KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 (Reuters) - Malaysia's parliament on Monday passed sweeping legal reforms to remove the mandatory death penalty, trim the number of offences punishable by death, and abolish natural-life prison sentences, a move cautiously welcomed by rights groups.
Malaysia has had a moratorium on executions since 2018, when it first promised to abolish capital punishment entirely.
The government, however, faced political pressure from some parties and rowed back on the pledge a year later, saying it would retain the death penalty but allow courts to replace it with other punishments at their discretion.
Under the amendments passed, alternatives to the death penalty include whipping and imprisonment of between 30 to 40 years. The new jail term will replace all previous provisions that call for imprisonment for the duration of the offender's natural life.