Tuesday September 25, 2012
Bill to move jailbirds
Reports By MAZWIN NIK ANIS, MARTIN CARVALHO, RAHIMY RAHIM and LOSHANA K. SHAGAR
THE International Transfer of Prisoners (TOP) Bill 2012, which will allow prisoners serving jail terms in and outside Malaysian prisons to be transferred was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop for first reading.
Under the Bill, a foreign prisoner is eligible to be transferred from a Malaysian jail to serve his sentence in his own country.
Similarly, a Malaysian jailed in another country is eligible for transfer to Malaysia from abroad.
However, several conditions need to be fulfilled to facilitate a transfer.
These include: that the sentence of imprisonment is not subject to appeal in any court or tribunal; that the prisoner has at least six months left to serve and that the prisoner has given his consent to the transfer.
“The Minister may refuse the transfer of a prisoner to or from Malaysia if the prisoner is sentenced to death, if such transfer would affect the sovereignty, security, public order or other essential public interest of Malaysia.
“The Minister can also refuse such transfer if it would impose an excessive burden on the resources of Malaysia or if such transfer would require steps to be taken that would be contrary to any written law,” it said.
The proposed law would also allow the Minister, at any time before the prisoner concerned is transferred from or to Malaysian prisons, revoke the warrant for his transfer if he considers it to be inappropriate to proceed with the transfer or the said country withdraws consent to the transfer or the prisoner withdraws such consent.
According to the Bill, the prison sentence imposed on a prisoner who is transferred here shall be governed by Malaysian laws and any period served by a prisoner in another country shall be reckoned as period served by him in Malaysia.