Ramkarpal: Stay death sentences for now, they may soon be abolished


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 24 May 2018

Ramkarpal Singh. -Starpic

PETALING JAYA: Applications to stay the sentence of inmates currently on death row should be allowed, says DAP's Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh.

In a statement issued on Thursday (May 24), the lawyer said the sentences of inmates on death row should be reviewed in light of the possible abolition of the death penalty.

He said he would file an application to the Federal Court on behalf of one of his clients currently on death row for an offence under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

“It is hoped that the said proposed application will be allowed and applied to all other inmates currently on death row as the death sentence is irreversible,” said Ramkarpal.

He also urged that the sole discretion of imposing the death penalty or commuting it to a lighter sentence be given to the courts.

He explained that at present, the court requires a certificate from the public prosecutor, who acts on behalf of the Attorney-General, before it can consider commuting the sentence.

Ramkarpal also lauded the possible abolition of the Sedition Act, saying that it was a “political tool to stifle dissent”.

He urged the courts to adjourn cases charged under the Act pending its review in Parliament.

On Wednesday (May 23), Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it was time to review existing laws that were outdated such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act, Prevention of Crime Act, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, and the mandatory death penalty for certain crimes.

“We will study such laws first before deciding whether to repeal or amend them,” he said, adding that civil society would be engaged in this process.

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