Transfer of Prisoners Bill: Prisoner must consent

  • Nation
  • Monday, 24 Sep 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: The International Transfer of Prisoners Bill 2012 tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday states that the consent of the prisoner is required before a transfer can take place.

This is among the conditions that must be fulfilled before a foreigner in a Malaysian prison is sent back to his country to finish serving his jail time or a Malaysian prisoner abroad is brought back to Malaysia.

Other conditions requires the jail sentence not to be subject to appeal to any court or tribunal and that the prisoner has at least six months jail term to serve.

"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 a transfer would require steps to be taken that would be contrary to any written law," the Bill said.

Even after a transfer is approved, it can be aborted if the Minister revokes the transfer because he considers it to be inappropriate to proceed with the transfer, if the receiving country withdraws consent to the transfer or the prisoner withdraws consent.

According to the Bill, the prison sentence imposed on prisoner who is transferred here shall be governed by Malaysian laws and any period served by a prisoner in another country shall be counted as a period served by him in Malaysia.

As at Aug 31, prisons nationwide held 37,157 convicts, of which 10,520 are foreign nationals.

From that figure, 1,758 foreign nationals from 18 countries are eligible to be transferred back to serve time in their home countries.

There are 2,622 Malaysians serving jail time in 59 countries.

It was reported that the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia had stated an interest in the transfer of prisoners.

The Bill seeks to reduce congestion in Malaysian jails.

Related Stories: Parliament to mull Transfer of Prisoners bill in upcoming session 9,700 foreigners jailed in Malaysia

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