Surendran dares Nur Jazlan on rights of prisoners


KUALA LUMPUR: A PKR MP has challenged Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed to point out anything in the Prison Act 1995 or the Federal Constitution which states that prisoners lose all their freedoms.

“He cannot do so, because there is no such thing,” stressed N. Surendran, the Padang Serai MP , in a statement.

He added that it was disturbing that the Deputy Home Minister appears to be seriously ignorant of the law relating to prisoners. “Nur Jazlan also fails to consider that rehabilitation of prisoners is one of the main goals of imprisonment.”

He does not see how treating prisoners and their families in a manner not sanctioned by law help in their (prisoners’) rehabilitation and re-integration in society.

Nur Jazlan, he charged, disregards the fact that contact visits are the norm in prisons throughout the commonwealth and the world.

Further, he said, the Deputy Home Minister fails to explain why contact visits should not be allowed. “What can be the harm in allowing contact visits?”

“He entirely fails to address this question.”

Surendran was reiterating his earlier call that contact visits be allowed between prisoners and family members. “This is now particularly important in the light of the flimsy response by the Deputy Home Minister.”

He was commenting on Nur Jazlan’s response on Monday to his call for contact visits to be allowed between prisoners and family members.

He noted that the Deputy Home Minister brushed off the issue by claiming that ‘this is what prison means, prisoners lose all their freedoms’. “He even asked ‘what’s the issue here (apa masalahnya?)’.”

The response will be shocking and painful to the thousands of family members of prisoners who are desperate for just a touch of their loved ones, lamented the MP. “His remarks are cruel and irresponsible, and display a lack of sympathy and humanity.”

Surendran said that Nur Jazlan was completely wrong in claiming that prisoners lose all their freedoms.

In fact, prisoners only lose their freedom of movement. “They retain all their other constitutional and fundamental freedoms,” said the MP.