Selangor Journal
A general view of the Dewan Rakyat during a session at the Parliament, Kuala Lumpur, on December 19, 2022. — Picture by REUTERS

924 review applications for death, life imprisonment sentences submitted

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — A total of 924 applications for sentence reviews for convicts serving mandatory death sentences and life imprisonment were submitted to the courts as of Oct 31.

Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh said the number includes 807 reviews for prisoners under mandatory death sentences and 117 for life imprisonment.

This is following the Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 that took effect on July 4 and the Review of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023 on Sept 12.

“According to statistics from the Prisons Department, 1,020 prisoners will benefit from the provisions of the Review of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023. The first hearings for sentence reviews under the Act will take place on Nov 14 at the Federal Court in Putrajaya.

“As for the duration of the review process, there is no specific timeline set, and the filing and hearing processes will be carried out in stages,” he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2024 at the committee level for the department today.

Ramkarpal said about RM12 million had been allocated for the purpose of sentence review applications, including legal aid services.

Earlier, Damansara MP Gobind Singh Deo when debating the legislation, wanted clarification on the number of sentence review applications for prisoners up to now and the costs involved in the sentence review process.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong said the Community Communications Department (J-KOM) had never functioned as a political tool but served as a government community communications agency.

He said J-KOM acted through three functions: nurturing a culture of knowledge, digital skills, and the spirit of patriotism.

Despite a reduction of RM6.81 million in allocation for J-KOM in 2024, he said the department would continue to effectively disseminate government information to the public and counter fake news and slander.

“J-KOM will change the narrative of information delivery to addressing issues raised so that the public receives verified news. Among the implemented programmes include the ‘Semarak Madani Programme, the ‘Anak Muda Celik Digital’ workshop, the ‘Santun Komuniti’ Programme, and the Malaysia Madani Special Briefing,” he said when winding up the debate for the department.

On the reduction in management allocation to the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) for the upcoming year, Wilson explained that it would not affect aid for disaster victims.

“This is because disaster allocations fall under the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund (KWABBN), which is distributed to the State Disaster Management Committees (JPBN) before the onset of the Northeast Monsoon.

He also said that the reduction in allocation falls under operational management expenses, in particular supplies and services.

— Bernama

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