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Offenders Compulsory Attendance Bill can reduce costs, provide fairer sentences

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 (Bernama) — The Offenders Compulsory Attendance (Amendment) Bill 2021 is capable of reducing the costs of prison management and to create a fairer sentence for offenders, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said said the bill could reduce the total financial implication through incarceration initiatives compared to jail sentences behind prison walls.

“If we don’t house 6,800 offenders in prison for three months, we would have saved RM30.6 million. Imagine jail time is up to three years, but if we increased the compulsory attendance order from three to 12 months, imagine how much the government would save.

“For offenders, this method would not take them away from their families, they can continue to (help) boost their family’s economy without raising any concerns within the community,” he said when winding up the debate of the bill at the Dewan Negara today.

He said the bill would also take into consideration feedback from the victim and engagement sessions with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to understand certain situations that are reasonable based on the commission of criminal behaviour punishable with no more than three years’ jail.

Ismail said the amendment would not apply for offenders undergoing sentence before its approval. The bill was then passed at the Dewan Negara with more votes in favour.

In a separate development, Deputy Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Ali Biju earlier stated that the National Forestry (Amendment) Bill 2022 considered the interests of the Orang Asli through the insertion of the new Section 60(a) during the winding up of the bill’s debate.

He said the section relates to the reduction or exemption of forest development special taxes for forest produce harvested by the Orang Asli from permanent forest reserves, government land, reserve land and mining land for their use as listed in the Act, including the construction of temporary huts and for domestic use.

The bill was then passed by the Dewan Negara with a majority. The Malaysian Border Security Agency (Amendment) Bill 2021 and the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill 2020 were also passed.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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