Death penalty to be abolished

Death penalty to be abolished

Government minister Liew Vui Keong said earlier on Thursday there would be a moratorium on executions for inmates now on death row, according to local media.

"The proposal to abolish the death penalty will still have to go through the legislative process".

"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, " Liew stressed after a law reform talk at a Malaysian university.

Malaysia now has the death penalty for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

Human Rights Watch hailed the "fabulous news", with its deputy director for Asia Phil Robertson saying the move would increase pressure on other countries in the region to follow suit.

However, Liew said that if their sentence is commuted then the inmates will have to face life imprisonment because they have been the cause of several deaths, which is why they were given the death penalty in the first place.

LFL adviser N Surendran said having rejected the death penalty in Malaysia, the government had "the moral authority to fight for the lives of citizens abroad".

The next parliament sitting starts on Monday.

Two Chilean tourists, now on trial for the murder of a Malaysian man, would also have faced the death penalty if found guilty of murder.

And contrary to popular belief, the abolition of the death penalty does not lead to an increase in crime.

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

Prior to this, Liew also said that the government is looking to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 and other "draconian laws".

"The death penalty will be abolished, full stop".

Once capital punishment is scrapped, Malaysia will have the moral authority to fight for the lives of Malaysians facing death sentences overseas, he added.

Amnesty International aims to pressure five countries where the death penalty is "rife" - Belarus, Ghana, Iran, Japan and Malaysia - in a bid to put an end to inhumane conditions of detention for prisoners sentenced to death.

Amnesty International reported in March that 799 people on death row were convicted of drug trafficking, including 416 foreign nationals.

While Indonesia carried out the highest number of executions over the past five years, Mr Hamid said the country had been making improvements.



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