Police can still use Sedition Act, but with discretion

20 Mar 2019 / 23:27 H.

KAJANG: The police have the discretion to continue using the Sedition Act 1948 while the government debates a proposal to repeal it.

However, the government would not encourage its use, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told reporters at the 229th Prison Day celebrations at the Malaysia Prisons College here today.

He said the Act could be used in cases where the royal institution had been insulted. “This is why it must be used prudently.”

Earlier, in his speech, Muhyiddin said two-thirds of all those serving prison sentences would undergo out-of-prison correctional programmes by 2030. “These programmes are meant to help prisoners reintegrate into society and eventually become useful citizens.”

The programmes, such as parole and compulsory attendance order, are extensions of an alternative programme to overcome prison congestion.

A total of 39,000 prisoners have benefited from the programme that enables them to serve their sentences outside prison walls. “Given that the recidivism rate is only 0.5%, the programme should be expanded.”

He said the cooperation with the private sector under a corporate smart internship (CSI) initiative had brought positive results.

Under the CSI, which is part of the People on Parole programme, 45 private companies in 12 states have taken in 2,005 prisoners as interns since 2016.

Muhyiddin said his ministry would ensure that prisons were more systematically designed and there were recreational facilities.

“The rehabilitation of inmates will be more effective if there are more teaching staff and suitable rehabilitation programmes.”

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