Statement by MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) to welcome the announcement that the Malaysian Cabinet has finally decided to abolish the death penalty, and that the needed Bill will be tabled at the next Parliamentary session, now scheduled to begin on 15/10/2018.
In the evening of 10 October 2018, the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty, it was reported in the media that ‘…The Cabinet has decided to abolish the death penalty, and it will be tabled in the next Parliament sitting, which will begin on October 15, said Datuk Liew Vui Keong.The minister in charge of law in the Prime Minister’s Department said while the government is studying certain cases, as of now, all executions have been halted.“All death penalty will be abolished. Full stop….’(Malay Mail, 10/10/2018)
With regard persons currently on death row ‘…the Pardons Board will be tasked with looking into the applications of death row inmates. “Our view is that executions should not be carried out we will inform the Pardons Board to look into the various applications for all the death row inmates to either commute or release them…’ (Malay Mail, 10/10/2018)
This will certainly be good news for the spouses, children and relatives of the about 1,267 people on death row or 2.7% of the prison population of about 60,000 people.(Star, 28/6/2018). Their parent and/or relative will no longer be hanged to death and will live.
Whilst the announcement of the cabinet decision by the Minister is most welcome, in Malaysia, one will have to wait until the needed Bills are tabled in Parliament, become law and then put into force, hopefully by the end of 2018. Malaysians have been subjected by similar promises and/or assurances by Ministers in the past government, only to be later disappointed.
As such, it is our hope that the said Bills that will effectively abolish the death penalty will be tabled at the upcoming Parliamentary session, at the very least for the First Reading, if there be no time for it to be debated and passed.
MADPET hopes that Members of Parliament and Senators from the Opposition parties will fully support the just move to abolish the death penalty.
MADPET await the day when we can finally celebrate the abolition of the death penalty in law, and there will be no more death row in Malaysia.