Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is Pakatan Rakyat for the Abolition of Death Penalty in Malaysia

10th October - World Anti-Death Penalty Day

Is PAKATAN RAKYAT, PKR, DAP, PAS, PSM, PRM...GERAKAN.. for the abolition of the Death Penalty in Malaysia?

Malaysia has not even publicly declared that it will at the very least comply with the moratorium as per United Nations General Assembly Resolution

On 18th December 2008 On 18th December 2007, the United Nations General Assembly 'calling for a moratorium on executions to be established in all States that still maintain the death penalty'
passed a resolution

The resolution calling for “a moratorium on the death penalty”, was passed by a vote of 104 in favour to 54 against, with 29 abstentions. (See annex VI.) It called on all States that still allowed capital punishment to “progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed”. Those countries were also called on to provide the Secretary-General with information on their use of capital punishment and to respect international standards that safeguard the rights of condemned inmates.

Also attached is the Malaysian Bar resolution...


RESOLUTION OF THE MALAYSIAN BAR FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY

(which was adopted at the 60th AGM of the Malaysian Bar on 18/3/2006)

WHEREAS every human being has the inherent right to life;

WHEREAS Malaysia has hanged at least 358 persons between 1981 and 2005;

WHEREAS about 173 persons are on death row as at December 2005;

WHEREAS :

a) studies conducted throughout the world over the past seventy years have failed to find convincing evidence that capital punishment is a more effective deterrent of crime than long-term imprisonment;

b) studies conducted in Australia show that abolition of the death penalty had no effect on the homicide rate and in Canada there in fact was a sharp decline in the homicide rate after abolition;

c) in the United States over the past twenty years, states with the death penalty in general have had a higher homicide rate than states without the death penalty;

WHEREAS on the other hand the execution of human beings by the State gives an ‘example of barbarity’ to society and legitimizes the taking of human life;

WHEREAS Malaysia lacks safeguards that would ensure a fair trial such as the right to immediate access to a lawyer upon arrest, right to full disclosure of evidence in the possession of the police and prosecution, and has to the extreme prejudice of accused persons loaded a capital crime statute such as the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 ( which generates the largest number of death sentences annually ) with presumptions of trafficking that compromise the presumption of innocence which is integral to any fair and just criminal justice system;

WHEREAS:

a) it is not possible in any system of human justice to prevent the horrifying possibility of the execution of innocent persons; and

b) the infliction of the death penalty makes wrongful convictions irreversible;

WHEREAS :

a) 122 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice as opposed to 74 countries which retain the death penalty;

b) An average of three countries have abolished the death penalty each year over the last decade;

c) the trend worldwide has been for the abolition of the death penalty;

WHEREAS the UN Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2005/59 passed in 2005 calls upon all states to abolish the death penalty and states that the abolition of the death penalty is essential for the protection of the right to life of every human being;

WHEREAS Article 1 of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that ‘ No one within the jurisdiction of a State party to the present Optional Protocol shall be executed ’.

WHEREAS the death penalty has no place in any society which values human rights, justice and mercy;

NOW IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the Malaysian Bar calls for the:

1) Abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia;

2) An immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition;

3) Commutation of the sentences of all persons currently on death row;

4) Ratification by Malaysia of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Proposers: N.Surendran , Charles Hector , Amer Hamzah Arshad, Sreekant Pillai

* the facts and statistics relied on here are from Professor Roger Hood’s The Death Penalty( A Worldwide Perspective) OUP 2002, Amnesty International and statistics released by the Government of Malaysia.

5 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Dear Hector,

I don't believe Pakatan has ever commented on the abolishment of the death penalty.

I know for sure a lot of Malaysians want the death penalty to stay (me included).

Until and unless the Malaysian public clamour against the death penalty (as they now do against the ISA), I believe this is a non- issue.

The agents of change have to be the people, NOT political parties. Politicians should merely act as the representatives of the people's wishes.

I am sure if/when Malaysians decide the death penalty should go, Pakatan reps will stand beside the people to help bring about this change.

So, if you want this to happen, u must sell it to the PEOPLE first instead of hitting the ball into Pakatan’s court.

And as long as a large number of Malaysians (may need to have a poll to confirm) want the death penalty to stay, our politicians (both PR and BN) as our representatives need to respect our wishes.

So, I guess the anti-death penalty activists, NGOs etc have their work cut out for them.
Convince US first and we will speak to our reps.

estralita said...

Muslims have a certain view on the death penalty. As the majority of Malaysians are Muslims, the Muslim view on the issue is critical. Pakatan will have to respect this biggest bloc of voters.

Secondly, I note that many non-Muslims want to railroad PKR into taking a stand on many issues that are sensitive to Muslims. This is a dangerous approach to take, because if PKR takes the wrong stand, the Malay votes that went to PKR in March, will disappear. So, do not push PKR to the wall and lose the biggest bloc of votes.

sim kwang yang said...

Politicans sometimes have to bow to expediency and the toxin of their own prejudices. Those in PR are no different. Many of their MP probably have not thought through the issue of abolition of capital punishment yet.

sim kwang yang

ian said...

http://iwfrpk.blogspot.com/2008/10/he-aint-heavy-hes-rpk.html

Candle-light Vigil in PJ on this Sunday, 12th October

Venue: Padang in front of Amcorp Mall, next to A&W Restaurant, Petaling Jaya (Google Map)

Time: 8pm

Date: Sunday, 12th October, 2008

Come one, come all. Please bring along your own candles (red & yellow) & wear your RPK t-shirts. T-shirts will be available for sale on-site subject to stock availability. Let's show our support to RPK & family, and all of the ISA detainees.
Supporters of RPK & Malaysia-Today
===

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

So on we go
His welfare is my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It's a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we're on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

He's my brother
He ain't heavy, he's my brother...

Song written by: B. Scott and B. Russell
Performed by: The Hollies
Song & Lyrics belong to their copyright owners, used here for educational purpose only.