The government is implementing an initiative to examine and review suggestions and views regarding substitute sentences for the mandatory death penalty.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh said these include the recommendations by the special committee chaired by former chief justice Richard Malanjum, and engagement sessions with the relevant government agencies, civil society organisations and NGOs.
Ramkarpal said the proposed sentences under study must take into account the position of all parties involved, to ensure that justice can be upheld and the rule of law given priority.
"This process needs to emphasise the legal aspect. Therefore, amendments to the relevant laws will be finalised soon considering that these amendments are scheduled to be tabled at the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting," he said in a statement yesterday.
Bar Council president Karen Cheah, when opening the Legal Year 2023, had urged the government to take appropriate measures to ensure that the 1,327 convicts on death row are also spared the death penalty.
Ramkarpal said on Oct 6 last year, the former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (parliament and law) had tabled seven bills in the Dewan Rakyat to make the necessary amendments to the pertinent laws to implement the substitute sentences for the mandatory death penalty.
As such, he said any amendments would need to be tabled again at the upcoming sitting following the dissolution of Parliament on Oct 10, 2022.
"The government is committed to abolishing the mandatory death penalty, and is confident that there will be the best solution for the prisoners concerned in ensuring that the interests of all parties are taken into account," he said.