KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The Prison Department has no plans to impose public flogging for drug offenders as a replacement for the mandatory death penalty that was recently abolished, the Home Ministry said.
In a Parliamentary written reply today, the ministry told the Dewan Rakyat that the Prison Department is not determining the method of punishment as it is usually decided by the judiciary.
“For the time being, the Malaysian Prison Department does not have any plans to carry out flogging for drug trafficking offenders in public.
“The jurisdiction of the Malaysian Prison Department is only to carry out punishments as stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Code Section 286, unless stated otherwise in the punishment warrant issued by the Court,” it said.
Section 286 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that when the accused is sentenced to whipping only, the sentence shall be executed at such place and time as the court may direct.
The statement was a response to Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Hulu Langat lawmaker Mohd Sany Hamzan whether the government would carry out flogging in public against drug trafficking offenders to give awareness to the public and deter them.
Last month, a Bill proposing to make the death penalty an option and no longer mandatory was passed via a voice vote after it was tabled for its third reading in Parliament.
Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Alice Lau called for the vote after Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) Ramkarpal Singh’s winding-up speech on the Bill.
The Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Bill would give judges discretion on the death penalty rather than requiring them to do so when convicting on offences that made them mandatory.
The amendments in the Bill also include replacing life and natural life imprisonment (until death) as an alternative to the mandatory death sentence, with the new alternative of jail of between 30 and 40 years as well as no fewer than 12 strokes of the cane.