MP SPEAKS | M'sia must press on in abolishing death penalty

Kasthuri Patto

Modified 10 Oct 2020, 3:25 am

MP SPEAKS | To uphold an international reputation as a nation that respects, defends and protects the right to life as enshrined in Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, Malaysia must not lift the moratorium on executions and move towards the abolition of the death penalty.

Today marks the 18th year of the World Day Against the Death Penalty. Today I dedicate this piece to my comrade, brother, friend and fierce advocate to abolish the death penalty, Batu Sapi MP Liew Vui Keong who suddenly left us on Oct 2.

The theme? A timely “Access to counsel – a matter of life or death”.

Many may say that there are more important things to talk about instead of the death penalty. Covid-19, vaccines, healthcare, retrenchments, job security, education, mental health, sexual violence against children, domestic violence and many others. I agree, yes, but giving out capital punishment for a crime committed in a time like this must also take into account the contributing factors as stated above.

As of June 30, 1,314 inmates are serving time on death row in Malaysian prisons. Of them, 1,182 are male prisoners and 132 female convicts. Malaysians make up 775 of the number while 539 inmates are of foreign nationalities.

A breakdown on ethnicity will show 368 inmates are Malay (47.4 percent), 198 inmates are Indians (22.3 percent), 173 inmates are Chinese (22.3 percent) and 36 or 4.7 percent make up others.

The moratorium signed by Liew to halt any executions still stands and my wish is for the new government to...

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