KUALA LUMPUR: In line with Malaysia’s move to abolish the mandatory death sentence, seven bills were tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today to make necessary amendments to pertinent laws.
They were the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2022, Kidnapping (Amendment) Bill 2022, Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2022 and Arms (Amendment) Bill 2022.
The other three were the Penal Code (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2022, Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 2022 and Firearms (Increased Penalties) (Amendment) Bill 2022.
Law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who tabled the bills, said the second reading is scheduled to take place in the current Parliament sitting.
The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2022 is seeking to amend Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (Act 234), which among others, allows judges to use their discretion when imposing the death penalty.
The Firearms (Increased Penalties) (Amendment) Bill 2022, meanwhile, states that a person who trades in firearms shall be punished with life imprisonment and given not less than 10 strokes of the rotan.
The Penal Code (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2022 aims to abolish the mandatory death penalty for offences under the Penal Code, among which is the amendment to Section 302 which gives discretion to judges regarding the imposition of the death penalty.
The Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2022, meanwhile, is to amend the Criminal Justice Act 1953 (Act 345) by inserting a new Section 3A, to clarify the terms of life imprisonment.
Section 3A, titled “natural life sentences” states “where any person is treated as having been sentenced or is hereafter sentenced to imprisonment for natural life, such sentence shall be deemed for all purposes to be a sentence of imprisonment until the death of the person on whom the sentence is imposed”.