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Opinion

Thursday, 7 December 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

‘Heavy sentence’ for young father

I REFER to the article “Driver jailed for breaking into judge’s home” (The Star, Dec 5). The accused had pleaded guilty to the charge of housebreaking and stealing items worth RM11,300 on Oct 22 and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

The accused is only 22 years old and is a first-time offender who earned only RM1,200 a month to support a wife and three children.

I humbly opined that the sentence of five years’ imprisonment for a first-time offender and young man of 22 is rather excessive. As a former police officer who retired some 20 years ago, I recall that the court those days would give such an offender a second chance by imposing a light sentence such as to have the accused bound over on a good behaviour bond.

The accused has three very young children to feed, with his meagre income. While he is serving his sentence, who will look after the well-being of his wife and their three kids, the children’s schooling and upbringing?

The wife will be a single mother who must work for survival and to feed and provide education to the three children. Will they be roaming the Chow Kit enclave? And grow up to be a problem to society?

As for the accused, being so young and serving sentence behind bars, will he be exposed to the prison culture – the good and the bad? Having once been a director-general of the Malaysian Prison Department, I am fully aware of the rehabilitative programmes of the inmates and of late the department has introduced much-improved programmes.

I am just thinking of the future of the three children under the care of the single mother. I pray that the court will review the sentence so that the three kids will be given a chance to grow with some hope for the future.

TAN SRI MOHD ZAMAN KHAN

Kuala Lumpur