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

Howard TerryOct 12, 2018

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the amendments to the existing laws imposing the death penalty as a capital punishment would be tabled in the next Dewan Rakyat Sitting.

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.

"The death penalty is a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

"Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out."

Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, left, and Siti Aisyah of Indonesia could face the death penalty of convicted of the murder of Kim Jong-Nam.

Malaysia's cabinet has ordered the suspension of the colonial-era Sedition Act, widely used to rein in dissent, and is working on doing the same for the death penalty as it prepares to repeal both laws possibly by the end of the year.

"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 country mandates hanging perpetrators for a wide range of crimes, including murder, drug trafficking, treason and acts of terror.

The African Christian Democratic Party has promoted capital punishment as part of its policy.

The ban on the death penalty affects the two women accused of murdering Kim Jong-Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il past year.

In a statement on Thursday, Amnesty International said the decision was a "major step forward".

Between 2007 and 2017, 35 individuals were hanged, the New Straits Times newspaper said.

To date, 142 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

19 prisoners are now on death row but due to lack of infrastructure and capacity, PNG is still not ready to implement capital punishment.

Amnesty International welcomed the decision and urged other nations in the region to follow suite.

Malaysian police stand guard as anti-death penalty activists protest in Kuala Lumpur.

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