Government May Punish MPs Who Say No To Abolishing Death Penalty

Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong is determined to get the bill passed in Parliament.

Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong is determined to abolish the death penalty in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting

In a recent exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily, Liew revealed that he plans to put the bill to remove the death penalty to vote in the Second Term of the 14th Parliament Session, which will commence on 11 March.

The bill is pending approval from the Cabinet.

Image via Sin Chew Daily

Liew added that government Members of Parliament (MPs) who vote against the bill may face disciplinary action

The Law Minister also remain unfazed by critics of the bill. 

"Everyone has the right to talk (about it), I can't explain to each of them," Liew was quoted as saying by Sin Chew Daily. 

"Malaysia has to move towards being a humanitarian state. If we don't abolish the death penalty, it means we support killing a person," he added. 

"If you think killing a person is wrong, then you cannot support the government to hang a person. Even if that person did something horribly wrong," Liew said.

Liew also elaborated on the life of convicts on death row if the death penalty is abolished

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via DW

"They live in 10 square feet cells, (and) they are only allowed out of their cells every day from 7am to 7.45am and 5pm to 5.45pm. They spend the rest of the time in their cells," the Law Minister told Sin Chew Daily. 

"Therefore, their lives are quite horrible. If you hang a horrible person just like that, don't you think it's too easy on him?" Liew said.

"If you kill my family, and I kill you because I'm angry about that, I'm no different from those murderers. But now instead of killing you for revenge, I'm supporting the government to hang you, is there any difference? It's still murder, isn't it?" he added. 

"If we keep killing each other in the name of revenge, we will never progress as a country," the Law Minister stressed. 

Liew previously shot down suggestions to hold a referendum on abolishing the death penalty

"We are not going to have a referendum on this particular issue, that's for sure," Liew was quoted as saying by Malay Mail on 18 January. 

His statement came after former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor called for a national referendum before the death penalty is abolished, as it is "inappropriate" to ignore public opinion on the matter.

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