Malaysia’s parliament approves a law abolishing the mandatory death penalty for certain crimes.
In the future, the death penalty will only be imposed for very serious crimes. Instead, the court will be able to sentence up to 40 years of prison for crimes that were previously punishable by death, says Deputy Attorney General Ramkarpal Singh.
Death penalty by hanging has previously been automatically imposed for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, treason, kidnapping and acts of terrorism.
The change is part of larger reforms to the Malaysian justice system.
Currently, 1,318 criminals are awaiting execution in Malaysia, of which over 500 are foreigners, according to Singh.
The law still awaits to be approved by the king and the upper house of parliament.