21 September 2023 :
A married couple escaped the gallows in Malaysia after the Court of Appeal on August 23, 2023 commuted their death sentence to a maximum jail sentence of 40 years for murdering their daughter.
A three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk S.M.Komathy Suppiah upheld the conviction against Anuar Yusof and his wife Murni Ahmad for the offence and ruled that their appeals did not have merits.
Justice Hadhariah, who delivered the court's unanimous decision, said the court found there was overwhelming evidence that the 22-year-old Siti Hajar died due to the acts by the couple, who are her father and stepmother, by neglecting, abusing and starving her for a period of three to six months.
She, however, set aside the death sentence imposed on the couple by the High Court and substituted it with an imprisonment of 40 years and ordered them to begin their jail sentence from the date of their arrest on April 26, 2016.
Following an amendment made to Section 302 of the Penal Code, the court can impose a jail term of not less than 30 years and not exceeding 40 years on offenders if not given the death sentence. Male offenders shall also be punished with whipping of not less than 12 strokes.
Anuar, 57, and Murni, 42, were found guilty by the High Court in 2021 for murdering Siti Hajar in a house at Jalan Air Putih, Taman Semarak, Binjai in Chukai at 10.45 pm on April 26, 2016. They were sentenced to death, prompting them to appeal to the Court of Appeal.