PETALING JAYA: The government cannot commute the sentences of those currently on death row as amendments to the relevant laws have yet to be finalised, says law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said the government will conduct a public survey on the amendments before a first reading of the relevant bills in the Dewan Rakyat in October, adding that he was confident the revisions would be implemented by January at the latest.
Wan Junaidi said the moratorium on executions, implemented in 2018, would remain so long as the amendments to the law were yet to be finalised.
“The government cannot give a blanket ruling on commuting cases as some of the inmates were convicted of serious crimes with substantial incriminating evidence,” he told a press conference.
Tribunal for death row inmates
Wan Junaidi also said a tribunal would be set up to study the cases of those who had been handed the mandatory death sentence.
As of February, there were 1,341 inmates on death row in Malaysia, according to a written parliamentary reply.
Of these, 905 were convicted for drug trafficking, 403 for murder and 33 for other crimes.
On Friday, the government announced that mandatory death sentences on 11 offences would be removed, giving judges discretion in sentencing.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has clarified that the death penalty would remain for capital offences, but there would no longer be mandatory death sentences.
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