More than 2,700 Malaysians are languishing in prisons abroad for various criminal offences, the Parliament heard today.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Kamarudin Jaffar, a total of 2,742 Malaysians are being detained overseas - a majority of them (1,434) for drug-related offences.

This is followed by fraud (406), fake credit card (132), custom offences (89), and immigration offences (66).

Kamarudin, however, said there is no data on how many of the 2,742 Malaysians were serving life imprisonment or on death row.

He stressed that Malaysia's diplomatic representatives abroad were tasked with providing consular assistance to Malaysians who are detained overseas, including informing their family or kin of the detention and ensuring the welfare, safety and health of the detainees.

The detainees will also be assisted by the representatives to return home once they have completed their sentencing abroad, he added.

"The Malaysian government and the Foreign Affairs Ministry always cares about the welfare of each Malaysian overseas and are always ready to give the appropriate assistance. However, Malaysian delegates abroad have to respect the local legal process and cannot interfere in the legal affairs of a country.

“Any individual detained abroad has to be prepared to go through the legal process in that country. The Foreign Affairs Ministry always advises Malaysians who are located or will travel overseas to be always vigilant and to understand the laws of that country to avoid them from being involved in undesired matters," Malay Mail quoted Kamarudin saying.

Source: Malay Mail
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