MALAYSIA: GOVERNMENT WANTS MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY ABOLISHED
November 17, 2015: The Government wants to abolish the mandatory death sentence for drug-related offences and says the punishment should be left to the discretion of the judge.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri said they were looking to table this motion during the next Parliament seating in March.
"The Government is keen to do it, but we have limitations. It is not easy to amend it overnight and the Attorney-General's Chambers has been working hard on it," she said.
Nancy¬†said that their aim was to abolish the word "mandatory" from laws for drug-related offences and leave the sentence to the discretion of the judge.
Nancy also said that at present there were a total of 1,022 convicts on death row.
She pointed out that the removal of the mandatory death sentence did not mean that drug offenders would walk off scot-free.
"They will face other sentences such as life (imprisonment)," she said.
Asked if the Government would look into removing the mandatory death sentence for other offences, Nancy¬†did not reply.
At present, those convicted of crimes related to drugs, firearm offences, murder and treason face the mandatory death penalty.
On November 13, Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali said he would propose to the Cabinet that the mandatory death penalty be scrapped.
He said mandatory death sentences were a "paradox" as it robbed judges of their discretion to impose sentences on convicted criminals. (Sources: m.thestar.com.my, 17/11/2015)