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Malaysia to abolish death penalty

Malaysia to abolish death penalty

"All governments retaining the death penalty must immediately abolish it and put an end to the appalling conditions of detention that too many death row prisoners are forced to endure".

"We have had no executions in the last two years and we also changed the death penalty to an alternative sentence, no longer mandatory punishment".

"Full stop", he said.

Malaysia's cabinet has agreed to abolish the death penalty, a senior minister said Thursday, in a decision hailed by rights groups. 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by local and global NGOs like Amnesty worldwide and SUHAKAM (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) for such laws to be repealed as it has been subject to abuse by the executive power against its critics such as politicians who oppose the elected government, activists, journalists and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.

The shocking but most welcomed news of Malaysia joining other countries such as the Senegal, who abolished the death sentence for all crimes in December 2004, Liberia in September 2005 and its colonial master United Kingdom in 1965 was indeed apt as 10 October is World Day Against The Death Penalty.

Liew added that all the paperwork for the abolishment of the law is in its final stages, and that the Attorney General (AG) had given the green light for it to be tabled in Parliament.

"This is part of our election pledge and also in line with the move away from capital punishment in the rest of the world", he told The Associated Press.

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Surendran urged the government to not forget the hundreds of Malaysians who are languishing on death row in Singapore and other countries, particularly for being drug mules.

The penalty is exclusively carried out by hanging in Malaysia - a legacy of British colonial rule.

Malaysian rights advocates welcomed the decision, saying there was never any proof that mandatory death sentences deterred offenders from violent or drug-related crimes.

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

However, Liew said that if their sentence is commuted then the inmates will have to face life imprisonment because they have been the cause of several deaths, which is why they were given the death penalty in the first place.

Excluding China, Amnesty says Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan - in that order - carried out 84 per cent of all executions in 2017.