|TOP Bill seeks to ease congestion in jails|
|Saturday, 15 September 2012 09:02am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
PUTRAJAYA: The International Transfer of Prisoners (TOP) Bill 2012 will be tabled when Parliament reconvenes on Sept 24 in a bid to bring home Malaysians locked up abroad.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the Bill, if passed, would also help ease congestion in jails where nearly 30% of the occupants were foreign nationals.
The Bill aims to send foreign nationals back to their home countries to complete their jail term while providing the same option for Malaysians convicted of crimes overseas.
“This international transfer of prisoners will be carried out through bilateral relations between both countries that agree to sign an agreement or treaty to carry out the transfer of prisoners between them,” he said.
As at Aug 31, prisons nationwide hold 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.
Hishammuddin said the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia had stated an interest in TOP.
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