No parole for those charged with heinous crimes, says law minister

SHAH ALAM: Law Minister Liew Vui Keong confirmed today the Cabinet is considering not allowing parole for those charged with heinous crimes such as murder.

Speaking to the press after a townhall session on the abolishment of the death penalty at Universiti Teknologi Mara here, he said those involved with heinous crimes would also likely be looking at natural life imprisonment instead of the current jail terms in future.

This comes in the wake of an 11-month-old baby girl dying on Nov 9 after allegedly being raped, sodomised and abused in Bandar Baru Bangi. The baby was admitted to the hospital in critical condition.

Liew also said the decision to abolish the death penalty was a collective decision of the Cabinet, and, therefore, all ministers would have to accept it.

“At this stage the decision made on Oct 10 to abolish the death penalty stands.”

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the government would reconsider abolishing the mandatory death sentence for those convicted of murder.

Her comment came just hours after Parliament was told that the Cabinet had decided to do away with capital punishment for 33 crimes, including murder.

During the townhall meeting, law students asked questions on the move to abolish the death penalty, including whether this might trigger more acts of crime and overcrowding in prisons.

Liew said the 192 countries that had abolished the death penalty had not seen any increase in crime after the death penalty had been removed.

In fact, he said countries such as Canada and Hong King had seen fewer crime cases despite removing the death penalty.

He said it would not cause overcrowding in prisons as the number of people on death row was only 1,281 compared with 65,222 people in prison for various crimes.