Monday, November 02, 2009

Is Pakatan for the abolition of the death penalty? Malaysian girls easily duped (Star)

We are aware that many get duped into transporting drugs from one destination to another but alas we still have that law that sends them to their death. It is a mandatory sentence, and thus judges, cannot even give a lesser sentence of imprisonment for those fools who get duped, be they Malaysian girls or others. The law must be amended, and the mandatory death penalty be removed. Retention of death as a possible sentence, but with enough flexibility to impose other sentences will be better and just. [Of course, my position is that Malaysia should abolish death penalty]

Mandatory sentences should also be removed for all crimes - there must be provisions in law that gives judges flexibility so that sentences could not just befit the crime but also the circumstances of the cases. Mandatory sentences is an ousting of a judicial function. It is better that legislators set minimums or maximum sentences but the final decision must be left to judges who will decide on the sentence to impose after considering mitigating and aggravating factors in a case.

This concern for Malaysians facing death penalty in other countries is good but hopefully Malaysian politicians will also show similar concern for those in similar predicament in Malaysia.

A question for Pakatan - Will the Pakatan Rakyat take a stand for the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia? Will the Pakatan Rakyat take a stand for the abolition of corporal punishment like whipping in Malaysia?

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian lasses are an easy lot to charm. They are easily smitten by sweet words and gifts, making them an easy target for drug-trafficking syndicates looking for mules.

This is the view of Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay, who said young Malaysian girls, some fresh graduates, were easily conned by men from the syndicates to travel abroad with a package.

“Some of the girls meet the men abroad and some meet them in Malaysia.

“There have been cases where girls just knew the men for a day and were willing to travel around with a bag, not knowing the contents,” he said at the launch of the Wanita MCA women and children’s aid and public complaints bureau in Kepong yesterday.

Also present at the event was Wanita MCA chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

He said there were currently 1,565 Malaysians jailed abroad and 60% of the cases were drug mules.

“Thailand has the highest number of jailed Malaysians at 52. In Peru, 12 out of the 15 Malaysians jailed are girls,” he said, quoting 2007 statistics.

He added that 25 Malaysians were jailed in Taiwan, 11 in China, 12 in Spain and one in Chile.

“Six in China have been sentenced to death. Since 2007, about 30 Malaysians are in death row,” he said.

Kohilan added that the syndicates, mostly comprising African men, would give the young girls free flight tickets and cash for shopping as part of the trip abroad.

“There is no such thing as a free trip.

“Parents should be mindful of such trips and keep a close watch on their children,” Kohilan said.- Star, 1/11/2009, Malaysian girls easily duped

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