PUTRAJAYA: The government has decided to replace the mandatory death penalty with an alternative punishment said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Wan Junaidi in a statement today said the decision was made after two series of meetings held on Sept 6 and today by the Substitute Sentences for the Mandatory Death Penalty Task Force Technical Committee which he had chaired.

The government in principle had agreed to the proposal to substitute sentences for 11 offences carrying the mandatory death penalty including one under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 as well as 22 other offences that also carry the death penalty but at the discretion of the Courts and provide a moratorium for the 1,337 who have been convicted and sentenced to death.

The decision of the task force would be submitted to the cabinet to be tabled at the cabinet meeting for approval and to pass amendments at the Third Meeting of the Fifth Term of the 14th Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat.

The first reading of the Bill is expected on Oct 4 and the second on Nov 22.