KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — As of today, a total of 2,742 Malaysians are being imprisoned abroad for various crimes including drugs, fraud, credit card forgery, as well as customs and immigration offences, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said the number was based on the latest information received from Malaysian diplomatic missions abroad.
He said the Malaysian missions abroad had a role in providing consular assistance to any Malaysian detained in a foreign country in line with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963.
“The consular assistance includes notifying the family or next-of-kin and ensuring the welfare, safety and health of the detainee,” he said in reply to Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem (GPS-Serian) who wanted to know the latest number of Malaysian citizens who are imprisoned abroad and the ministry’s efforts or measures to assist them.
The deputy minister said the Malaysian diplomatic missions could also help in providing the list of local legal firms to be appointed by the detainees or their next-of-kin, if necessary.
Kamarudin said the government is always concerned about the welfare of every Malaysian abroad and is ready to provide appropriate assistance.
However, he said the Malaysian diplomatic missions abroad must also respect the local legal process and should not interfere in the legal affairs of the country.
“A person arrested in a foreign country must also be prepared to go through the legal process in that country,” he said.
He also advised Malaysians who are or will travel abroad to always be vigilant and understand the rules and regulations of the country to prevent them from getting into trouble.