PETALING JAYA: The Government will be forming a special taskforce to study the alternative forms of punishment to the mandatory death penalty, says Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
The de-facto law minister said this was based on a Cabinet decision made on Aug 29.
The taskforce will be chaired by a former Chief Justice and its members will consist of a former Federal Court judge, a former Attorney General's Chambers official, a former Prisons Department official, representatives of the Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) respectively, academicians, and civil society members.
The special committee will study and advise the government on replacing the death sentence, said Liew.
"The suggestion to abolish the mandatory death penalty is in line with Promise 27 of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto. The abolishment of the mandatory death penalty will give the judge the prerogative to give out the death sentence or an alternative sentence based on the facts of the case," he said in a statement on Friday (Sept 6).
He said the government was taking proactive and careful steps by forming the committee to ensure that the alternative sentences are fair with the crime committed and take into account the implications and welfare of the victims.
In October last year, Liew said that the Cabinet had decided to abolish the death penalty with a moratorium for those on death row.
In March, however, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (in charge of law) Mohamed Hanipa Maidin announced in Parliament that the government is proposing to introduce sentencing discretion for 11 offences under the Penal Code and Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act, 1971, which currently carry the mandatory death penalty.