Seven bills tabled in Parliament over abolition of mandatory death penalty

06 Oct 2022 05:03pm
Wan Junaidi during the question and answer session in Dewan Rakyat today. Photo: BERNAMA
Wan Junaidi during the question and answer session in Dewan Rakyat today. Photo: BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - In line with Malaysia's move to abolish the mandatory death penalty, seven bills were tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today to make the necessary amendments to the pertinent laws.

They were the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2022, the Kidnapping (Amendment) Bill 2022, Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2022 and Arms (Amendment) Bill 2022).

The other three were the Penal Code (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2022, Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) (No.3) Bill 2022 and Firearms (Increased Penalties) (Amendment) Bill 2022.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who tabled the bills, said the second reading is scheduled to take place in the current Parliament sitting.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2022 to amend Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (Act 234), among others, allows judges the discretion of whether to impose the death penalty or not.

The Firearms (Increased Penalties) (Amendment) Bill 2022, meanwhile, states that a person who trades in firearms shall be punished with life imprisonment and not less than 10 stokes of the cane.

The Penal Code (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2022 aims to abolish the mandatory death penalty for offences under the Penal Code, among which is the amendment to Section 302 which gives discretion to judges regarding the imposition of the death penalty.

The Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2022, meanwhile, is to amend the Criminal Justice Act 1953 (Act 345) by inserting a new section, 3A, to clarify the terms of life imprisonment.

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Section 3A, titled ‘Natural life sentences’ states "Where any person is treated as having been sentenced or is hereafter sentenced to imprisonment for natural life, such sentence shall be deemed for all purposes to be a sentence of imprisonment until the death of the person on whom the sentence is imposed.” - BERNAMA