When the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate's Court several months ago sentenced a 20-year-old security guard to 48 hours community services for theft, it was a big news in the local newspapers. This was the first time sentence of this kind being imposed on convict.
Today (July 25) the High Court declared the sentence illegal and freed the youth on two years good behaviour. Judge Datuk Ian Chin agreed with the Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Z Faridah that the Welfare Department was unable to carried out the sentence imposed by the lower court as such punishment was yet to be enforced.
The DPP told the court that the Welfare Department `rejected' the order as it was not in the position to carry out the punishment. This prompted the DPP to apply for a revision of the order.
The DPP informed the court that sentence of community services was provided for in the recent amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code which had been passed by Parliament but has not been enforced yet.
Meanwhile, the youth who was happy with the decision, had gone back to his village to tap rubber.
And it was a different story in the Court of Appeal in Kuala Lumpur. A youth who was convicted of murder by a High Court was freed as there were no law in the land that
a juvenile could be hanged for whatever offences.
Justice Datuk G Sri Ram held that Parliament has to do something to correct the law. So he called upon MP Karpal Singh, counsel for the juvenile, to move a motion in Parliament on the matter.
A strong political is needed to correct all this imbalance.