PUTRAJAYA (Jan 10): The government is implementing an initiative to examine and review the 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 this included the recommendations by the special committee chaired by former Chief Justice Tun Richard Malanjum and engagement sessions with relevant government agencies, civil society organisations (CSO) and non-governmental organisations (NGO).

Ramkarpal said the proposed substitute sentences being studied must take into account the position of all parties involved to ensure that justice can be upheld and the rule of law is always 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 in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting,” he said in a statement today.

Bar Council president Karen Cheah, when opening the Legal Year 2023, urged the government to take appropriate measures to ensure that 1,327 convicted persons 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 pertinent laws to implement the substitute sentences for the mandatory death penalty.

As such, he said any amendments need to be tabled again at the upcoming sitting following the dissolution of the Parliament on Oct 10, 2022.

“The unity government is always 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.

— Bernama

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