KUALA LUMPUR - A total of 8,481 prisoners, most of them foreigners, were caned last year as punishment for criminal offences, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Home Minister said of the total number, 5,968 were foreigners while the remaining 2,483 were Malaysians.
"As for the death sentence, three convicts were hanged to death between 2012 and 2013. Two of the three were Malaysians.
"Meanwhile, 975 prisoners have been sentenced to death by the courts but are currently undergoing the appeal process," he said during question time in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.
Dr Ahmad Zahid was answering a question from Liew Chin Tong (DAP - Kluang) who asked the minister about the number of people who had been sentenced to death and were awaiting execution, as well as their nationalities.
He said the ministry did not have plans to replace caning with a lighter form of punishment but would follow any amendments in policy by the Attorney-General.
"However, the caning sentence has successfully reduced repeat offenders, especially those involved in drug trafficking," Dr Ahmad Zahid said.