PUTRAJAYA: The government is looking to amend the relevant laws that include caning as a punishment in a bid to allow judges to have discretionary powers on whether to impose it on a convicted person.
Law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said a technical committee would be formed to study the laws where mandatory caning is applied.
“Caning is brutal and inhumane and a practice inherited from our former colonial masters,” he said in his speech at the Keluarga Malaysia symposium event here.
“When someone has to endure 15 lashes of the cane, I am told that by the third stroke, some of them can pass out. It is brutal and inhumane.”
Wan Junaidi said that is why the government wants to get the views of judges on what is the best course of action.
“We want the judiciary to give us their thoughts. We do not want them to be forced to punish anyone in such a manner.
“We must ensure the law enables judges to decide on whether a convict is caned or not,” he said.
Currently, caning is imposed only on adult male convicts aged 50 and below.
Wan Junaidi added that there was no reason to have convicts caned anymore when “even in England, convicts do not face such a punishment”.
“With the move to allow judges discretionary power on imposing the death sentence, therefore, the same discretion should be allowed on other forms of punishment like caning, that is on whether to impose it or just reduce the number of strokes.”
Wan Junaidi also did not rule out the possibility of removing caning as a punishment altogether, based on the feedback from various stakeholders, and the technical committee to be formed.