LANGKAWI, 24 Nov 2008: The government has approved the ‘Transfer of Prisoners Programme’ which allows the prisoner to undergo the final year of his sentence in his own country under the parole system.
Home Minister Datuk Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the government will discuss the matter further with countries interested to participate in the programme.
“The programme, which was approved by the Malaysian cabinet lately, is important as a support towards the prisoner’s rehabilitation process,” he said when officiating the opening of the Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA), here today.
More than 200 participants from 25 countries attended the annual conference held for five days beginning yesterday.
Syed Hamid said the government is aware of the need to have a standard practice on the detention and rehabilitation of offenders even though it is challenging with regard to the different provisions of law between countries.
“This issue, coupled with the exploitation of human rights, is now prevalent among certain quarters and could jeopardize diplomatic relations between countries,” he added.
He said in a world without borders, the rapid expansion and easy mobilisation of people, offenders are not restricted to the locals only but include foreigners from different countries.
In the case of Malaysia, Syed Hamid said the culture, experience and beliefs of the diverse background makes the treatment and rehabilitation of criminal offenders a challenging task for the present system.
He suggested that the spirit of cooperation be developed by having a ‘Asia Pacific Prisons Day’ to establish commitment towards the rehabilitation aspects including exchanging prisoners. — Bernama