It is great news that Malaysia's Attorney General will be working towards the abolition of the MANDATORY Death Penalty in Malaysia. Let us hope that PM Najib Tun Razak and the Barisan Nasional government will do the needful to immediately abolish Mandatory Death Penalty in Malaysia.
When the sentence provided in law for a particular offence is only the Death Penalty, judges have no choice but to sentence the said person to death. In Malaysia, execution is carried out by hanging.
When certain offences provide for just one possible sentence, it robs judge's discretion when it comes to sentencing. Rightfully, sentences provided in law should stipulate a range of possible sentences - and judges after evaluating the particular case will sentence the convicted accordingly. This would be just.
Some people, even though guilty of an offence that prescribe the sentence as death, do not justly deserve the death penalty. Nobody deserves the death penalty. The death penalty must be abolished.
Today, 82 per cent of the all nation states have either introduced moratoria by law or in practice, or have abolished the death penalty. - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 10/10/2015
The call for the abolition of the Death Penalty in Malaysia is growing stronger. Even our Malaysian Human Rights Commission(SUHAKAM) has called for the abolition of the Death Penalty.
Now, our new AG is trying to get the mandatory death penalty abolished - and we hope that the Malaysian government will soon abolish the mandatory death penalty, and soon thereafter abolish the death penalty itself.
He said the A-G's Chambers will prepare a memorandum to the Cabinet to scrap mandatory death penalties. If the Cabinet agreed, then it would propose for the relevant laws to be amended.
A-G seeking to abolish mandatory death penalty
He said mandatory death sentences were a "paradox", as it robbed judges of their discretion to impose sentences on convicted criminals.
"If I had my way, I would introduce the option for the judge in cases where it involves capital punishment. Give the option to the judge either to hang him or send him to prison.
"Then we're working towards a good administration of criminal justice," Apandi told The Malaysian Insider in an exclusive interview. He said that this would be in line with the "universal thinking" of capital punishment, although he denied calling for the death penalty to be abolished altogether.
"Not to say that I am for absolute abolition of capital punishment, but at least we go in stages. We take step by step," he said.
A mandatory death sentence is imposed in Malaysia in cases involving murder, certain firearm offences, drug-trafficking and treason.
In May, Prisons Department director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar reportedly said some 1043 prisoners are on death row, with many waiting for the outcome of their appeal to the Federal Court or Pardons Board.
He reportedly said 46% of those awaiting their execution were convicted for drug offences.
Apandi told The Malaysian Insider that many judges were actually reluctant to pass the death sentence on "mere mules", those assigned to carry drugs for syndicates.
"The judges are also hesitant to pass the death sentence on mere mules, the drug trafficker who (is) just earning RM1,000 to feed his family," he said.
He said the A-G's Chambers will prepare a memorandum to the Cabinet to scrap mandatory death penalties. If the Cabinet agreed, then it would propose for the relevant laws to be amended. – November 13, 2015. Malaysian Insider.