Malaysiakini News

Report: Gov't will abolish the death penalty, assures minister

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The government will abolish the death penalty and there should be a moratorium on all executions until then, said minister in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong.

According to The Star, the minister in charge of law, said this  to the press after chairing the "Law Reform Talk" in Universiti Malaya earlier today.

"Death penalty will be abolished. Full stop.

"Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out.

"We will inform the Pardons Board to look into various applications for convicts on the (death penalty) waiting list to either be commuted or released," he reportedly said.

Liew added that various aspects must be considered in reviewing the punishment.

For example, consideration will be given to convicts in drug-related offences, for examples, drug mules, as compared to convicts who had committed more serious crimes.

"We also need to comprehensively consider all cases, especially when it concerns the families of murdered victims," Liew said, adding that the Bill on abolishing the death penalty will be tabled in the upcoming Parliament sitting, which begins on Oct 15.

In response to the announcement, Ambiga Sreenevasan, the chairperson of the National Human Rights Society of Malaysia (Hakam), welcomed the move.

"On #WorldDayAgainstTheDeathPenalty there is good news coming out of Malaysia. Minister announced that we will be abolishing the death penalty for all offences. Bravo to the reforming government. Let Malaysia lead the way in the region," she tweeted.

The former Malaysian Bar president has been a vocal critic of the death penalty for several years now.

Coincidentally, Oct 10 is World Day Against the Death Penalty.

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