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The Borneo Post, Kuching, 3 December 2010
Jail sentence, whipping enhanced
KOTA KINABALU: A Pakistani would spend more time behind bars after his eight years' jail sentence for causing grievous hurt to his wife, a 41-year-old local, was increased to 12 years by the High Court here yesterday.
Apart from substituting the jail terms, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum also enhanced 31-year-old Khalid Nawab Lal Nawab's four strokes of the cane to six strokes.
"I am of the view that the sentence imposed on the respondent (Khalid) is grossly inadequate," said Malanjum in allowing the prosecution's appeal against the eight years' jail sentence and four strokes of the cane imposed by a Sessions Court here on Khalid.
On May 7, this year, the Sessions Court imposed the jail and whipping sentence on Khalid after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt to his wife with a machete at an unnumbered house in Phase 2, Telipok Ria, Tuaran at 8.53am on May 6, 2009.
He was charged under Section 326 of the Penal Code which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping, on conviction.
Earlier, senior federal counsel Salim Soib Ahmad told the court that the sentence imposed by the Sessions Court was inadequate and not suitable if compared with the injuries sustained by the victim.
"The victim would have died if the injuries she sustained were not treated," Salim said adding that the respondent stopped attacking his wife only after their neighbours entered the house by breaking its door.
He said the victim was lucky as her sister was in the house during the incident and she was the one who sought assistance from their neighbours.
In rebutting Salim's submissions, Khalid's counsel Hamid Ismail told the court that the respondent was actually a loving husband and father.
He said that a prosecution witness had testified in court that he never heard the respondent and his wife quarrel.
"The incident occurred because of something. There was no manifest error by the judge in passing the sentence. Therefore, I pray for the appeal to be dismissed and the sentence imposed by the Sessions Court to remain, "Hamid added.
In passing the sentence, Malanjum said: "This is a sad case as it involves families but this court must not lose sight that this is a serious offence being committed."
He said that as a husband, he was supposed to protect the wife from all harm.
"A clear message must be sent out to would be wife beaters that if convicted they would face the full force of the law. I find that the reason the Sessions Court judge in sentencing the respondent as she did was on the facts that he had pleaded guilty, thus saving the court's time.
"In my view, the time saving is a secondary issue. It is the essential point that the sentence must reflect the gravity of the offence committed. In fact the Sessions Court judge was not even sure if the respondent was provoked or not," Malanjum said.
He said that the sentence imposed by the lower court was grossly inadequate considering the injuries sustained by the wife, the nature of the offence, the facts and the circumstance in the case.
Copyright © 2009 The Borneo Post. All rights reserved.
The Borneo Post, Kuching, 3 December 2010
Jail sentence on waiter for raping girl affirmed
KOTA KINABALU: The High Court here yesterday dismissed a local waiter's application for a reduction of his 15 years' jail sentence and three strokes of the cane for raping an underaged girl.
Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum affirmed the sentence imposed by a Sessions Court here on Dius Muhow, 19, from Kota Marudu after hearing submissions from the latter's counsel Nelson Angang and deputy public prosecutor Eyu Ghim Siang.
Dius was appealing against the custodial sentence and whipping imposed by High Court registrar Zaini Fishir @ Fisal, who sat as a Sessions Court judge on June 17, this year.
Zaini sentenced Dius to 15 years' jail and ordered him to be whipped thrice after he pleaded guilty to raping the 11-year-old girl at an unnumbered room on the second floor of a shoplot in Menggatal at 8.15pm on May 8, this year.
He was charged under Section 376 (2) (e) of the Penal Code which provides for a jail term of between five and 30 years and whipping on conviction.
Earlier in applying for Dius' sentence to be reduced, Nelson urged the court to consider the former as a youthful offender.
"They were boyfriend and girlfriend at the time the offence was committed.
The facts showed that the victim actually went to the appellant's (Dius) house in the night of the incident," he said, adding that there was no violence involved.
Nelson applied for Dius to be sent to Henry Gurney School until he reaches the age of 21 years old or be imposed a minimum jail term of five years.
In rebutting Nelson's submissions, Eyu said that there was no evidence to show that Dius and the victim were couples.
He said Dius did not show any remorse and in fact the sentence should be enhanced to reform him to be a better man and also to deter other would-be offenders from committing a similar offence.
After hearing submissions from both parties, Malanjum held that he affirmed Duis' sentence imposed by the Sessions Court even though it was below the range.
He said he had taken into consideration that Dius was a youthful offender, he and the victim were friends and that the girl went to his house.
The court also reminded Duis not to commit similar offence in future.
Copyright © 2009 The Borneo Post. All rights reserved.
BBC News Online, London, 6 December 2010
Malaysia urged to stop caning 'epidemic'
Caning as a form of judicial punishment in Malaysia has reached "epidemic" proportions and should be banned, according to a human rights group.
Blows administered to the body with a long cane are a legal punishment for more than 60 offences in the country.
Amnesty International claims at least 10,000 prisoners and 6,000 refugees are caned there each year.
The government says caning is a legal and effective deterrent from criminal activity.
Malaysia's law minister would not comment on the report but told the BBC that there are no plans to review the law.
Amnesty says the practice amounts to cruel and inhumane treatment as it leaves both physical and psychological damage, and should be banned.
"Across Malaysia, government officials regularly tear into the flesh of prisoners with rattan canes travelling up to 160km/h. The cane shreds the victim's naked skin, turns the fatty tissue into pulp, and leaves permanent scars that extend all the way to muscle fibres," Amnesty says in a report on the practice.
It estimates that up to 1,200 canings happen in prison centres each month. Offences that can be punished by caning include drug-related, violent and sexual offences, as well as migration violations.
Though the origins of the practice of caning lie in British colonial regulations dating back to the 19th Century, the practice has become more widespread in recent years, used by the government as a means of dealing with the influx of migrant workers who have helped fuel its booming economy, Amnesty says.
"It's expanded over the past decade," Amnesty's Sam Zarifi said. "The majority of those punished this way are illegal migrants."
As the country does not officially recognise refugee status, those who have fled their homeland to Malaysia without the correct paperwork are automatically committing a criminal offence. Many are caned before being deported, the group says.
In 2002, the group says, parliament made immigration violations such as illegal entry punishable by up to six strokes of the cane, increasing the use of the punishment in prisons and detention centres.
Mr Zarifi says that the officials who carry out the task are specially trained, and receive an additional payment for each stroke they administer.
In 2005, the report says, this bonus was tripled to 10 ringgit ($3.20; £2) per stroke. This has led to a system of bribes within prisons, where guards accept cash not to carry out the punishment, Amnesty says.
According to the report, based on interviews with some 57 prisoners, the punishment often takes place in separate, hidden areas of the detention centres. Prisoners are tied on to a specially built scaffold to keep them still while they are being hit.
Although doctors are present, Amnesty says, their function is often to revive prisoners who faint during the caning so that the full number of strokes can be administered.
The refugee's experience
"In the room, there was a specially made chair for caning. We were made to lie face down on a special type of chair. Our chest, arms and legs were tied up. We were very afraid.
The caning was very painful. They caned me twice on the buttocks but each [stroke] landed on a different spot.
Afterwards, I was very weak and I couldn't stand up by myself. Two people had to take me to another hall and they put some ointment on my wounds.
Even after a week we didn't dare to touch the wounds with our hands. My wounds were bleeding a lot. It slowly healed, bit by bit.
The scar is still there but it no longer hurts. But I've noticed that, since the caning, my eyes have become worse and cannot adjust to bright sunlight.
Sometimes I regret coming to Malaysia but it is too dangerous for me to return to Burma, so I have nowhere else to go."
The Borneo Post, Kuching, 15 December 2010
Three-year jail, whipping for cheating
KOTA KINABALU: The magistrates court here yesterday sentenced a local jobless man to three years in jail and ordered him to be given nine strokes of the cane after finding him guilty of nine counts of cheating involving RM98,750.
Magistrate Norhamizah Saiffuddin ruled that Rhyme @ Reymie Kassim's defence failed to create reasonable doubt on all the nine charges.
Rhyme was jailed for three years and received one stroke of the cane for each of the charges.
However, Rhyme, who was represented by counsel Ram Singh, would only serve three years in jail after the court ordered the jail terms to run concurrently.
Norhamizah also allowed Rhyme's application for a stay of execution pending appeal against the decision at the High Court here.
She extended Rhyme's RM15,000 bail, to be deposited with two local sureties pending the disposal of the case.
Rhyme had cheated one Hj Sudir Taha of a total of RM98,750 as deposit payment of fees for nine tender projects to clean up the diagnosis laboratory of Veterinary and Animal Department.
He committed the offences between Nov 24, 2009 and Feb 28, this year in front of Sadong Jaya Maybank, Sea Park Condotel, Tanjung Aru, CIMB Bank in Putatan and Burger King in Putatan.
Each of the charges under Section 420 of the Penal Code provides for a jail term of between one and 10 years and whipping and also be liable to a fine on conviction.
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