Malaysia – The government has yet to determine a timetable for the repeal of the obligatory death sentence, according to Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law).
He stated that several areas need to be refined, including the plan to establish a tribunal to consider instances where the obligatory death sentence has already been served.
In terms of constitutionality, this needs to be investigated by the AG’s (Attorney-General) office and (also) my ministry since it cannot be implemented if it breaches the constitution, he told reporters here Tuesday.
He was expanding on the prior media announcement in which the administration agreed to remove the obligatory death sentence and give judges discretion in sentencing.
Wan Junaidi stated in the statement that the decision came after he submitted the Report on Substitute Sentences for the Mandatory Death Penalty at the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday.
Wan Junaidi stated that the government agreed and took notice of the Special Committee on Substitute Sentences for the Mandatory Death Penalty’s proposals in principle.
Former Chief Justice Tun Richard Malanjum chairs the Committee, which includes legal professionals such as a former Chief Judge of Malaya, a former Solicitor-General, legal practitioners, a law professor, and a criminologist.
Several provisions of the Act that allow for the mandatory death sentence, as well as other pertinent sections, need to be further revised, according to Wan Junaidi, before the repeal may be enacted.
He further stated that any existing cases involving obligatory death sentences that have yet to be resolved by the courts will be postponed until the judgment is implemented.
All of this must be thoroughly investigated, as well as the forms of punishment that must be implemented. That is his role today because the administration has authorized the lowering of these terms, he said, adding that he hopes the decision would be supported by all parties.
He stated that the concept of the mandatory death penalty must be understood, as certain Acts do not allow judges to utilize their discretion to impose other penalties. With the repeal of the mandatory death sentence, it is now up to the judges to decide whether to apply the death penalty or another punishment, he explained.