The Malaysian Bar renews its call to abolish the death penalty, in conjunction with the 18th World Day Against the Death Penalty, which falls on 10 October each year.
We have remained at the forefront to safeguard the rule of law, as well as constitutional and human rights in our country.
The Malaysian Bar has persistently, during its annual or extraordinary general meetings over the past 30 years, passed resolutions advocating the abolition of the death penalty.
The Malaysian Bar has always been and remains a vocal opponent of the mandatory death penalty, and has repeatedly called upon the government for its abolition.
There is no empirical evidence to confirm that the death penalty is a deterrent to crimes. Despite the existence of capital punishment in Malaysia, there is nothing substantive to support that this form of punishment has resulted in a reduction in the commission of crimes, especially for drug-related offences.
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In December 2018, Malaysia cast its first vote and joined a record number of UN member states in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
On this historic day, the Malaysian Bar once again calls upon the government to continue to support the resolution to abolish the death penalty when the time comes for a vote again at a later date. It is of utmost importance that Malaysia maintains its global reputation and credibility by reaffirming and fulfilling its international commitments and pledges.
The Malaysian Bar urges the government to make public the recommendations of the Special Committee to Review Alternative Sentences to the Mandatory Death Penalty, which was established in September 2019 to study the abolition of capital punishment and to consider meting out alternative sentences.
We renew our recommendation for the establishment of a law reform commission to review outdated laws and sentencing procedures to bring our country in line with international human rights standards.
Salim Bashir is president of the Malaysian Bar
This piece is reproduced from here and has been edited for style only.