Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Abolish death penalty, suspend pending executions, say groups, MP(FMT)


MADPET issued a statement, which was reported in part by FMT. For the full statement, see BN, PH Plus and BN-PN-GPS governments and the Abolition of Death Penalty in Malaysia - 10/10/2021 (World Day against The Death Penalty)

Some points made by MADPET :-

* All governments starting with BN, then PH Plus and now the PN-BN-GPS Plus governments are all moving towards the abolition of death penalty. BN stands out, by the abolition of the mandatory death penalty for Drug Trafficking. Whilst, the other more recent 2 governments failed to act in amending the law.

* 2 kinds of Death Penalty which State carries out. 1st is where an accussed, tried, convicted, sentenced to death and hung. The 2nd is EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING where the State and state agents kill 'suspects' - hence without according the right to a fair trial. MADPET calls for the abolition of both kinds of death penalty.

*  Pardon Powers rest with State Rulers, and today different states are ruled by different political parties/coalitions. After sentencing, the King or State Ruler can pardon and commute the death sentence into imprisonment - but alas, the lack of pardons by the different States, despite an acknowledgement that many in death row for drug trafficking are mere 'mules', sometimes people 'conned' Why did Pakatan Harapan Plus, Warisan, BN or PAS state governments pardon such persons commuting the sentence to imprisonment.

* Remember a former BN Minister, convicted of murder and sentenced to death was pardon the 1st time resulting the commutation of sentence from death to life imprisonment. Then, there was a second pardon that saw him released from prison. [Is this a discrimination in favour of politicians? Do ordinary people don't matter?]

Abolish death penalty, suspend pending executions, say groups, MP

The groups have urged the federal and state governments to push for the Rulers to grant pardons and commute the sentences of those on death row. (AFP pic)

PETALING JAYA: Two groups and an MP have spoken up on the need to abolish capital punishment and for a moratorium on all pending executions until a decision is made by the government on this.

In their statements in conjunction with the World Day Against the Death Penalty today, they said it had been proven globally that this punishment had failed to deter criminals.

In recognition of this year’s theme, “Women sentenced to or facing the death penalty”, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto highlighted the 129 women on death row in Malaysia as of last year, adding that this was about 16% of all the women sentenced to death globally.

“Of the 144 countries that have abolished the death penalty in practice and law, Malaysia remains one of the few countries among the 51 that still believe that executing people will cause crime rates to reduce, to act as a deterrent or, worse, for justice to be served.

Kasthuri Patto.

“Over the years, the number of men and women on death row in Malaysia has increased. But there is no sign of a reduction, with the crime rate still remaining high.”

She said that while abolition rarely received overwhelming support, the government must not avoid the issue in favour of “fame and popularity”, and must invest tirelessly in reforms to prevent the crimes that have long been punished with the death penalty, like drug trafficking offences.

Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet) meanwhile said that while positive progress had been made towards that end, such as the country voting in December 2020 for a moratorium on the use of capital punishment at the United Nations General Assembly, more work still needs to be done in pursuit of total abolition.

It called on the federal and state governments to push for the Rulers to grant pardons and commute the sentences of those on death row until all forms of capital punishment — mandatory and discretionary — can be officially abolished.

The group also said that inquiries must be conducted into cases where police kill a suspect to determine whether it was an “indirect death penalty” performed by the state or its agents.

It said while the last three governments had made some improvements, they were not as wide-reaching and comprehensive as many had hoped for, and called upon the new government to “finally abolish the death penalty, and until then continue to maintain a moratorium on executions”.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) reiterated its call for an end to executions too, “in line with the belief in a person’s fundamental right to life”.

It encouraged the government to follow through on its plans to scrap the death penalty, as stated by former law minister Liew Vui Keong, who in 2019 said a bill to do so was being prepared for tabling in Parliament.

The group called for the release of the report and recommendations developed by the special committee, established by the late Liew, to allow legislators and policy makers to do what’s necessary to expedite an end to capital punishment.

“Further, Suhakam encourages the initiative announced by the government in 2020, to set up a Law Reform Commission to study existing laws as well as sentencing procedures and, if found to be outdated or archaic, to recommend for the necessary amendments or repeal, thereby enabling Malaysia to be in line with international human rights standards.” - FMT, 10/10/2021


See full MADPET statement - 

BN, PH Plus and BN-PN-GPS governments and the Abolition of Death Penalty in Malaysia - 10/10/2021 (World Day against The Death Penalty)

No comments: