Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad has called on the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to show mercy in the case of a mother who was sentenced to 14 months in jail for stealing two packets of Milo.
While stressing that he was not attempting to question the judiciary, Dzulkefly said he was exasperated by what he deemed was “a decision barren of the concept of proportionality and reasonableness”.
“It worries me a lot when heavy sentences are handed down for petty offences involving only food items, while the accused in serious criminal cases are still free to roam, with some even living a luxurious lifestyle. It seems there are two different standards.
“The ‘justice’ implemented in this case involving the Milo packets clearly lacks humanitarianism, especially for the public who are already facing issues with the cost of living to the point that many are living hand to mouth.
“There are those who have to beg for a bite of rice and those who are forced to steal,” he said in a statement.
On the contrary, the former health minister believes that true justice would demand a chance to be given to those who only wanted to fill their bellies.
Dzulkefly also noted that the woman was reported to be a drug addict and a repeat offender. Despite that, he said the woman should be helped so that she can escape the trap of poverty.
More importantly, they should ensure the woman’s children can be protected so that they too can break free of the vicious cycle, he added.
Consideration should also be given to the type, nature and seriousness of the crime that was committed, the Amanah lawmaker said, adding that this case was just trivial misconduct.
“Recidivism – reducing the recurrence of offences – can only be done through rehabilitation and not longer prison sentences.
“I call on the AGC to show mercy immediately, request for the execution of the sentence to be suspended and apply to the court for a judicial revision of the sentence.”
Dzulkefly viewed the case as one that has highlighted the struggle of the rakyat with the recent increase in the price of essential goods.
It was reported earlier today that a housewife in Terengganu had been sentenced to jail for 14 months over the theft of two Milo packets worth RM73 from a supermarket.
The 43-year-old woman with four children reportedly had three prior records of stealing from supermarkets in 2019 and 2021.
She was charged under Section 380 of the Penal Code which allows for a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. – Malaysiakini