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MALAYSIA SHOULD FREEZE ALL EXECUTIONS WHILE MANDATORY DEATH SENTENCE UNDER REVIEW?


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Under Malaysia’s current law, the death sentence is a must for firearms, drugs, treason and murder related offenses.
Nancy Shukri, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said 33 prisoners were executed between 1998 to October 6 this year, while 127 inmates received lighter sentences or clemency in the same period after their pleas and petitions were considered.
However, the three professional bodies representing the country’s lawyers – Malaysian Bar, Advocates’ Association of Sarawak (AAS) and the Sabah Law Association (SLA) – said no one should be executed while the government has yet to decide on the death penalty.
  • They said, the government should stop all executions of convicted drug offenders ahead of the expected review of Malaysia’s mandatory death sentence for drug-related crimes.
  • “In light of the impending review of the mandatory death penalty for drug-related offences, the Government should, in the interest of justice, declare and implement an immediate official moratorium on any and all executions in such cases,” the three bodies said in a rare joint statement.
  • “All of these sentences should be stayed pending the results of the review. It is unfair and unjust to carry out the death sentence when there is currently a possibility of reform which, if effected, should apply retrospectively,” said the statement signed by the Bar president Steven Thiru, AAS president Leonard Shim, SLA president Brenndon Soh.
  • The three bodies said concrete action on the frequently-discussed abolition of the mandatory death penalty is “long overdue”, noting that the government had in the last five years on at least four instances made remarks on its willingness to review this punishment.
Backing the government’s efforts to scrap the mandatory death penalty, which they said was “extreme, degrading and inhumane”, the three bodies agreed that such a move would be consistent with the right to life that should be absolute, universal and inalienable regardless of the crime committed.
Moreover, there appears to be no significant reduction in the crimes for which the death penalty is currently mandatory, they said.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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