Monday March 4, 2013
Aim to rehabilitate offenders, courts urged
KUALA LUMPUR: The courts should not only punish culprits when sentencing but also aim to rehabilitate offenders to steer them away from committing the crime again, say lawyers.
“Community service and bonds of good behaviour are important options, as many petty criminal offences are done on the spur of the moment without intending to commit a crime,” said lawyer Datuk Suraj Singh.
On March 6, former bank officer Eugene Khoo Kah Chong pleaded guilty to attempting to rob a housewife using a fake gun in Taman Tun Dr Ismail here.
In mitigation, the 36-year-old claimed he was pressured by loan sharks over money he borrowed after losing a fortune in the Forex market.
His lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh said testimony showed that Khoo was a victim of circumstances and had handled his situation poorly.
Under the law, Khoo faced a jail term of up to 19 years, a fine and whipping but the Sessions Court only sentenced him to three and a half years in prison.
He said a Sentencing Council, made up of members from a wide background, could provide a more holistic approach to sentencing by recommending greater consideration for rehabilitation than the usual type of deterrent sentences.