Saturday, March 31, 2012

Malaysian government no immediate plans to abolish death penalty

Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz personally is for the abolition of the death penalty, but as a sitting Minister in the current government, the official position is that the government has no immediate plans to abolish the death penalty. He has called on Malaysians to oppose strongly if we want the death peanlty to be abolished (see Nazri: Oppose strongly if you want death penalty abolished (Star 2/3/2012)

The Malaysian Bar is now unanimous in its call for abolition (see Malaysian Bar unanimously passes resolution for the abolition of the death penalty (10/3/2012)

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) and Amnesty Malaysia has come out calling for the abolition. Others groups also are for the abolition - but have yet to issue any statement recently calling for the abolition.

Is Pakatan Rakyat for the abolition of the death penalty? Is DAP? Is PRM? Is PSM? Is PKR/ Is PAS? [The FMT report below says, "Pakatan MPs too supported the motion to end the death sentence" but I have not seen any statement that has been made by Pakatan MPs or Pakatan Rakyat on this issue that clearly states that they are for the abolition - PR should issue a clear statement calling for the abolition of the death penalty - and include it also clearly in their election manifesto (or the 'Buku Jingga')

Is the MCCBCHS for the abolition of the death penalty? Are you for the abolition of the death penalty?

This is the time to come out and clearly call for the abolition of the Death Penalty in Malaysia..

Death penalty to stay, says Nazri
By Clara Chooi
March 29, 2012

Nazri (right) said the abolition of the death sentence would affect the rest of the country’s legal system.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Putrajaya has no immediate plans to abolish the death penalty, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz has said, insisting that Malaysia still needs the punishment as a deterrent for serious crimes.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said, however, that the proposal to remove the provision would be considered but only after a thorough review is conducted.

“The suggestion will be given fair consideration once a thorough review and careful study is done on all aspects, and after taking into cognisance the viewpoints of all relevant parties.

“This is needed because the scrapping of the death penalty or natural life imprisonment sentences would greatly impact the country’s legal system,” he said in a written response to Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) yesterday.

Explaining further, Nazri said it was appropriate to maintain the death penalty to deter serious offences like murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code, drug trafficking under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and other crimes involving firearms, ammunition and explosives.

The Padang Rengas MP added that the same would apply to the natural life imprisonment sentence as it also involves serious crimes.

“The government at this time does not plan to abolish the death penalty or natural life sentence from the country’s legal system.

“The government is of the view that these penalties are still needed for certain heavy crimes.

“These penalties are more retributive in nature, that is to react towards offenders based on the crimes they have committed,” he said.

Earlier this month, Malaysian Bar members unanimously passed a resolution at the Bar Council’s annual general meeting (AGM) calling for capital punishment to be abolished and replaced with life imprisonment instead.

Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee had urged Datuk Seri Najib Razak to add this to his administration’s series of law reforms, saying the move should be “leadership driven”.

Lim claimed that empirical evidence from surveys has shown that despite the introduction of mandatory death sentences for drug trafficking, the number of cases continues to increase.

“Death penalty has zero deterrent effect, so why keep it in our books?” he said.

He pointed out that in light of weaknesses in the country’s legal system, innocent individuals could be found guilty of the offence and sentenced to death despite not committing the crime.

Lim had also urged parliamentarians to join the council in its campaign against the death penalty by pushing for amendments to current laws when the House sits from next week until April.- Malaysian Insider, 29/3/2012, Death penalty to stay, says Nazri

    Nazri’s ‘flip-flop’ stand on death penalty
    K Pragalath
     | March 30, 2012

    Suaram calls on the the Minister in Prime Minister's Department, Nazri Aziz to make a firm stand on abolishing the death penalty.

    PETALING JAYA: Suaram today called on Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nazri Aziz to make a firm stand on the death penalty.

    It said he can’t have it both ways and callled his flip-flop stand “the ultimate denial of human rights”.

    “On March 1, Nazri stated that he wanted the death penalty to be abolished and called for a mass movement of people to oppose the death penalty.

    “However, yesterday, the minister insisted that Malaysia still needs this punishment as a deterrent for serious crimes,” said Suaram’s executive director E Nalini in a statement.

    She was commenting on Nazri Aziz’s defence on the use of death penalty in response to a question raised by Bukit Gelugor MP, Karpal Singh in parliament yesterday.

    Nazri had insisted that Malaysia still needed death penalty as a deterrent to to serious crime.

    He added that the removal of the sentence would only be considered after a thorough review is conducted since its abolishment would have a major impact on the legal system.

    Earlier this month Nazri called himself a “knight in armour” who is all for abolishing the death penalty and wanted a mass movement to end the sentence.

    Pakatan MPs too supported the motion to end the death sentence.

    International human rights organisation, Amnesty International and the Bar Council meanwhile were much more optimistic that Malaysia would eventually repeal the penalty.

    Minister should convince the cabinet

    Bar Council chairman Lim Chee Wee said: “It is safe to say that the statements were made by Nazri on behalf of the federal government.”

    Lim’s confidence comes from the fact that Nazri has privately and publicly declared his personal view in support for the abolishment of the death penalty.

    He added that Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail is also personally supportive for the repeal.

    Lim also urged Nazri to persuade the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s administration to immediately move towards a moratorium and subsequently repeal the death sentence.

    “The minister has been saying that the relevant civil societies and the Bar bear the burden of changing the hearts and minds of the perceived majority of Malaysians who favour the retention of the death penalty.

    “However, we appeal to the minister to utilise his legal training and powers of advocacy to persuade the Cabinet and Najib to move towards abolition,” said Lim in a statement .

    Amnesty International’s executive director Nora Murat too is confident that the government would review the death penalty.

    “However the government needs to restrict the definition of serious crime. The United Nations Human Rights Commission and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights restricts it to crimes directly related to death,” said Nora. - Free Malaysia Today, 30/3/2012, Nazri’s ‘flip-flop’ stand on death penalty

1 comment:

nckeat88 said...

I believe generally majority of Malaysian ARE NOT in favor of abolishing the death penalty. I think the correct way to start off is to educate the general public rather than pressure the gov to do so as gov of the day may be afraid that the abolishing of death penalty will be used against them.