Emergency Ordinance: Those facing three years’ jail may now get community service

KUALA LUMPUR (April 16): Beginning today, those facing up to three years imprisonment may qualify for community service, according to the Emergency (Offenders Compulsory Attendance) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021.

Previously, only those facing up to three months imprisonment were eligible for community service.

The ordinance introduces amendment to Section 5 of the Offenders Compulsory Attendance Act 1954, which states that the court may, instead of such sentence or committal, make a compulsory attendance order requiring a person to attend daily at a centre where they will undertake compulsory work for a period not exceeding 12 months and for such number of hours each day not exceeding four as may be specified in such order.

The court shall also consider the character of such person, the nature and seriousness of the offence and all other relevant circumstances.

Meanwhile, according to Section 5A of the same Act, it is stated that the director general may, in writing, give direction to transfer any offender who is required under the Compulsory Attendance Order to attend daily at a centre to another centre, upon an application made by the offender or if the director general thinks it is necessary to do so.

The ordinance was gazetted when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah was satisfied that immediate action was required to guarantee and preserve the security, economic life and public order.

On Jan 12, the Istana Negara, in a statement, announced that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consented to the Proclamation of Emergency to be implemented nationwide until Aug 1 as a proactive measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

— Bernama

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