KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 308 convicts were ordered to perform mandatory community service instead of spending time behind bars during the enforcement of the Emergency Ordinances, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic).
“As of Oct 8, following the enforcement of the Emergency Ordinance (Convict Mandatory Attendance) (Amendments) 2021, a total of 308 convicts were ordered by the courts to undergo a mandatory attendance order,” he said when tabling a motion to annul the Emergency Ordinances in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Oct 25).
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) said of that number, 93 were ordered to perform community service for more than three months, but not more than 12 months.
The amendments had increased the powers of the courts to order a convict to perform mandatory community service from not more than three months to not more than 12 months.
This provision, he noted, applied to those who were convicted for offences which carried a jail sentence of not more than three years.
“The mandatory attendance order is an alternative punishment for convicts who will be ordered to perform mandatory community service for a fixed period of time,” he said.
He noted that this alternative approach was found to be effective in rehabilitating offenders while keeping them from being shunned by the community.
“It also allowed for more offenders to serve their punishment outside the prison, thereby curbing the spread of Covid-19 among inmates,” he added.
The Ordinance was gazetted on April 15 and came into force the following day.