M'sia's criminal recidivism rate below 9 per cent: DPM

Ahmad Fairuz Othman

KLUANG: The criminal recidivism rate in Malaysia is below 9 per cent, which is lower than the rate in some developed countries, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He said Malaysia’s achievement is recognised internationally, as it proves the success of the Prisons Department’s correctional and rehabilitative efforts.

"Our rate of recidivism is low and I congratulate the Malaysian Prisons Department, which has retained its rate below 9 per cent (8.59 per cent for 2016).

"But we want the rate to be reduced further through improvements and strengthening of the existing rehabilitation modules," Zahid said when opening the Prisons Day celebration and National Anti-Drug Day event at the Simpang Renggam prison here today.

Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said the low rate of recidivism in the country is acknowledged by developed countries, where criminal recidivism rates of more than 50 per cent are not uncommon.

On rehabilitation of drug addicts, he urged authorities to focus on spiritual aspects, which have proven to help get former drug addicts back on their feet and aid them in assimilating back into society.

"I congratulate the National Anti-Drug Agency for running the treatment and rehabilitation programmes based on the psycho-spiritual approach under the ISRA, or Islamic Spiritual Rehabilitation Approach.

"This is based on the Inabah Model at the Cure and Care Rehabilitation Centre in Sungai Ruan, Raub, Pahang," he said.

Zahid said efforts to rehabilitate about 48 per cent of detainees in prisons comprise those in drug-related cases.