Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | ePaper

1200 on death row

Malaysia to abolish death penalty

  • Print


AFP,  Kuala Lumpur :
Malaysia's cabinet has agreed to abolish the death penalty, a senior minister said Thursday, with more than 1,200 people on death row set to win a reprieve following a groundswell of opposition to capital punishment.
Capital punishment is currently mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes, and is carried out by hanging-a legacy of British colonial rule.
Communications and multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo confirmed the cabinet had resolved to end the death penalty. "I hope the law will be amended soon," he told AFP.
The government decided to scrap capital punishment because the Malaysian public had shown they were against the death penalty, Gobind said.
Government minister Liew Vui Keong said earlier

 Thursday there would be a moratorium on executions for inmates currently on death row, according to local media.
"Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out," the Star newspaper quoted him as saying. Liew said the amended law would be put before parliament next Monday.
The moratorium on the death penalty would save, among others, two women accused of assassinating the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il last year.
A Malaysian court last year ruled the case could proceed against Indonesian national Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam after Kim Jong Nam's murder at Kuala Lumpur Airport.
Australian citizen Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, who was found guilty of drug smuggling by an appeals court in May, will also win a reprieve. The 54-year-old grandmother was arrested in December 2014 after she was found in possession of 1.1 kilograms (2.4 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine while passing through Kuala Lumpur on a flight from Shanghai to Melbourne. In April last year, human rights group Amnesty International ranked Malaysia 10th in the use of death penalty among the 23 countries that carried out capital punishment in 2016. Between 2007 and 2017, 35 individuals were hanged, the New Straits Times newspaper said.
A total of 1,267 prisoners are on death row, making up 2.7 percent of the 60,000-strong prison population.
The decision was welcomed by rights advocates, who said there was never any proof that mandatory death sentences deterred offenders from violent or drug-related crimes.
"The death penalty is barbarous, and unimaginably cruel," N Surendran, an advisor with the Lawyers for Liberty rights group, said in a statement.
Once capital punishment is scrapped, Malaysia will have the moral authority to fight for the lives of Malaysians facing death sentences abroad, he added. Neighbouring Singapore, also a former British colony, maintains the death penalty for certain crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.
Only 23 countries retain the death penalty, with China believed to be the "world's top executioner", according to Amnesty International in its report last month on capital punishment in 2017.
There were 993 executions recorded in 2017 in 23 countries, but Amnesty's numbers do not include the "thousands" it says are believed to have been executed in China, which classifies this information as a state secret. Excluding China, Amnesty says Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan-in that order-carried out 84 percent of all executions in 2017.

More News For this Category

290 killed, over 500 hurt in SL blasts

290 killed, over 500 hurt in SL blasts

Reuters, Colombo :Seven suicide bombers took part in the attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka that killed 290 people and wounded more than 500, an investigator said

Local Islamist group behind blasts: Govt

AFP, Colombo :The Sri Lankan government believes a local Islamist extremist group called the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) was behind the deadly suicide bomb attacks that killed nearly 300 people,

Petrol bomb also hurled at mosque in Sri Lanka

Reuters   :A petrol bomb attack on a mosque and arson attacks on two shops owned by Muslims are reported in two different parts of Sri Lanka, police said. As per

Sheikh Selim's grandson among those killed in Sri Lanka blasts

Sheikh Selim's grandson among those killed in Sri Lanka blasts

Awami League leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim's grandson Zayan Chowdhury was killed in Sunday's explosions in Sri Lanka that left at least 290 people dead.Sharif Mahmud Apu, Public Relations officer

Home Minister rules out SL-style terror threats

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has described terror attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as heartrending and ruled out similar threats in Bangladesh."Law-enforcement agencies are ready to face

Pompeo blames 'Islamic radical terror' for attacks

The Hill :Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday blamed "a horrific wave of Islamic radical terror" for the deadly bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that killed hundreds,

Writ filed seeking release of 'wrongly jailed' Arman

Staff Reporter :A writ petition was filed with the High Court (HC) on Sunday seeking release of Md Arman, who has been serving jail for three years whereas the real

Lanka failed to heed warnings of attacks

AP, Colombo :Sri Lankan officials failed to heed warnings from intelligence agencies about the threat of an attack by a domestic radical Muslim group that officials blame for Easter Sunday

3 children of Danish billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks

Reuters, Copenhagen :Denmark's richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for Povlsen's fashion

 Moni confesses role in Nusrat killing mission

Moni confesses role in Nusrat killing mission

Md Joynal Abedin Khan  :Kamrunnahar alias Moni, who is nearest friend and classmate of slain Nusrat Jahan Rafin, confessed her guilt role in the sensational killing mission her at Sonagazi