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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Our justice system needs a major overhaul so that justice can be more speedily administered.

The latest case wherein the accused is to be held for at least one year before the trial means the following occurs:

• An innocent party may be jailed just because he or she is accused of a crime

• The government incurs the costs of holding and feeding detainees. If we take RM20 per day as total costs per detainee inclusive of food, shelter and admin costs, each detainee costs the government RM7300 per annum. If we remand 10,000 persons for one year on average that costs the nation RM73,000,000 per annum.

I suggest the following:

• Electronic tagging for remand prisoners unless that person is a serious danger to society such as armed robbers or serial rapists.

• Establishing night courts in all the major cities like KL, Ipoh, Penang, Malacca, JB, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to speedily dispose of traffic and other minor cases.

• Establish a procedure whereby those pleading “guilty” can be heard by one court in quick succession so that valuable court can be optimised.

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