KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — The Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Bill 2023 was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.
It was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
When tabling the bill, Azalina said it will also be presented for second reading during the current sitting of the Lower House.
According to the blue copy of the bill circulated in Parliament today, it aims to abolish the mandatory death penalty, change the punishment to life imprisonment and whipping; as well as to provide for matters related to it by amending seven related acts.
The Acts are the Penal Code (Act 574), Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971 (Act 37), Arms Act 1960 (Act 206), Kidnapping Act 1961 (Act 365), Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (Act 234). , Strategic Trade Act 2010 (Act 708), and Criminal Procedure Code (Act 593).
The amendments to the relevant acts are in line with the government’s policy to abolish the mandatory death penalty in all legislation.
In addition, the amendment to Act 574 is being done to replace the mandatory death penalty with a discretionary death penalty, including for offences under Sections 121A, 130C, 302 and 374A of the Penal Code.
With the amendment, the courts have discretion whether to impose a death sentence or a prison sentence for a period not exceeding 40 years.
The government had previously agreed to abolish the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia by imposing an alternative sentence subject to the court’s discretion.
The decision was reached following the presentation of a report by the Special Committee to Review Alternative Sentences to the Mandatory Death Penalty at the Cabinet meeting on June 8, 2022.