PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar has called on the government to withhold the passing of a bill to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 in its current form, following concerns that it will allow sentencing to be dependent on the public prosecutor.
Its president George Varughese said the bill, tabled for first reading in Parliament on Nov 23, needed to redrafted and retabled with amendments that would genuinely restore judicial discretion in sentencing.
He said the Bar viewed the tabling of the bill to move Malaysia away from the mandatory death sentence as a step in the right direction, with the provision that allowed an alternative sentence to the death penalty.
“The Malaysian Bar is steadfast in our view that life is sacred, and every person has an inherent right to life,” he said.
“However, we are concerned that the bill does not go far enough in restoring judicial discretion.
“The shift from the mandatory death penalty to judicial discretion in sentencing should not be dependent upon the say-so of the public prosecutor,” he said in a statement today. Read more