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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2002   :  MY Judicial Apr 2002

-- THE ARCHIVE --


MALAYSIA

Judicial CP - April 2002



masthead New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 3 April 2002

Stiffer jail terms for hardcore drug addicts

KUALA LUMPUR, Tues. - Hardcore addicts with previous convictions in dadah-related crimes will soon face a mandatory jail term of seven to 13 years, and six strokes of the rotan if they run foul of the law again.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said that the increased penalties were being sought under amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, as a deterrent and to provide more protection to the public.

He said it was known that many addicts often resorted to crime like house-breaking to feed their addiction.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2002 was tabled for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat [= Federal Parliament - C.F.] last week. MPs are expected to debate and pass it before the end of the session next week.

"We hope to reduce crimes committed by addicts," he said in the Parliament lobby today.

Another amendment being sought involved Section 31A which will allow a police officer not below the rank of sergeant or customs officer to order an arrested person to provide a urine specimen for an examination.

Anyone who refuses is liable to a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or four years' jail, or both.

"With the additional powers, it is hoped our efforts to combat drug abuse will be more effective.

"Samples have to be collected speedily to ensure we can build a stronger case against offenders," he said.

Section 37 of the Act is also being amended. It provides that the possession of 50g or more in weight of any combination of the dangerous drugs will also fall within the presumption of trafficking.

New Straits Times (M) Berhad



blob Follow-up: 21 June 2002 - Stiff penalties soon for addicts



masthead New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 6 April 2002

Pak Lah: Stiffer sentences, whipping, called against child, incest rapists

By Firdaus Abdullah

(extract)

Rapists, especially those guilty of incest, should be given heavier sentences with mandatory whipping, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

He said this was because incest and rape of minors were unforgivable as there were no mitigating factors.

"I share the general feeling of the rakyat [= general public - C.F.] who wish for a more deterrent minimum punishment for such heinous crimes", Abdullah said, adding that such criminals should be dealt with seriously as their victims suffered life-long misery.

Speaking to the media after delivering his keynote address at the Wholesome Families The Pulse Of The Nation - A Meeting Of Minds: The Malaysian Family seminar, he said those who committed incest also ruined the family institution.

He said recent reports of violence against the young, in particular sexual violence, was very saddening.

"I'm very, very upset with this. Such inhumane acts should never be condoned by anyone ... we cannot tolerate this. Zero tolerance!", he said.

Abdullah said Women Affairs and Family Development Minister Datuk Sharizat Abdul Jalil would submit a proposal to the Cabinet for approval before it was tabled in Parliament. Section 376 of the Penal Code provides for a jail sentence of up to a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years and whipping.

Amendments to the Penal Code last year provided for a jail term of not less than six years and not more than 20 years and whipping of up to 24 strokes for incest.

Abdullah said the minimum jail and whipping provided for rapists now was inadequate and not as deterrent as expected.

"Judges could decide on longer sentences but we want to make the minimum jail term and additional whipping effectively deterrent".

.............




masthead The Star, KL, 11 April 2002

26 years for killing mum and daughter

By Jack Wong

KUCHING: The High Court here has sentenced an unemployed man, who has 10 previous convictions, to 26 years' imprisonment after he confessed to causing the death of a bridal shop owner and her daughter more than a year ago.

The accused, Chong Kooi Fah alias Johnny, 39, from Ipoh, Perak escaped the gallows after the prosecution amended the original murder charge to culpable homicide under Section 304(a) of the Penal Code.

Under the first amended charge, he was accused of committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder as is likely to cause the death of Chong Oi Khium, 37, at Sister Palace at the first floor of No 247, Central Park Commercial Centre at Rock Road at about 11:30am on Dec 19, 2000.

Chong Kooi Fah OFF TO JAIL ... Chong being taken out of the courthouse in Kuching Wednesday after sentence was pronounced.

He was also charged with committing culpable homicide by causing bodily injuries as is likely to cause the death of Stephanie Chong Peilin, 11, at the same place.

The accused was a tenant of Oi Khium.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Zakaria Sam jailed the accused for 12 years for the first charge and 14 years for the second charge.

He ordered the sentences to run consecutively and the jail term to take effect from the date of his arrest - Feb 26, last year.

Zakaria said although the accused had 10 previous convictions - all having custodial sentences and even whipping, the latter had not learnt and showed no remorse.

"In fact, you became worst and became a cold blooded killer.

"Just for a few thousand ringgit, you have killed two persons, including a 11-year-old. Ask yourself if this killing is necessary," he told the accused.

The accused had been convicted for gang robbery, armed robbery, possession of drugs and house-breaking in the peninsula between 1982 and 1997.

Zakaria said the accused was lucky that the prosecution had reduced the charges from murder to culpable homicide, and that the amended charges did not provide for whipping to be carried out.

"Otherwise I would not hesitate to impose whipping on you," he added.

The court was earlier told that the accused had intended to rob Oi Khium at her bridal shop to settle his undisclosed debts in football bettings.

1995-2001 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)




masthead New Straits Times, KL, 20 April 2002

Maximum jail sentence and public whipping for sexual crime offenders proposed

By Hamidah Atan

The Legal Co-ordination committee in the Prime Minister's Department and Attorney-General's Chambers have proposed maximum jail sentences and whipping in public for rapists and those who commit incest.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the matter was, however, not yet final as it has to be approved by Cabinet.

He said he would submit a paper on the proposal to the Cabinet for deliberation next month.

Rais added that the committee and the A-G's Chambers wanted to have a stiffer sentence to be spelt out in specific terms.

"I have had a meeting with the A-G's Chambers and we have stressed the need for section 376A of the Penal Code to be amended although it was passed about a year ago.

The Government must stipulate the maximum jail sentences without any alternative available to the court as well as whipping in public, he said after witnessing cultural performances by students of Negeri Padang University in West Sumatra, Indonesia, last night.

Also present were the Jelebu Undang Luak and his wife.

The Penal Code was amended last year to make it an offence to have sexual intercourse with a person whom he/she is not permitted to marry by law, religion or custom.

The punishment is a minimum six years' jail and maximum 20 years, and whipping.

Rais, who is also Jelebu Member of Parliament, said the Government had to act in accordance with the concern expressed by the public.

"I will push ahead as soon as possible the paper for consideration (by the Government) and very likely, this will be done next month.

On whipping in public, he said there were views that the Government should be cautious about it, and a school of thought which was against it.

However, the spate of such offences may require harsher penalties.

"This has never been done before. The Government has to decide on this before any amendment to the law.

Rais also commended Attorney-General Datuk Abdul Gani Patail who had instructed his prosecutors to push for deterrent sentences against rapists and those who committed incest.

On April 16, Abdul Gani instructed the Negri Sembilan Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Rosli Mohd Sham to file a notice of appeal against the 12 years' jail imposed on a settler for raping his 12-year old daughter.

"This shows that the A-G is sensitive towards the public feeling and his move commensurate with the sentiment expressed by the public.

"A system of law which is not sensitive towards the public is not good law. Therefore, the fact that he has voiced his concern, is commendable in my view."


New Straits Times (M) Berhad



masthead New Straits Times, KL, 22 April 2002

Editorial

Not by law alone

April 22: THE problem of sex crimes against children, including incest, demands great urgency. Despite few strands of non-level-headed views such as Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim's confoundingly simplistic call for polygamy to avoid incest and Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad's bad taste in humour, the public's abhorrence for such bestial acts is mirrored in the clamour for harsher punishments — even death sentence and castration.

That many have committed incest, oblivious to both religious code and social mores and contemptuous of the law, is testimony to the Penal Code's inadequacy. It is also evidence of how poor a deterrent the law is. Thus, the proposal by the Legal Co-ordination Committee in the Prime Minister's Department and Attorney-General's Chambers for the maximum 20 years incarceration plus mandatory whipping in public for rapists and those who commit incest must be vigorously pursued and quickly put into effect.

It is society's obligation to eliminate the life-threatening and emotionally debilitating risks that the children face from their parents and relatives. We need to put ourselves in the dock together with the perpetrator for our failure to rip off the veil, be it the result of peculiar and twisted religio-culturally construction, that have hidden and protected such crimes. We believe the Government should go further than putting the beasts who devour their own offspring behind bars for life, whipping and degrading them by revealing their identity. The harshest of punishment must be balanced with the need to "purge" such a wanton inclination from the guilty. A 16-year-old offender who served 20 years in jail would be 36 years old upon release; an age where the libido still rages. What guarantee is there that he is liberated from the dark compulsions of the past? Clearly, psychiatric treatment must be made mandatory.

Uncertainty of redress in the legal and social context has deterred many victims and their mothers from coming forward. State-supervised recovery is crucial since the adults who were the silent shadows in the victims' sufferings may not be emotionally equipped to nurse the victims' healing process. There must be an enlightened and inter-disciplinary approach to the problem.

We believe these recommendations reflect the centre of gravity of national opinion. Moreover, they would bring the law and sociological approach into line with the menacing realities of society. But above all, it would make Malaysia a safer place for our children. Now we need politicians brave enough to act.

New Straits Times (M) Berhad


masthead Straits Times, Singapore, 22 April 2002

KL mulls public flogging for incest crimes

Spate of cases involving kids prompts the authorities to look into proposals to raise the punishment for such crimes

By Reme Ahmad
in Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA may publicly whip rapists and incest criminals in the future.

A legal committee in the Prime Minister's Department and the Attorney General's Chambers are looking into proposals to raise punishment for such crimes which will also include handing out maximum sentences.

Datuk Seri Rais Yatim, Malaysia's de-facto law minister, said public whipping could mean the criminal is caned in a public place. Alternatively, members of the public could be allowed to witness the punishment in a prison compound.

There are also plans to make it easier to bring incest offenders to book. A senior police officer said the Evidence Act would be amended to shift the burden of proof to the alleged offender, instead of the victim.

The authorities are pushing for such an amendment as some incest cases have been thrown out of court on technicalities. In a number of cases, the victims, some as young as seven, were unable to relate the incidents clearly as the crime occurred over many years.

The tougher moves are being considered as the public has reacted with disgust following a recent spate of cases, many involving young girls who were repeatedly raped by family members.

Shocked Malaysians have even asked the government to consider castrating offenders or injecting them with chemicals to reduce their sex drive.

Police statistics showed there were some 1,400 cases of incest reported over the past four years involving girls under 16, nearly 71 per cent of them Malays.

'I will push ahead as soon as possible the paper for consideration and very likely, this will be done next month,' said Datuk Seri Rais, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of legal affairs.

Under current law, those found guilty face jail terms of up to 20 years, and can get between six and 20 strokes of the cane.

The get-tough move was reflected by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, whose office last week filed a notice of appeal against a 12-year jail term imposed on a man who raped his 12-year-old daughter.

The government is also mulling a witness-protection programme to help families start a new life. He said many families and witnesses were unwilling to come forward due to fears of being ostracised by society.

There may also be moves to make the process of reporting sexual abuse less painful by reducing the number of people the victims have to speak to.

Copyright @ 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.



masthead Daily Express, Kota Kinabalu, 22 April 2002

Whipping in public is Taliban's way: DAP

Alor Setar: The DAP Sunday described the proposal to impose whipping in public for sex offenders who commit rape and incest as not practical and a Taliban practice.

Its deputy chairman, Karpal Singh, said the government should not resort to imposing such sentences despite the rise in the number of sex-related cases lately.

"The proposal (whipping in public) is not a measure to rectify the situation. It is a feudalistic concept and not applicable at the moment," he told reporters here.

He was to comment on Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim's statement in the press Sunday that a proposal paper on stiffer penalties for such cases would be submitted to the Cabinet next month.

Rais was quoted as saying that the Legal Coordination Committee of the Prime Minister's Department and Attorney-General's Chambers was proposing maximum jail sentences and whipping in public for rapists and those who committed incest.

Karpal Singh said there was no Commonwealth country which imposed public flogging for any crime.

He said the maximum sentence should be left to the discretion of the judge based on the seriousness each case and forcing a judge to impose the maximum jail sentence should not occur in the country's judiciary.-Bernama

Copyright Daily Express, Sabah, Malaysia



masthead The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 23 April 2002

Public whipping 'if people want it'

By Sa'odah Elias

SEPANG: The government will consider introducing public whipping for those convicted of incest if it receives full mandate from the people, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday.

"We have never had public whippings before but if the people want it and give the government the mandate to carry it out, we may do it because there are too many shameless people in our society," he told reporters upon his arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport after a week-long official visit to Morocco, Libya and Bahrain.

Dr Mahathir said the government was willing to consider this drastic measure because those who were involved in such activities were brazen.

However, he said, while the government acknowledged the need for stiffer penalties for the offence, it was more concerned with the moral degradation among the people, especially Muslims.

"We can introduce stiffer laws to curb this problem, but I believe that if we cannot build up the moral resistance towards this despicable act and inculcate positive values among our people, it will not help much.

"Look at our law on drugs. We have provisions on death sentence but the drug problem still persists in the country. So I think legislation alone will not be able to arrest this problem unless we address the problem of moral degradation," he added.

The proposal for whipping for those convicted for incest was made by the Legal Co-ordination Committee in the Prime Minister's Department and Attorney-General's Chambers recently.

Asked if the Government would also impose stiffer penalties on those involved in peddling pornographic materials which had been attributed to the increase in the number of incest cases, Dr Mahathir said:

"Fortifying the people against negative influences through effective teaching of the religion will be more effective because with the advent of the Internet, no effective law can be introduced to prevent the people from accessing pornographic materials."

Society, he said, was getting more shameless by day and most had no qualms about getting involved in criminal activities so long as they got what they wanted.

Dr Mahathir also attributed the increase in incest cases to the ineffective ways of teaching the religion in the country.

The Government, he said, had provided all the necessary facilities for religious education, but such classes were sometimes misused to spread political ideology.

"We provide the facilities for them to study religion, but most of the time, instead of learning about moral values, the focus will be on politics."

In a statement, DAP vice-chairman Karpal Singh said the Government should not impose public whipping on those found guilty of incest.

He said while the Government's concern for introducing harsher penalties for the offence was understandable, public whipping would be incongruous with the rule of law.

"Public whipping will bring the country into international revulsion," he said in a statement.

Karpal Singh said no Commonwealth country or a developed country provided for public whipping, which is a step away from public executions.

The Bar Council, in a separate statement, supported the approach taken by Attorney-General Datuk Abdul Gani Patail in directing the prosecutors to push for heavier sentence for rape and incest, including consecutive jail terms.

Its chairman Mah Weng Kwai said the Bar Council advocated that judges be given the liberty to decide on consecutive sentences where the seriousness of the offences demanded as opposed to being forced a blanket mandatory sentence in all cases.

1995-2001 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)




masthead Daily Express, Kota Kinabalu, 25 April 2002

Caning for first-time illegals

PORT DICKSON: Amendments to the Immigration Act to provide for whipping for those convicted for the first time of entering the country illegally are awaiting Royal assent.

Once the Bill was assented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong [Federal King - C.F.], it would be gazetted, Director-General of Immigration Datuk Mohd Jamal Kamdi said Wednesday.

Following royal assent, the Bill would become law and was likely to be enforced from June this year, which meant those convicted of entering the country illegally for the first time would be whipped.

Existing laws allowed whipping only for those committing the offence for the second time. Mohd Jamal was speaking to reporters after conferring ranks on 88 immigration officers at the Immigration Academy here.

He said that between March 22 and last Monday a total of 21,821 illegal immigrants had returned to their countries voluntarily under the amnesty programme.

Of the total, 18,972 were Indonesians, 1,149 Indians, 629 Bangladesh nationals and the rest were from 28 other countries.

He said an estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants were in Malaysia at present.

Mohd Jamal said the Government had decided that there was a need to continue recruiting foreign workers to meet the current needs of the country.

However, this need would have to be monitored alongside the need to protect local workers.

All applications to recruit foreign workers should be made through the Home Ministry and the Immigration would only come in once approval had been granted by the Ministry, Mohd Jamal said.

He said the Immigration had been empowered to approve the recruitment of new workers to replace those who had already served in this country for five years.

"This process is centred at Immigration headquarters, Kuala Lumpur. Employers can deal with state immigration offices when applying for extension of passes and work permits."

"If employers wish to retain their workers for more than five years, then we can temporarily extend the passes of these workers for three months on condition the employers obtain skills certificate for them," he said.

He also said an additional 270 officers had been sent to Sabah to handle the problem of illegal immigrants there.

Speaking at the function, he said the Immigration Department was working to earn MS ISO 9002 certification for management of activities at entry and exit points.

The certification had already been awarded to the Malaysia Passport management service.

"This means the work process at all 117 entry points in the country will follow a set standard and documents will have to be closely monitored from the beginning to the end process."-Bernama

Copyright Daily Express, Sabah, Malaysia



blob Follow-up: 18 June 2002 - Amnesty for illegals ends at midnight on July 31


masthead  The Star, KL, 26 April 2002

Bar Council to meet Rais on Monday

PUTRAJAYA: Bar Council officials will meet Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Rais Yatim on Monday to discuss proposals to tackle incest and rape.

Council chairman Mah Weng Kwai reiterated the council's stand that it was not in favour of the change of burden of proof from the prosecution to the accused where cases of incest and rape were concerned.

This was because it would be a major fundamental departure from criminal law principle, he said.

Mah said the council had also stated that it was not in favour of the Government's proposal to introduce public whipping for those convicted of incest.

"If you ask for public whipping, somebody else will ask for public hanging. Where do we draw the line?"

He, however, said the council welcomed the proposal for whipping to be applicable to those above the age of 50.

1995-2001 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)




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