Lawyers seek explanation for abolition of e-Jamin system, call its scrapping ‘regressive’

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — A group of 50 lawyers has demanded an explanation from the government for the abolition of the e-Jamin system that will take effect next Monday (May 20).

In a memorandum handed over to the Prime Minister’s Office today, the lawyers are calling for the e-Jamin system to be maintained until an alternative system can be put in place, and failing that, steps must be taken to mitigate the potential fallout from the abolition of the electronic bailing system.

One of the lawyers who was present during the handing over of the memorandum, Goh Chia Yee, said there are consequences to bail not being completed in time.

“We understand the consequences of not completing bail in time and we believe strongly that no person should be placed in such a situation due to deficiencies in the administrative process,” Goh said when contacted by Malay Mail.

He also explained that manual processing by a bank could take up to 40 minutes, apart from the travel and waiting time required.

“This not counting the fact that there will be a whole bunch of people rushing to do the same.

“Some cases only get called at around 11am to noon. The bail counter closes at 4pm so there is a very small window,” he said.

If bail is not made in time, Goh said, at times, it could take more than one working day to bring the accused to court to be bailed.

“This is because the court will have to issue an order for the accused to be brought. If the court issues the order the next working day, then it will be the working day after that that the accused will be brought,” he said.

In contrast, the e-Jamin system allows the bail process to be completed either through online banking or other electronic payment methods.

“This takes about 10 to 15 minutes without having to travel to the bank,” he added.

According to the memorandum, the circular to abolish the e-Jamin system was received on May 15; hence, there is insufficient time to implement effective measures to ensure that the manual bail process will run smoothly when the electronic bailing system is no longer in use.

“There is no time period given for the consideration or implementation of an alternative system that can replace e-Jamin.

“We believe that an alternative system that has the same basis as eGuarantee whereby the guarantor’s details would be filled in online and the payment of the guarantee is made online through an application or website could be implemented if there is sufficient time given for a discussion with all parties involved,” the memorandum read.

The lawyers also pointed out that scrapping the system only four years after it was introduced was a regressive step, as well as a great inconvenience to the public.

The e-Jamin system was first introduced in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.