Minister: No deadline set for abolition of mandatory death penalty in Malaysia

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar speaks to the media in Parliament in this file photo taken on December 23, 2021. – Bernama pic

Friday, June 10, 2022 7:57 PM MYT

KUCHING, June 10 – The government has not yet set a timetable for the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, said Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said many areas needed refinement, including the proposal to establish a tribunal to review cases already served the mandatory death penalty.

“In terms of constitutionality, this has to be looked at by the side of the AG (Attorney General) and (also) by my ministry because if it contradicts the constitution, it cannot be implemented,” he said. told reporters here today.

He elaborated on the media statement issued earlier in which the government had agreed to abolish the mandatory death penalty and grant judges discretion in sentencing.

In the statement, Wan Junaidi said the decision was made after presenting the report on alternatives to the mandatory death penalty at the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday.

Wan Junaidi said that in principle, the government accepts and takes note of the recommendations of the Special Committee on Alternatives to the Mandatory Death Penalty.

The Committee is headed by former Chief Justice Tun Richard Malanjum and includes legal experts such as a former Chief Justice of Malaysia, a former Solicitor General, jurists, a law professor and a criminologist.

According to Wan Junaidi, several sections of the law that provide for the mandatory death penalty, in addition to other relevant sections, also need to be fine-tuned before abolition can be implemented.

He further said that all pending cases with mandatory death sentences that have not yet been decided by the courts will be postponed until the decision takes effect.

“All this must be studied in detail as well as the types of sanctions that we must introduce. It is my job now because the government has approved the reduction of these sentences,” he said, while expressing hope that the decision will receive the full support of all parties.

He said the definition of the mandatory death penalty should be understood in which some laws do not give courts the ability to use their discretion to impose other sentences.

(With) the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, we now leave it to the discretion of judges whether (to impose) the death penalty or another punishment,” he said. — Bernama

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