Bill To Abolish Death Penalty To Be Tabled Next Week, Says Law Minister
The Malaysian government has decided to abolish the death penalty, with a proposed Bill will be tabled in the next Parliament sitting on Monday, 15 October
Minister in charge of law in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said that all executions have been halted and the Pardons Board will be tasked with looking into the applications of death row inmates as the government is studying certain issues.
"We need to look into it and hear the views of all, but as it stands today, the decision is to abolish the death penalty," he told the media after the Law Reform Talk at Universiti Malaya yesterday, 10 October, which coincides with the World Day Against the Death Penalty.
Additionally, the Pardons Board will look into the applications for all the inmates on death row to either commute them or release them
Liew said that the necessary paperwork for the abolishment are at its final stages
The debate surrounding this form of capital punishment has been going on for years
Malaysia currently carries out the death penalty for crimes such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder and several other offences.
One of the earliest efforts in Malaysia was back in 2006 when the Malaysian Bar, a body representing some 14,000 lawyers, adopted a resolution calling for the abolishment of the death penalty.
In 2012, several organisations called for the abolishment of the death penalty in Malaysia for an immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolishment.
Earlier this year, the Pakatan Harapan government stated that it would review the death sentence and other draconian laws after winning the general elections.
Malaysia will be joining 142 other countries who have abolished the death penalty if the Bill is approved
“Malaysia’s resort to the death penalty has been a terrible stain on its human rights record for years. In Malaysia, death row prisoners are often cruelly kept in the dark about the outcome of their clemency applications and notified of their executions just days or hours before they happen," Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said.
Although the possession of marijuana is a crime, Malaysia might be legalising it for medical purposes: