As reported, the announced cost on the said prison project was RM79 millions, but the minister’s answer gave a new figure of merely RM 34.9 million.
He said the actual cost is only RM 34.9 million and not RM 79 million, as mentioned by the Labuan Corporation Chief executive officer Datuk Barisan Saban when he told reports that a new prison in Labuan would complement the work of the police and courts. The proposed RM79 million prison complex with a capacity to hold 200 inmates will be built in Kg Sungai Buton. The local community leaders and village chiefs are against the project as they fear the prison here would make Labuan look like a “Penal Island” and other development would be hindered.
The minster further said that the capacity of the prison should be 230 and not 200 prisoners. The building is of a ‘high security concept’ and the cost also includes the use of stainless steel, advance lock system, and “anti-climb” security fencing.
He said Labuan really needs a Prison of its own like other states in the country because:-
to allow the local people to receive their sentence locally and not to be sent to Kota Kinabalu,
to allow care and visiting convenience for the relatives of the prisoners which is in conjunction with the 1-Malaysia concept, ‘the people first’,
to facilitate easy court procedure and sitting,
to reduce cost on visiting and investigation for far destination,
to avoid risk on travelling on sea route.
Dr. Hiew the KK MP is rather surprise when learning this from his counter part the Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, on the sudden change of the project cost from RM79 million to RM 34.9 million, and on housing in stead of 200 to 230 prisons for a cheaper cost of building. There must be a serious error someway, and might be a drastic cut due to strong protest in Labuan.
For a population of only 86,000 in Labuan, the prison complex is uncalled for and main land Sabah is so near. The small island of Labuan is really can not have a prison complex to house 230 prisoners.
The above reasons given by the Minister is not acceptable at all, and further more most of the people sentenced to prison are foreigners. Just imaging if we get rid of the foreigners in our prisons by sending them back to their own home country for their punishment, we actually can solve a lot of our problem and headaches.
**** The answer from the minister that entirely “an insult to the intelligence” of the humankind and to Labuanite particularly……