Yesterday, no rx the Home Minister Dato Seri Dr Zahid Ahmad Zahidi revealed that between 2013 and 30 April 2016, buy 721 prisoners died in Malaysian prisons. This information was given in answer to a parliamentary question I had submitted to the Home Minister. Of this figure, salve 427 were Malays, 104 Chinese, 91 Indians, 10 others and 89 foreign citizens.
This means that up to 18 prisoners die each month in our prisons.
These statistics are shocking and completely unacceptable. Prisoners are entitled to the same standard and quality of medical care as the general population. The duty upon the prison authorities and government is all the more heavier as prisoners are entirely dependent upon them for medical care.
The Minister also stated in his answer that the prisoners died mainly from diseases such as HIV, cancer, cardiac arrest, blood problems, lungs, tuberculosis, asthma and others.
Most of the above diseases are treatable and should not have resulted in death if properly managed. Why then are so many prisoners dying from clearly treatable conditions?
The treatment of prisoners and the state of our prisons reflects upon our values as a nation. Every human life, whether a prisoner or a person of high rank in society, is equally important and of equal value.
We call upon the Home Minister, to urgently explain to the Malaysian public, the reasons for the high number of prison deaths and what immediate steps he proposes to take to address this matter. The Deputy Prime Minister must treat this as a matter of grave importance as it involves the sanctity of human life.
Member of Parliament,
Member of Political Bureau, Keadilan.