Malaysia to abolish death penalty?

Last October, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Legal Affairs) Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the necessary paperwork to abolish the death penalty has been green lit by the Attorney General Chambers.


Additionally, Liew expressed his view on capital punishment, stating that it should not be carried out. He also said the Pardons Board will look into pardon applications from death row inmates before deciding on the outcome, either to be commuted or released.


Liew added: “All death penalty will be abolished. Full stop.”


Moreover, the government was supposed to scrap 11 mandatory death penalties, nine offences under the Penal Code and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971. This included giving a lighter sentence to convicts who commit less serious offences, such as being a drug mule.


On the contrary, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Legal Affairs) Mohamed Hanipa Maidin revealed that they will only repeal the mandatory death penalty. This meant mandatory death sentences will be abolished, but a criminal can still be sentenced to death at the court’s discretion.


This came as a shock for Amnesty’s Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, expressing her disappointment in the Malaysian government. She added that the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.


Speaking of death sentences, after a 5-year hiatus, Taiwan is looking to implement the death penalty for drunk driving, because deaths related to drunk driving in the country have soared over the past few years. Currently, their maximum sentence for causing death when driving intoxicated is a 10-year imprisonment.