'End death penalty now', United Nations chief urges countries

Malaysian Government's plans to abolish death penalty could save Sydney grandmother's life

The Cabinet has chose to abolish the death penalty, and it will be tabled in the next Parliament sitting, which will begin on October 15, said Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

Liew Vui Keong informed the press that the Pardons Boards would be directed to study various applications death row (waiting list) convicts could be commuted or released.

In a revolutionary move, the Malaysian government has announced that it plans to abolish the death penalty now employed by its legal system as punishment for heavy crimes.

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Amnesty International has called on governments to put an end to the death penalty. There has been continuous calls by local and global NGOs like Amnesty worldwide and SUHAKAM (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) for such laws to be repealed as it has been subject to abuse by the executive power against its critics such as politicians who oppose the elected government, activists, journalists and even writers.

Malaysia now has the death penalty for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

The minister also called for a moratorium on all executions until the death penalty is abolished.

Amnesty International said the move would be a major advance but urged the government to "completely abolish the death penalty for all crimes, with no exceptions".

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Surendran claimed there were now "hundreds of Malaysians" on death row in foreign countries, particularly for being drug mules.

Between 2007 and 2017, 35 individuals were hanged, the New Straits Times newspaper said.

"Drug-related offences will be different and consideration must be given to convicts who, for example, were drug mules, as compared to those who committed heinous crimes", said Mr Liew.

A total of 1,267 prisoners are on death row, making up 2.7 per cent of the 60,000-strong prison population.

Once capital punishment is scrapped, Malaysia will have the moral authority to fight for the lives of Malaysians facing death sentences overseas, he added.

De Lima said that as a human rights defender and legislator, she has pushed for the introduction of the penalty of qualified reclusion perpetua in criminal laws to ensure restorative justice instead of punitive measures.

The UN envoy noted the majority of executions today are carried out in China, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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