Cabinet to receive special panel findings on alternatives to death penalty next month

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 27 Jan 2022

PETALING JAYA: The findings of a committee, formed to study alternatives to the death penalty, will be presented to the Cabinet before the end of February, says Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) said he had been briefed by the committee, chaired by Tun Richard Malanjun, on its findings and recommendations.

"The findings by the Special Committee over a period of four months will be presented at a Cabinet meeting for consideration and agreement," he said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 27).

Wan Junaidi said the findings supported the government decision on Aug 29, 2019 to carry out the review.

The committee conducted an overall review on sentencing policy to replace the mandatory death penalty with a more appropriate sentence subject to the discretion of the courts, he added.

However, he also said that should the Cabinet adopt the findings, changes to the national legal framework would still take time to implement.

The recommendations cover 11 offences carrying the mandatory death penalty as well as 22 offences reliant on the discretion of the courts.

"This (implementation) includes amendments to current provisions in related Acts as well as further discussions with stakeholders," he said.

The government had previously announced that the Bill to amend laws on the death penalty, as well as other related legislation, was expected to be tabled in Parliament by the third quarter of this year.

Wan Junaidi had previously pointed out that one critical remit of the committee was to evaluate the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent.

“There have been repeated calls to abolish the death penalty. As minister, my role is to assess the effectiveness of these punishments as a deterrent.

“We must study this thoroughly before we come to a decision. We also need to see if the rehabilitation of convicts, if possible, would be the better option, and in the best interests of society,” he added.

In 2018, the Pakatan Harapan government planned to abolish the death penalty.

Some of the offences covered include those under the Firearms Act 1960, Kidnapping Act 1961 and Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

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