SANDAKAN (Bernama): A Bill to repeal the mandatory death penalty is expected to be tabled in Parliament in October once the government decides on appropriate prison terms for 11 serious criminal offences it covers.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong (pic) said a task force would be set up soon to study the matter.
"This will involve a major shift in policy and as such, the government needs more time to study it and make a decision," he told a press conference here Saturday(July 13).
Liew said the task force would also review the life imprisonment penalty and look into the possibility of reducing jail terms to between 10-30 years.
Currently, the 11 offences fall under two acts – nine under the Penal Code, including murder, waging war against Yang di-Pertuan Agong and committing terrorist acts, and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.
In a separate development, Liew said the government this Tuesday will be tabling the amendment bill on lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 to be automatically registered as voters.
If the Bill is passed, about 3.8 million new voters, including those aged 18, are expected to be eligible to vote in the 15th General Election.
Liew said the government on Wednesday would table the bill to add 13 new seats in the Sabah state legislative assembly to the existing 60. – Bernama