KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government has no plans to abolish whipping under the civil law as it is still a necessary punishment for serious offences, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin on Tuesday (Nov 27).
“So far, there is no decision by the government to abolish whipping as this punishment has been around in our country for so long, though I admit there is a deterrent effect.
"We may have different views on it as this punishment is painful but it is universally accepted, and it is within the religious scope and outside it," he said in parliament.
“Besides, the existing law requires a medical officer to be present when the whipping is carried out and the offender still has a chance of this punishment be commuted (by the court). That is why to me, the government feels the whipping punishment is still required.”
Mohamed Hanipa was responding to a question on the government's views on doing away with whipping, which was seen as inhumane, and replacing it instead with a longer jail term.
He noted that the whipping punishment could be commuted by the court based on considerations such as an offender's health.
He also said that whipping has been implemented to a lesser degree compared to previously.
“Nevertheless, the government is always open to suitable views from the public on abolishing whipping,” Mohamed Hanipa said.
The Pakatan Harapan government has been reviewing several laws since it won the May general election.
Earlier this month, it was announced that the Cabinet has decided to abolish the death penalty for 32 offences, including murder.