KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — The Malaysian government today introduced amendments to existing legislation in Parliament to replace the mandatory death penalty for several criminal offences, in a significant step towards bringing the country closer towards complete abolition of capital punishment.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had earlier tabled a slew of government Bills relating to the abolishment of the death penalty for their first reading in Dewan Rakyat.
The Bills were the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2022, the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill 2022, Kidnapping (Amendment) Bill 2022, Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2022, Arms (Amendment) Bill 2022, Firearms (Increased Penalties) (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2022.
The second reading of the Bills is expected to take place in the current Parliament sitting from October 3 to November 29.
On June 8, the government agreed in principle to abolish the mandatory death penalty and to substitute it with other sentences which are subject to the discretion of the court.
In August 2019, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration formed the Special Committee to Review Alternative Punishments to the Mandatory Death Penalty to examine alternatives to the mandatory death sentence.
The PH government, however, collapsed in February 2020, before the Bill for the abolition of the death penalty could be tabled in the March meeting of Parliament that year.
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