MADPET urges Putrajaya to announce moratorium on death penalty

MADPET

KUALA LUMPUR: MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) has expressed satisfaction that Malaysia has in place a “moratorium on executions, especially for those languishing on death row for drug trafficking.

The NGO urged the Malaysian Government to extend the “moratorium” on executions to all persons on death row, not for just those convicted for drug trafficking. “This only makes sense, since Malaysia is now in the process of abolishing the death penalty, beginning with the mandatory death penalty,” said MADPET spokesman Charles Hector in a statement.

He referred to Edmund Bon Tai Soon, Malaysia’s current AICHR (ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights) representative, as reportedly saying “…Malaysia’s moratorium, I understand, is only for drug trafficking cases…’ (Star, 10/7/2015).”

“It must be noted that the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), also did reiterate on 29 March 2016 their recommendation that a moratorium on the use of the death penalty be put in place in Malaysia”.

MADPET thinks that “this positive development” should not be kept secret, but should have long been proudly announced by the Malaysian Government.

In fact, continued Hector, Nancy Shukri, then de facto Law Minister, should have proudly announced Malaysia’s moratorium on executions when she took the stage at the 6th World Congress Against Death Penalty in Malaysia.

The existence of the mandatory death penalty, for offences that do not result in death, as in the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971, only unnecessarily increases the risk of victims and/or witnesses to these crimes being killed by perpetrators to avoid the mandatory death penalty, said MADPET.

There are at least 10 offences in Malaysian laws that carry the mandatory death penalty, whereby only three are for offences that result in the death of the victim, added Hector. He cited the laws: Murder (sec.302 Penal Code), Committing terrorist acts where the act results in death (sec. 130C (1)(a) Penal Code); and Hostage taking where the act results in death (sec. 374(a) Penal Code).

For all the other mandatory death penalty offences, death does not result, he pointed out. “We are referring to Drug Trafficking (sec. 39B Dangerous Drugs Act 1952) and six types of offence listed in the Schedule of the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971, which includes robbery, kidnapping, extortion and house trespass.”