32 offences may no longer warrant the death penalty in Malaysia – including murder, kidnapping, and making nuclear weapons

Instead of the death penalty, those convicted of offences including gun use, drug trafficking, and the creation of weapons of mass destruction will receive sentences of at least 30 years’ jail.

Following an announcement that it was reviewing the death penalty to improve human rights in the country, the Cabinet yesterday (Nov 13) said that it plans to abolish the death penalty for 32 offences under eight acts of law, Bernama reported.

The eight acts of law are Section 302 of the Penal Code; the Firearms (Heavier Penalties) Act 1971; the Firearms Act 1960; the Kidnapping Act 1961; the Armed Forces Act 1972; the Water Services Industries Act 2006; the Strategic Trade Act 2010 and the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

Examples of these offences include murder, kidnapping, gun use, drug trafficking, and involvement in the creation or shipping of weapons of mass destruction.

According to the Bernama report, the Cabinet’s decision was reached collectively, and a memorandum is currently being circulated to various ministries for feedback.

Public debate over the scrapping of the death penalty heated up this week after news broke that an eleven-month-old baby died after being physically and sexually abused by her babysitter’s husband. Some netizens argued that exceptions should be made to hang perpetrators of extremely cruel crimes.

If approved by Parliament, offences previously warranting the death penalty will be replaced with a minimum of 30 years in jail, The Straits Times reported.

The Straits Times report also said that most of the 22,0000 Malaysians polled in a reecent survey conducted by three Malaysian papers did not support the abolishing of the death penalty.

Read also: Mahathir Mohamad urges review of death penalty for man who sold medicinal cannabis – here’s why