2,500 Malaysians in foreign prisons
KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Some 2,500 Malaysians were held in prisons abroad for various offences in the first six months of this year.
Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay told the Dewan Negara today that among the offences committed were drug smuggling, murder, credit card forgery, commercial crime, theft, immigration law violations, cheating and falsifying of documents, and human trafficking.
“The countries with Malaysian prisoners are Singapore (1,096), Thailand (444), China (231), Indonesia (148), Taiwan (137), Australia (77), Spain (47), Kuwait (33), Vietnam (29) and France (25),” he said in reply to a question from Senator Datuk Chin Su Phin.
Kohilan said the government was concerned about the fate and welfare of Malaysians detained in foreign prisons but it would not interfere in the internal affairs of these countries.
“The government is working at protecting the rights of our citizens under detention abroad as provided for under our own law and international law such as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963,” he said.
To a supplementary question from Chin, Kohilan said the government was drawing up the protocol and mechanism to enable Malaysian prisoners abroad to be brought back to serve their jail term here under the Prison Act 1995 and Prison Regulations 2000.
“A committee has been set up by the Home Ministry together with the Foreign and Women, Family and Community Development ministries and Prisons Department to draw up an international transfer law that would allow Malaysian prisoners to be brought back to this country,” he said. — Bernama