Gov T Not Tabling Bill To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty On Drug Cases Yet




De facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong said the government is waiting on the outcome of an ongoing Federal Court case before tabling a bill to abolish mandatory death sentence for drug-related offences
“For drug cases, there is a case that has been filed in court... where the applicants have challenged the constitutionality of the death penalty in drug cases
“They (the applicants) are saying it is not proportional to the rights of the person, that is the person under the constitution has equal protection and equality before the law
“The sentence in drug cases should not be same as those who have been sentenced to death in murder cases,” Liew said to reporters today after he attended a forum called "Talking Drugs, Time for Reform?" in Kuala Lumpur today
He said it would be a waste of the government’s time and effort if they were to table the law only for the Federal Court to rule the mandatory death sentence in drug-related offences unconstitutional
However, he noted that the bill to abolish the mandatory death sentence in murder cases is progressing well and he expects it to be tabled in the upcoming July sitting of the Dewan Rakyat
“I am still waiting for the paper to be returned to me from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) so I think it is only a matter of time, in the next couple of days from now,” he said
The forum, which was also attended by Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and other experts, discussed the failings of a hardline "war on drugs" approach, prison reforms, the death penalty, evidence-based methods to deal with the drug problems as well as the decriminalisation of illicit drug use in Malaysia
Nurul Izzah, who has been a vocal advocate for the decriminalisation of illicit drug use in Malaysia, said she had done several pilot projects in her constituency using the harm reduction method to approach the problematic use of drugs in the community.Though that is the first step, she said it is a complicated issue and there is no one size fits all solution
She revealed that Universiti Malaya medicine faculty dean Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, who was also one of the speakers, and her team have prepared a draft plan on the decriminalisation of illicit drug use in Malaysia to be presented to the relevant ministries on June 26
The three ministries involved in this are the Health Ministry, the Home Affairs Ministry as well as Liew’s ministry, Nurul Izzah said. - Mkini

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