sentences so that they could return to their own country at the earliest opportunity.

Another foreigner charged with being in the country illegally, Pakistani Rafiullah Fazal Maula, 33., claimed trial to committing the offence at an apartment in Slim Road, Penang, at 9.45pm on Aug 4. He was denied bail pending hearing on Sept 10.

In Kota Kinabalu, Sessions Court Judge Caroline Bee Manjaji ordered a 33-year-old Indonesian, arrested in connection with a molest case, to be caned once and jailed six months for illegally entering the country.

Francis was charged under Section 6 (1) (c) of the Immigration Act, which provides a jail term of up to five years and a fine not exceeding RM10,000 and whipping upon conviction.

Prosecuting officer Chief Insp Abdul Rahman Atan told the court that Francis was arrested at an unnumbered house in Kampung Kaliangau, Menggatal on Aug 2 over the molest of a nine year-old girl.

After sentencing, Francis was produced before Magistrate Ummu Kalthon Abdul Samad on a molest charge. He denied the charge.

She fixed Oct 29 to Nov 1 to hear the case and ordered Francis be remanded.

At the Rawang and Ampang magistrate's courts, four Indonesians aged between 22 and 24 pleaded guilty respectively to entering the country without proper travel documents and were each sentenced to six months' jail and ordered to receive two strokes of the rotan.

State immigration director Che Mamat Abdullah said there were 57 other foreigners held at the Semenyih Detention Camp.

1995-2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, 12 August 2002

Low pay, long hours, canings, jail: Better life eludes illegals

By Mark Baker
Herald Correspondent in Singapore

Thousands of poor foreign workers are facing jail terms and canings as the Malaysian Government steps up a campaign to rid the country of illegal migrants.

But the crackdown, aimed at removing the last of an estimated 600,000 unregistered foreign labourers in the country, has drawn strong protests from human rights groups and warnings of serious economic fallout from employer groups.

Seven Indonesian and Bangladeshi men convicted at the weekend for working without proper visas were the first cases to be prosecuted under tough new laws that provide sentences of up to five years' jail, six strokes of the cane and fines of 10,000 ringgit ($5000) for illegal migrants.

The men, aged from 22 to 38, were arrested after the expiry of a visa amnesty last Wednesday. They were jailed for between six months and two years and ordered to receive one or two strokes of the cane.

The Government says 318,000 illegal migrants left the country under the four-month amnesty - about half the estimated number of unregistered foreign workers. About two thirds of the illegal workers are Indonesian; others have come from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines

The Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said last week that the Government was justified in cracking down on the undocumented workers - many of whom have lived in the country for more than a decade - because they were contributing to rising crime rates and social unrest.

But human rights groups say that in tougher economic times Malaysian authorities are turning on the people whose cheap labour helped build the nation's prosperity. They say the workers are often victims of exploitation by syndicates that smuggle them across borders and force them to work long hours for a pittance or for nothing.

Employer groups are already warning that the sudden loss of cheap labour will have serious implications for the economy.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, expected to succeed Dr Mahathir as prime minister next year, vowed to continue the crackdown. "The law is ready. If an offence is committed we have to apply the law."


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 13 August 2002

Six get jail and whipping for illegal entry

JOHOR BARU: Six Indonesians who pleaded guilty to entering the country illegally were ordered to be whipped six times each by a magistrate's court here.

The six were caught during crackdowns on illegal immigrants after the July 31 amnesty deadline.

Sudi Bebab, 24, Idris Rudin, 20, Junaidi Mustaffa, 22, Sodikin Riduan, 30, Mahjinto, 33, and Rokin Roman, 34, were also sentenced to eight months' jail each after they pleaded guilty before magistrate Norma Ismail.

The offences were committed between Aug 2 and Aug 4 at Pasir Gudang, Taman Perling and Kampung Sungai Tiram, Ulu Tiram, between 9am and 12.45am.

According to the facts of the case, they were detained during Ops Nyah II to nab illegals after the amnesty period.

Upon questioning, they pleaded guilty to entering Malaysia illegally and staying without a valid pass after the amnesty period.

They were charged under Section 6(3) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (2002 amendment) which carries a RM10,000 fine or five years' jail or both and mandatory whipping of not more than six strokes of the rotan upon conviction.

In another case, two Singaporeans were jailed for seven months' each for failing to produce valid passports.

Lim Say Koon, 39, and Sim Hai Poh, 51, pleaded guilty to the offence.

They were charged under Section 57 of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (1997 amendment).

According to the facts of the case, Lim and Sim were arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs and were charged in the High Court here on July 31. They were later detained for failing to produce valid passports.

1995-2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 16 August 2002

Perak sentences first illegal to caning

IPOH: A magistrate's court here passed its first caning sentence on an illegal immigrant in the state following the amendment of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Magistrate Al-Muhammad Mukmin Abdul Ghani ordered Indonesian Sumono Resodimirjo, 36, to be jailed 12 months and caned once for entering and staying in the country without an official permit.

CAUGHT... Sumono (left) Hery, and Winarti being escorted out of the court in Ipoh Thursday.

He was jointly charged with a 29-year-old Indonesian woman, Winarti, who was sentenced to six months' jail and fined RM3,000 in default four months' jail.

According to prosecuting officer Khairul Anuar Sulaiman, immigration officers arrested the two in a house in Jalan Mustaffa al-Bakri at around 1am on Aug 5.

Their employer, Hery Tofan, 36, was charged with harbouring the two and was fined RM10,000 in default six months' jail for each count.

Hery, an Indonesian, escaped caning as he was harbouring less than five illegals.

All three failed to pay the fines.

1995-2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 20 August 2002

Jailing illegals will strain prison system

By V.K. Chin

IN THE coming weeks and months, more illegal immigrants are likely to be caught and will face stiff punishment provided for under the amended legislation to deal with this pressing issue. The punishment includes a fine, whipping and jail.

However, it is necessary for the Government to streamline the form of sentence to be meted out, otherwise, the country will face a financial burden in handling this problem. So far, several such illegal immigrants have already been charged in court and sentenced accordingly.

It may be appropriate for the court to fix a fine on the culprits or even impose a stroke or two of the cane but when it comes to imprisonment, perhaps this policy should be reviewed in view of the financial implications.

Why jail them for months or even years when on completion of their sentences, they would be sent home anyway? Why waste more money on them by putting more pressure on the already overcrowded prisons which are bursting at the seams anyway?

Surely it is cheaper to just send them home with a whipping as this would be sufficient punishment for such lawbreakers and to warn others from trying to enter this country illegally. While Malaysia welcomes legitimate tourists and workers, it intends to deal harshly with those who come in illegally.

It therefore does not make sense for the Government to put these guilty people behind bars and feed them during the duration of their internment. It is better to use some of the money and deport them straight away.

It is also unlikely that many of the illegal immigrants will pay the fine even if they have the money to do so. Since they will be sent to jail anyway, they will most probably forget the fine and be jailed for a longer period.

The handling of such illegals is not a small matter as thousands if not tens of thousands might be caught and sentenced. This will put a tremendous strain on the physical and financial resources on the prison system.

In spite of all the adverse reports on conditions in such prisons, the treatment of prisoners is not really that bad as they get three meals a day though accommodation may be a bit cramped. Most probably, the illegal immigrants would treat the confinement as a holiday without having to worry about where the next meal is going to come from.

In addition, they will be able to get medical treatment if they should fall sick and all the other benefits being extended to the inmates. Surely, this is better than going home where the future is so uncertain.

If the present policy of jailing them is implemented, the Government will most probably need to spend tens of millions of ringgit annually to meet this new commitment and surely it is not worth the while to carry this out.

Of course, a severe jail term should be imposed on those who have committed serious crimes such as murders and armed robberies but it might not be appropriate to hand out the same punishment to those who have breached immigration rules.

1995-2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)


Utusan Express Online, Kuala Lumpur, 22 August 2002

Workers who built prison end up in prison

FIVE Myanmar illegal workers are sentenced to jail and caning except Abdukurim Fiearmad, 69, (L) for entering the country without valid travel papers, Aug 21. - Bernamapix.

ALOR SETAR Aug 21 - Five Myanmar workers who were employed at a project to build a prison in Gajah Mati, Pokok Sena, today found themselves sent to prison instead for entering the country without valid travel papers.

The Magistrate's Court here also ordered Kadir Bodialam, 45, Basir Ahmad Halu, 34, Mohd Shukor Abd Karim, 34 and Jamal Rostamur, 25, to be given one stroke of the rotan each after they admitted to having entered the country without a valid pass and permit, an offence punishable under Section 6(1)(C) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Amended) 2002.

Magistrate Nabisha Ibrahim however spared another worker, Abdukurim Fiearmad from whipping because of his age. He is 69 years old.

They were sentenced to six months' jail each from the date of their arrest. The court heard that they were apprehended at a hut in Kampung Changkat Nering, Padang Pusing, Pendang at about 11.40 pm last Tuesday.

Of the five, Abdukurim had been found to have been in the country since 1982.

In MIRI, Sarawak two illegal migrant workers from Indonesia were sentenced to eight months' jail and given two strokes of rotan by the Sessions Court for entering the state illegally.

They were Deden Mastor, 22, from Sambas, Kalimantan and Mustamin Muhammad (no age) from South Sulawesi.

Deden was arrested on Aug 8 while Mustamin on Aug 11.

This brings to 10 the number of illegal migrant workers, to be prosecuted in court in Miri so far.

Except for one Filipino from Basilan Island, the others are all from Indonesia.


UTUSAN MELAYU (M) BHD., 46M, Jalan Lima Off Jalan Chan Sow Lin, 55200 Kuala Lumpur.


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 22 August 2002

149 aliens, employer charged

By Raphael Wong and Chen Mei Ling

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 149 illegal immigrants were charged in three separate courts in Selangor and here yesterday for being in the country without valid passes or permits.

The illegal immigrants in court yesterday were 70 Myanmar nationals, 55 Indonesians, 12 Indian nationals, 10 Bangladeshis, a Chinese national and a Thai.

Also in court was a Malaysian restaurant owner, Choo Kai Mun, who appeared before magistrate Azhaniz Teh Azman Teh in Kajang over a charge of hiring illegal immigrants as workers in his restaurant.

The magistrate fixed Aug 28 for mention of the case after Choo claimed trial to hiring 14 illegal immigrants as workers at Restaurant Milwaukee Steak Corner at No. 13G, Jalan Kasturi 1, Plaza Kasturi, off Jalan Bal, Balakong, here on Aug 19 at about 9.45pm.

Azhaniz Teh also fixed a RM80,000 bail for the 41-year-old Choo, who was charged under Section 55B of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

AWAITING SENTENCING ... a group of illegal immigrants queuing in Petaling Jaya courthouse Wednesday before being placed in police vehicles to be sent to Sungai Buloh Prison.

He faces a maximum RM50,000 fine or a maximum of 12 months' jail, or both, if convicted.

The 14 illegals hired by Choo, five Myanmar men, two Indonesian men and a Bangladeshi, were jailed eight months and ordered to be whipped twice; while three Indonesian women and three Myanmar women were jailed 11 months.

In Petaling Jaya, 75 immigrants, aged between 15 to 47, were charged in four groups with being in the country without any valid passes or permits at several locations around the Seri Kembangan district between Aug 8 and 12.

The 49 Myanmar nationals, 18 Indonesians, five Indian nationals, two Bangladeshis and a Chinese national pleaded guilty to committing an offence under Section 6(3) of the newly-amended Immigration Act.

Magistrate Mohammad Rushdan Mohamed fixed Oct 8 for sentencing.

1995-2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 24 August 2002

Accused escapes gallows - again

By K. Kasturi Dewi

DOUBLY LUCKY ... Veerapan being escorted out of the Penang High Court after the judgment Friday.

PENANG: A former factory technician escaped the gallows twice when he was freed of a drug trafficking charge by a High Court yesterday.

K. Veerapan, 26, first did so when a High Court on May 5, 2000 reduced his original drug trafficking charge to possession after having heard his defence.

He was ordered to be jailed nine years and be whipped 10 times for possessing 177.78gm of heroin at Jalan Bukit Jambul on Oct 15, 1997.

Yesterday, Veerapan escaped death once again when a High Court freed him of another drug trafficking charge.

Veerapan was acquitted of trafficking in 201.9gm of heroin in a flat at Taman Desa Relau, Relau on the same day.

Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah held that the prosecution had failed to prove that Veerapan was the only one who had access to the room where the drugs were found.

He said as the prosecution had failed to establish that Veerapan had exclusive access to the room, it had also failed to prove that Veerapan had exclusive possession of the drugs.

"The question of exclusive possession has to be proved. Here, possession is not exclusive because there were three others (all tenants) who had access to the room (where the drugs were recovered).

"In this case, the accused did not live in the house and only came over once in a while.

"The question is who did the trafficking. Could it be the accused or the three others who had access to the room?"

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah appeared for the prosecution.

1995-2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)


Straits Times, Singapore, 24 August 2002

Cane illegals and deport them, suggests minister

Why burden overcrowded prisons, he asks, after a new law requires illegals to be jailed for six months

KUALA LUMPUR - Illegal immigrants in Malaysia should be caned and deported so that tough new laws do not put more pressure on already crowded jails, said a Deputy Home Minister.

'In my opinion, it is useless to detain them for long. What is important is to cane them and deport them. We are also afraid the prisons cannot accommodate all of them,' Datuk Chor Chee Heung told the Malay-language Berita Harian.

The paper quoted a government source saying the country's 22 jails were well over capacity.

'Right now, there are about 29,000 criminals held in jails throughout the country when capacity at these prisons is about 23,000.

'With the increase in the number of illegal immigrants detained, the overcrowding problem will greatly worsen,' the source said.

Datuk Chor said the problem would be alleviated in 2004 when four or five new detention centres were expected to be completed.

Under new immigration laws, illegal workers and their employers face a mandatory six months in jail and possibly up to six strokes of the cane.

Implementation of the new laws followed the July 31 expiry of an amnesty period which saw 300,000 illegal migrants, mainly Indonesians, leaving. Dozens who remained have already been sentenced.

Meanwhile, Indonesia said it has allocated one billion rupiah (S$200,000) to pay Malaysian lawyers defending its citizens facing action under the new laws.

Its Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirayuda said on Thursday that the trials of illegal workers in Malaysia were ongoing.

'The government has allocated the amount to hire lawyers in Malaysia to help our citizens,' he said.

While several workers have been sentenced to jail or caning, 'there has been no case yet of a caning being carried out', he added.

Indonesia's National Assembly chairman Amien Rais had earlier slammed Malaysia over what he called the 'inhumane' caning of several illegal Indonesian migrant workers, following reports that some were given jail terms and whipping.

'Frankly, I am feeling disappointed, angry and cannot accept that Malaysia, a modern country which is still of the same roots as us, has a way to punish Indonesian illegal migrant workers that is really inhumane,' he had said on Monday.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar responded saying Mr Rais should take responsibility for high unemployment in Indonesia instead of attacking Malaysia for caning illegal immigrants. -- AFP, The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Copyright @ 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.


New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 30 August 2002

Nik Aziz proposes whipping for men who desert wives

By Azran Aziz

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30: Kelantan Menteri Besar [State Premier] Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat today suggested the rotan for men who desert their wives without giving any nafkah (maintenance). These are irresponsible men, he added, citing examples of women who had come to him in tears because they were left in the lurch and did not know of their husbands' whereabouts.

"These men deserve four ... five strokes of the rotan," he said, adding that he himself would cane the irresponsible men if he were given the power to carry out the punishment.

In his weekly religious lecture at Dewan Zulkifli, he said husbands who deserted their wives for a long period without any maintenance or news would result in the women living in uncertainty.

He said the punishment should be instituted, drawing attention to cases of pregnant wives whose husbands had abandoned them.

Nik Aziz, who is also Pas [governing party of Kelantan State, main opposition party at federal level -- C.F.] spiritual adviser, said it was the responsibility of husbands to take care and provide for their wives and children, and not to burden them.

He said he had come up with the idea to cane such irresponsible husbands because there were many such cases in Kelantan.

Copyright 2002 NSTP e-Media Sdn. Bhd. All rights reserved.

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