Home Civil Society Voices Cabinet decision to abolish death penalty welcomed

Cabinet decision to abolish death penalty welcomed

Graphic: amnestyusa.org

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Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet) welcomes the announcement that the Malaysian cabinet has finally decided to abolish the death penalty, and that the needed bill will be tabled at the next parliamentary session beginning on 15 October.
In the evening of 10 October 2018, the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty, it was reported:

“The Cabinet has decided to abolish the death penalty, and it will be tabled in the next Parliament sitting, which will begin on October 15,” said Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

The minister in charge of law in the Prime Minister’s Department said while the government is studying certain cases, as of now, all executions have been halted.“

“All death penalty will be abolished. Full stop.”’ (Malay Mail, 10 October 2018)

As for those now on death row,

… the Pardons Board will be tasked with looking into the applications of death row inmates.

“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 the…” (Malay Mail, 10 October 2018)

This will certainly be good news for the spouses, children and relatives of the about 1,267 people on death row or 2.7% of the prison population of about 60,000 people (The Star, 28 June 2018). Their parents and relatives will no longer be hanged to death and will live.

Although the announcement of the cabinet decision by the minister is most welcome, in Malaysia, one will have to wait until the needed bills are tabled in Parliament, become law and then put into force, hopefully by the end of 2018. Malaysians have been subjected to similar promises and assurances by ministers in the past government, only to be later disappointed.

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We therefore hope that the bills that will effectively abolish the death penalty will be tabled at the upcoming parliamentary session, at the very least for the first reading, if there be no time for them to be debated and passed.

Madpet hopes that members of Parliament and senators from opposition parties will fully support the just move to abolish the death penalty.

Madpet awaits the day when we can finally celebrate the abolition of the death penalty in law, and there will be no more death row in Malaysia.

Charles Hector issued this statement on behalf of Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet).

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