Teenagers Who Allegedly Set Fire To Tahfiz School May Be Charged With Murder
In a report by Malaysiakini, Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali said that the authorities did not dismiss the possibility of charging the suspects under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder. The seven suspects are between the ages of 11 and 18.
"I am still waiting for the investigation papers, but I am looking at it seriously," Apandi said, stressing that he is taking the case seriously, at a press conference on 18 September.
It was reported that the police have yet to submit their investigation papers to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC). On 16 September, Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Amar Singh confirmed that with the arrests of the seven teenagers, they have concluded the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz Centre fire case.
Section 302 - Punishment for Murder, says, "Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death." Death penalty in Malaysia is executed by hanging.
Capital punishment in Malaysia is mandatory for a number of offences including murder, drug trafficking, treason, and acts of terrorism, to name a few.
However, minors are protected under the Child Act 2001 (Act 601).
Section 97 (Death) of Child Act 2001 reads:
A sentence of death shall not be pronounced or recorded against a person convicted of an offence if it appears to the court that at the time when the offence was committed he was a child.
(2) In lieu of a sentence of death, the Court shall order a person convicted of an offence to be detained in a prison during the pleasure of;
(a) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong if the offence was committed in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur or the Pederal Territory of Labuan; or
(b) the Ruler or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, if the offence was committed in the State.
The authorities are currently investigating the case under Section 435 for causing mischief by fire
The teenagers responsible for the fire were arrested between 6pm on 15 September and 2.30am on 16 September, reported Malaysiakini.
The suspects are believed to be children of immigrants who were born and raised in Malaysia. Six out of the seven teenagers tested positive for ganja when arrested.
Reports have also surfaced on how the teenagers showed no signs of remorse or even apologised for causing the death of 23 people.