Saturday, February 02, 2008

PRISONER EXCHANGE - unjust, discriminatory, dangerous for "REFUGEES", etc

A stupid and very unjust proposal -----

Our Federal Constitution guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of the law to all PERSONS. That means that A, a Malaysian, and B, a foreigner, if convicted of the same offence and sentenced must also be treated "equally". That means that if they are to serve out a prison term - it must of course be in a prison in Malaysia.

Many persons convicted do appeal to Higher Courts --- and, again of course being in Malaysia makes it easier and practical.

Prisoners, after serving some time in prison get to come out if they have been of good behaviour, etc --- and this decision is made by a body of persons here.

Therefore, not only is it impractical BUT is also unjust, and potentially discriminatory, to have this "prisoner exchange"....

What about refugees from Burma, Aceh, other parts of Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.... many of them get arrested for offences like "over-staying", not having proper documentation- pasport, etc or maybe even for the commissioning of some crime - will they be deported back to their own country. Malaysia may not recognize "refugees" BUT at the same time Malaysia should not be throwing persons from the frying pan into the fire.....

32 per cent or 11,868 convicts in this country are foreigners -- I believe most of these persons are convicted for not for the usual crimes - but for things like not having proper documentation, not having their pasports (as employers/agents hold them in many cases), over-staying, etc... LET US HAVE THE BREAKDOWN OF THE KIND OF CRIMES THAT PEOPLE ARE BEING CONVICTED FOR.

And by the way, are we talking about persons convicted and serving sentences - or are we talking about remand-prisoners, being persons who have no capacity to raise bail or persons where the court is not allowing bail, -- well these persons are languishing there because of the flaws in the criminal justice system we have now. (After all about 30 persons were charged with attempted murder and denied bail --- and after that that absurd unreasonable charge was withdrawn because, amongst others, difficult to say who throw the stone that injured a policeman....should not have investigations been completed and evidence accessed before a person is charged of any offence...)

So, is it 32 per cent or 11,868 convicts OR 32 per cent or 11,868 persons who are languishing in Malaysian prisons?

This is NOT WAR - where there is prisoner exchange....


Association to push for prisoner exchange

Saturday, 02 February 2008 08:31am

Association to push for prisoner exchange©New Straits Times
by Farrah Naz Karim

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians languishing in prisons abroad may be brought home to serve their remaining sentence here under a radical "prisoner exchange" programme.

The programme involves 25 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

For Malaysia, the move will overcome the problem of overcrowding in prisons.

Under the programme, prisoners who had served a certain amount of time in the countries they were convicted would be transferred home to complete their sentences there.

However, convicts on death row, those serving life imprisonment or those convicted of sexual crimes are excluded.

Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said the proposal was being "looked into".

The New Straits Times, however, learnt that the Asia Pacific Correctional Association, of which the Malaysian Prisons Department is a member, had been toying with the idea for some time now and would likely push the programme at the association's next meeting in Langkawi later this year.

Countries such as Japan, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Tonga, North and South Korea and Malaysia are likely participants of the programme.

"This is not a barter trade," a source said.

Once the agreement had been sealed with another country, the exchange programme can commence.

"The countries must agree not to intervene in the conviction meted out by foreign courts."

Statistics show that 32 per cent or 11,868 convicts in this country are foreigners.

Sending the prisoners back to their countries would reduce the population in prisons besides the cost of housing them.

The source said that unlike an extradition treaty , the programme would help the rehabilitation of prisoners.

Citing the example of a Malaysian being held in China, the source said it would be difficult for the inmate to undergo rehabilitation when he had problems communicating.

Final details of the programme would be drawn up after the meeting in Langkawi before being forwarded to the Attorney-General's Chambers.

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