NOVEMBER 11 ― Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman is reportedly the first politician in the country to be whipped after being found guilty of the charges against him.
But there are legal reasons for the whippings ― two strokes in total ― which are lawful as well.
High Court Judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid sentenced him to three years in prison and one whipping for the offence of abetting in criminal breach of trust (CBT) and two years in prison and one whipping for the charge of dishonest misappropriation of property.
Syed Saddiq was tried in the High Court. Section 183 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) applies. It says: “If the accused is convicted, the Court shall pass sentence according to law.”
A “sentence according to law” simply means the sentence must be within the ambit of the punishable section. The punishment for abetment [section 109 of the Penal Code (PC)] is the same as the punishment for the offence.
The punishment for CBT (section 406 PC) is mandatory imprisonment “for a term which shall not be less than one year and not more than ten years and with whipping”. The convicted person shall also be liable to fine. (Emphasis added)
The punishment for dishonest misappropriation of property [section 403 PC] is mandatory imprisonment “for a term which shall not be less than six months and not more than five years and with whipping”. He shall also be liable to fine. (Emphasis added)
The punishment of whipping must, however, be read with provisions in the CPC, among others, sections 288 and 289. Section 288(4) says that in the case of an accused sentenced to whipping for an offence under section 403, 404, 406, 407, 408, 409 or 420 of the Penal Code, or a youthful offender, whipping “shall be inflicted in the way of school discipline with a light rattan”.
Section 289 says that the following persons shall not be punishable with whipping:
(b) males sentenced to death;
(c) males whom the Court considers to be more than fifty years of age, except males sentenced to whipping under section 376, 377C, 377CA or 377E of the Penal Code.
Syed Saddiq does not fall into any of the above and under sections 403 and 109 (read with section 406) PC, he must be punished with whipping ― at least one stroke for each. It’s the minimum.
The sentences of whipping are according to law. The stay of execution is also according to law under section 311 CPC.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.