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Act to abolish mandatory death penalty comes into force

The Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 was passed by the Dewan Rakyat on April 3.

Bernama
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A pedestrian walks past a message on Malaysia's mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking on a wall of the historic Pudu jail in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 1, 2007. Photo: AFP
A pedestrian walks past a message on Malaysia's mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking on a wall of the historic Pudu jail in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 1, 2007. Photo: AFP

The Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 (Act 846) comes into operation today.

According to the Federal Government Gazette dated June 30, published by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the date on which the act comes into operation was fixed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said.

"In exercise of the powers conferred by Subsection 1(2) of the Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 [Act 846], the minister appoints July 4, 2023 as the date on which the act comes into operation," the gazette said.

On April 3, the Dewan Rakyat passed the act which aims to abolish the mandatory death penalty, to vary the sentences related to imprisonment for natural life and whipping, and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Under the act, the court now has the discretion to impose the death penalty or imprisonment for a period of not less than 30 years but not exceeding 40 years.

If the death sentence is not imposed, whippings of not less than 12 strokes will also be handed down. 

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