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.
A great step forward for social humanity in Malaysia.
But better still. abolish capital punishment. To those of you who are religious and devoted to the Almighty, don't you believe it's God's prerogative to decide on a human being's life?
Why ignore the reality that state capital punishment is legalised murder under some pretext of 'protection' for society?
It's more of a Biblical (or Quranic) 'an eye for an eye & a tooth for a tooth'.
It should not be for mortals to determine whether a man should live or die - that's the prerogative of the Almighty so don't usurp His Rights.
'Protection' for society can be to confine a person convicted of a heinous crime to real-term 'life imprisonment', meaning he or she will not be paroled or ever released from jail.
Still, it's a humongous leap forward from our previous draconian automatic death penalty without due proper judgement of a trained and experienced judge or judges.
I wonder whether this humane step forward could have happened if Mahathir were still the PM? Well, it didn't in his 22-years reign.