BERA: Malaysia’s death sentence will be retained, but it will no longer be required in some situations, and judges will be granted discretion when sentencing convicts, according to Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday (Jun 10).
It comes after Malaysian Prime Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar stated earlier in a statement that the Malaysian government has agreed to eliminate the mandatory death penalty.
According to the de facto law minister, capital penalty would be substituted by alternative forms of punishment at the discretion of the court.
According to Mr. Ismail Sabri, the death penalty would no longer be mandatory, and judges will no longer be bound by the term that had forced them to impose the death penalty on criminal offenders such as those involved in drug trafficking cases.
“However, if the judge decides in his discretion that the perpetrator should be given a second chance and sentences him to life imprisonment with whipping, he may substitute the required death penalty for that life sentence.”
According to Mr Ismail Sabri, Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 mandates the death penalty upon conviction, which may leave judges with little alternative but to impose the death penalty despite the fact that various circumstances might be considered.
“On occasion, the case includes an 18-year-old. “The judge may find him ‘trapped’ because drugs were discovered in his bag, but he was unable to prove that they belonged to someone else, and the court was forced to send him to the gallows despite the judge’s belief that the accused was just a young man who should be given a second chance to change,” he said.
“We must recognize that the death penalty has not been abolished and will continue to exist; it will simply no longer be required.”
Ismail Sabri noted that, while the government had agreed in principle to abolish the mandatory death sentence, the issue still needed to be investigated.