Private member's bill to be submitted on prison reforms

KUALA LUMPUR: A private member's bill on proposed reforms of Malaysia's prison system would be submitted during the upcoming Parliament session in July, said Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

The PKR Vice President said Malaysian prisons and lock-ups were six decades old, with much of it inherited from the British.

"I will also propose several suggestions to the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) on the prisons and lock-up facilities. The current system focuses on punitive action but does not give room for rehabilitation," she told the media at the launch of PKR vice-president Tian Chua's book "Tian Chua's Kajang Diary: A Prison Retreat" at KLCC today.

"For example, detainees are not allowed to wear slippers when they are detained because there had been an incident many years ago where a detainee tried to injure himself. This is the very archaic system that we still have," she said.

She added that she will collect the relevant information on the matter before tabling the private member's bill and Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had also mentioned the same proposal for reform.

"Even the previous Home Minister (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) had mentioned that the prisons should be reformed. There was a document that the previous government should have tabled in parliament."

Nurul Izzah also dispelled talk of tension between Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and her father Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"There has been no tension. It's just the media playing it up because all these controversies and conspiracies are 'sexy'" she said in dismissing the question.