19 November 2023 :
978 out of 1,020 death row and natural life imprisonment inmates have applied to have their sentence reviewed since Nov 9, said the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said on November 14, 2023.
Based on the latest data, the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia disclosed it has received a total of 871 applications for death sentence review and 117 applications for natural life imprisonment review respectively under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act.
“The unity government wishes to reiterate that the death penalty is still retained as a punishment for criminal offences under Malaysia’s criminal justice system.
“However the imposition of the death penalty is no longer mandatory and the amendments to the law have now given judges the liberty to use their discretion to mete out the appropriate punishment.
“This matter is in line with the government’s commitment to give a second chance to death row inmates and allow them to continue their livelihood as a common citizen,” she said in a statement on November 14.
The Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act allows the courts to now have the option of choosing between giving a death sentence or other alternatives for certain offences, including the offence of murder.
Under this new law, murder is now punishable with either the death penalty; or the alternative of between 30 and 40 years’ jail and whipping of not less than 12 strokes.