KUALA LUMPUR: The government has decided to abolish the mandatory death penalty for 11 offences, says Mohamed Hanipa Maidin.
The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said the 11 offences fell under two acts – nine under the Penal Code and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.
"The government will suggest to replace the mandatory death penalty as provided for in the Penal Code and Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act with the death penalty on the court's discretion," Mohamed Hanipa said in the Dewan Rakyat in reply to a question by Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat) on Wednesday (March 13).
The nine offences under the Penal Code are: Section 121A (Offences against the person of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Ruler or Yang Di-Pertua Negeri), Section 130C (Committing terrorist acts), Section 130I (Directing activities of terrorists groups), Section 130N (Providing or collecting property for terrorist acts), Section 130 O (Providing services for terrorist purposes), Section 130 QA (Accepting gratification to facilitate or enable terrorists acts), Section 130 ZB (Accepting gratification to facilitate or enable organised criminal activity), Section 302 (Punishment for murder) and Section 374A (hostage-taking).
The two offences under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act are Section 3 (Penalty for discharging a firearm in the commission of a scheduled offence) and Section 3A (Penalty for accomplices in case of discharge of firearm).
Mohamed Hanipa said the move was one of the 27 promises made by the Pakatan Harapan in its manifesto.
To another supplementary question, Mohamed Hanipa said there was no decision to form a parliamentary committee to study the abolishment of the death penalty.
"We have done a detailed study on the matter. However, I will forward your suggestion to the government," said Mohamed Hanipa to Che Abdullah.
Meanwhile in the Parliament lobby, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the plans to abolish the death penalty was still a work in progress.
"We are expecting it to be tabled in this session whereby we are still waiting for the government to look into the three options we have," he told reporters.
Liew said the first option was for the "total abolition" of the death penalty for 33 criminal offences covered in eight Acts and replacing it with life imprisonment instead.
The second option is for the removal of the mandatory death sentence, while the third option is removal of the discretionary powers of the court under the Dangerous Drugs Act "whereby we are either going to commute it to life imprisonment for the Dangerous Drugs Act.
"So all of these are still under consideration, I am hoping to go for the middle ground," he added.