Wednesday, April 23, 2008




MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is disturbed by the recent statement of Federal Traffic chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Datuk Hamza Taib, as reported in the Star (18/4/2008), who said that “..Habitual illegal road racers and Mat Rempits will face whipping under proposed amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987.”

The report stated that “...under the proposed Section 42 (A), illegal racers can be jailed for up to five years and fined not less than RM5,000, and have their licences suspended for three years for a first offence…The penalty for second-time offenders would be a minimum of 10 years’ jail, three strokes of the rotan, not less than RM10,000 fine, and not less than a five-year suspension of the driving licence…”

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".

Whipping is one such cruel, inhumane, degrading form of punishment, and there is no good reason why the punishment of whipping is still there in the statute books of caring compassionate Malaysia.

The only flawed reason why some may want to add whipping as an extra-punishment for repeat offenders of an offence under the Road Transport Act is possibly the belief that it will have a deterrent effect. This reasoning is baseless for there is no evidence whatsoever to support such a belief. It is also unlikely that Malaysian authorities will be able to supply Malaysians evidence that the introduction of the punishment of whipping has had a direct consequence in the reduction of any crime.

The Malaysian government must seriously look into root causes, which may reveal that it was the failings of the government itself that has led to such crime in Malaysia today, and if that be the case, then the taking of the easy way out by just blaming the “Mat Rempits” and the introducing whipping as an additional punishment is wrong and unacceptable.

"If you suffer your people to be ill-educated and their manners corrupted from infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded, sire, but that you first make thieves and then punish them?" -Thomas More

It should be noted that the Malaysian Bar, a body of about 13,000 lawyers, did in March 2007 pass a resolution unanimously calling for the abolition of the whipping sentence from the laws of Malaysia. The Malaysian Bar rejected and denounced ‘…the sentence of whipping as it is anachronistic and inconsistent with a compassionate society in a developed nation….’

MADPET calls for an immediate removal of the sentence of whipping from the laws of Malaysia.

MADPET calls also for an end of the execution of the sentence of whipping, which has been known to cause permanent physical and psychological damage to victims, including also impotency.

MADPET calls also for Malaysia to immediately ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).

Charles Hector

for Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)

22nd April 2008

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