MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Home Ministry to amend lockup rules, improve detainees management


The Home Ministry is preparing a comprehensive amendment to the 1953 Lockup Rules to ensure the management of lockups, detainees, as well as the basic rights of detainees, are improved in line with current needs and requirements.

The ministry in a reply published on the Parliament’s official website said this was among the measures taken by the police to curb the issue of deaths in custody.

“This is in addition to providing standard operating procedures (SOP) for the management of detainees in the lockup as well as periodic inspections by the authorities to ensure compliance,” it said.

The ministry was responding to a question from Zahari Kechik (Perikatan Nasional-Jeli), who wanted to know the statistics of deaths in custody for the years 2021 and 2022 as well as the government’s efforts to curb such incidents.

According to the ministry, the police were also studying a proposal to affix a “Hospital or Custody” notice on every police car as a reminder to send ill or injured detainees to the hospital for treatment, whereby such a notice has been used by the United Kingdom police.

The ministry said that 24 deaths in custody were recorded from Jan 1-Dec 31, 2022, with 11 of those deaths occurring in police lockups while the other 13 occurred when detainees were either receiving treatment at a hospital or clinic or on the way to the facility.

The number of such cases in 2021 totalled 46, of which 14 occurred in lockups.

Meanwhile, regarding the statistics of investigations, charges, and convictions under the Sedition Act 1948, the Home Ministry said a total of 367 case files had been opened from 2018-2022, namely 66 cases in 2018; 2019 (46 cases); 2020 (117 cases); 2021 (84 cases), and 2022 (54).

Five of the cases have been tried in court, it said, adding that three ended in convictions while the other two were still ongoing.

The ministry was responding to a question from Syerleena Abdul Rashid (Pakatan Harapan-Bukit Bendera) over the matter.


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