Bill to abolish death penalty to be tabled in next Dewan sitting

Mahathir Mohamad

The government chose to scrap capital punishment because the Malaysian public had shown they were against the death penalty, communications and multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo Gobind said.

Some 170 Member States have abolished or put a stay on executions, since the UN General Assembly's first call for a moratorium on its use in 2007.

"Our view is that executions should not be carried out we will inform the Pardons Board to look into the various applications for all the death row inmates to either commute or release them".

More than 1,200 people are on death row in Malaysia, which mandates hanging as punishment for a wide range of crimes including murder, drug trafficking, treason, kidnapping and acts of terror.

"The death penalty is abhorrent, and we must try and save our countrymen and women from judicial murder overseas".

"I was pushing for the introduction into Philippine criminal laws the penalty of qualified reclusion perpetua, to ensure that, even in extraordinarily heinous crimes, our policy direction looks at restorative justice over punitive or retributive measures, while equally aware and conscious of the need to bring to justice perpetrators of the most egregious offenses", she said.

"The reprieve can be in the form of a life sentence", Gurdial Singh, president of the National Human Rights Society, told AFP.

There are no jury trials in Malaysia for capital punishment.

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Former Malaysian police officer Sirul Azhar Umar was convicted in Malaysia for the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006, but fled to Australia.

"All death penalty will be abolished".

In April previous year, Amnesty International ranked Malaysia 10th in the use of death penalty among the 23 countries that carried out capital punishment in 2016.

"We strongly welcome the announcement by the Malaysian Government of its intention to abolish the death penalty", Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, the Swedish ambassador to Malaysia, wrote on Twitter.

"Drug-related offences will be different and consideration must be given to convicts who, for example, were drug mules, as compared to those who committed heinous crimes", said Mr Liew. It said the death penalty has been a "terrible stain" on Malaysia's human rights record, and death row prisoners often have to wait years for their appeals to be processed.

Excluding China, Amnesty says Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan - in that order - carried out 84 per cent of all executions in 2017.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand have death penalty laws.

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