PETALING JAYA: Proposed alternate sentences for 34 offences that carry the death penalty have been reviewed by the Attorney Generals’ Chambers, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

The Law and Institutional Reforms Minister said the review was for 11 offences which carry the mandatory death penalty under the Penal Code and Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971 and 23 offences where the death penalty is at the discretion of the courts under the Penal Code, Arms Act 1960, Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971 and Kidnapping Act 1961.

“The government has also agreed to amend related Acts and will present the following; Penal Code (Amendment) 2022; Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) 2022; Criminal Justice Act (Amendment) 2022; Kidnapping Act (Amendment) 2022; Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act (Amendment) 2022; Arms Act (Amendment) 2022 and the Dangerous Drugs Act (Amendment) 2022.

“The moratorium for those currently facing the death penalty remains until all amendments to related Acts are carried out,” she said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 21).

The moratorium will directly impact 1,327 inmates who have been sentenced to death, she said.

“For those yet to be charged in court, alternate sentences to the death penalty can be retrospectively handed out,” she said.

Azalina also stressed that amendments to the said Acts does not abolish the death penalty but instead gives discretion to the court for sentencing.

“The proposal to provide alternate sentences is the Government’s commitment towards ensuring the abolishment of the death penalty is studied thoroughly.

“This is to ensure any future action by the Government regarding the matter will have a positive impact on the country.

“Acts related to the abolishment of the death penalty are expected to be tabled in Parliament in February 2023,” she said.

She added that the government was also considering further studies on more effective sentencing policies, caning and reforms which include reducing congestion in prisons.

“Focus will also be given on rehabilitation-focused sentences and restorative justice,” she said.