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Judicial CP - May 2005

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 overcrowding.

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 prisons.

"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 crutches.

Tan Ching Leong, 29, became agitated when the photographers started clicking away as soon as policemen led him out of the courtroom.

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 years ago.

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, 2003.

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 offence.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Razali Che Ani asked the court to impose the appropriate sentence as Tan had spoilt a girl's future.

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 challenge.

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 sentences consecutively.

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)

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