THE government has decided to abolish the mandatory death penalty for 11 offences, says Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin.
He said the government had instead proposed to give discretionary powers to the courts in commuting sentences for the 11 offences.
The nine offences fall 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 told Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat).
The nine offences under the Penal Code are Section 121 A (Offences against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Ruler or Yang di-Pertua Negeri); Section 130 C (Committing terrorist acts); Section 130 I (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 is the 27th promise made by the Pakatan Harapan in its GE14 manifesto.
The Bill for the proposed amendments is being prepared by the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the plan to abolish the death penalty is 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.
The first option is 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.
“We are either going to commute it into 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 said.
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