malaysia

Parliament removes mandatory death penalty for drug offences, judges to get discretion

The Dewan Rakyat passed an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 was passed to remove the mandatory death penalty for drug offences and to instead give judges full discretion in sentencing. — AFP file picThe Dewan Rakyat passed an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 was passed to remove the mandatory death penalty for drug offences and to instead give judges full discretion in sentencing. — AFP file picKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — An amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 was passed today to remove the mandatory death penalty for drug offences and to instead give judges full discretion in sentencing.

The amendments were passed on the last day of the current Dewan Rakyat meeting via a majority voice vote after Putrajaya altered a provision in the amendment bill that was criticised by Opposition members and the Bar Council.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman tabled an alteration to the bill to give full discretion to judges in sentencing drug convicts.

The previous version of the amendment bill said that the judge could only exercise their discretion if the Public Prosecutor issued a certificate declaring that the convict had cooperated with authorities.

The relevant section 39B of the amendment bill was alerted to remove the requirement of the certificate.

The amendment bill however does not apply in retrospective for previous convictions.

Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali had also claimed earlier that his proposed amendment bill did not include the condition of a written certificate.

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