SEPTEMBER 4 — The Young Professionals (YP) express their disgust with the suggestion by the former Court of Appeal judge, Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah, supported by Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, that prisons be infested with all manner of disease-bearing vermin such as mosquitoes, rats and cockroaches in order to more effectively deter crime.
While YP does agree that general conditions at prisons, lock-ups and other detention centres must not be rendered alluring or inviting in any way given their purpose and use as places for reflection, reform and rehabilitation of inmates, such places must nonetheless be maintained in accordance with applicable international standards, and the suggestion of the former judge and deputy minister that they deliberately be made unbearable for inmates is simply appalling to say the least.
Such a move, other than inhumane for obvious reasons, are clearly illegal under the law, not least the Prison Regulations 2000 made under the Prison Act 1995, Regulation 59, which requires that prisons be kept clean, and Regulation 55 requiring prisoners be treated with kindness and humanity. Regulation 20 of the 2000 Regulations even provide for any prisoner found to have any infectious or contagious disease or infested with vermin to be reported to a medical officer who shall take steps to treat the said prisoner as well as take preventive measures to contain any spread thereof to other inmates. Read more