Malaysia’s parliament abolishes death penalty

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According to Al-Jazeera, Malaysia’s lower parliament has approved legal reforms to abolish the mandatory death penalty for certain capital offences.

The lower chamber, known as the Dewan Rakyat, will now send the bill to the country’s upper chamber, known as the Dewan Negara, and then to the King for signature.

According to Al-Jazeera, the lawmakers’ amendments passed on Monday include whipping and imprisonment for 30 to 40 years as alternatives to the existing death penalty.

Malaysia first promised to abolish the death penalty completely, and the country has been on a moratorium on executions since 2018.

Malaysian law defines life imprisonment as a fixed term of 30 years, which will be maintained.

According to the new measures, capital punishment will also be removed as an option for some serious crimes that do not result in death, such as discharging and trafficking of a firearm and kidnapping.

Malaysia’s Deputy Law Minister, Ramkarpal Singh, stated that capital punishment was irreversible and ineffective as a deterrent to crime.

The amendments will apply to 34 crimes that are currently punishable by death in the country, including murder and drug trafficking.

Malaysia has now joined the league of nations that have abolished the death penalty, a major legal reform in the southeast country since its independence in 1957.