With about 74,000 individuals currently detained at 38 prisons across the country, Malaysia's prisons are overcrowded, reported Bernama
The report was quoting Home Affairs Deputy Minister Mohd Azis Jamman, who said that the Government is considering to set up private prisons to solve the overcrowding problem in Malaysian jails
Azis Jamman said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed the Prisons Department to study the feasibility of establishing private penitentiaries and submit its findings to the Ministry.
"If the proposal paper prepared by the department is acceptable, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will submit it to Cabinet for consideration," Bernama reported him as saying at the closing of a colloquium on prison modernisation held in Kajang on Friday, 22 November.
The Deputy Home Minister said that he recently had an opportunity to see the operations of a private prison during his working trip to Britain
According to him, such private prisons resulted in the government there not having to build new prisons.
"I have tasked the Prisons Department to look into the feasibility of having a similar concept in the country," Azis Jammam was quoted as saying by The Star yesterday.
"Maintaining and managing prisons is expensive as we also need to consider operational costs as well as the welfare of both staff members and inmates," he said, adding that the government has already implemented the parole and Compulsory Attendance Order systems to reduce overcrowding in prisons.
The private prisons, if proven to be a feasible solution, would house inmates who are being sentenced for low-to-medium offences
Following the news, netizens have taken to Twitter to urge the Government to not consider it, while pointing out why this a bad move
Meanwhile, the Deputy Home Minister recently said that PDRM can inspect anybody's mobile phone during a random check: