KL to table Bill to abolish death penalty

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan coalition government is moving to abolish the death penalty, with a proposed Bill expected to be tabled in the coming Parliament session that begins next Monday.

The issue figured during Cabinet discussions yesterday, according to Minister in charge of Law in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong.

"All death penalties will be abolished. Full stop. Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out," Datuk Liew said after an event at the University of Malaya, reported The Star.

"All the papers are in the final stage. The Attorney-General has also indicated to us that it is ready to be tabled, hopefully in this session (of Parliament)," he added.

Mr Liew also said that a moratorium would be put in place for all pending executions until the practice was abolished, adding that the only remaining issue was what to do with convicts currently on death row.

"Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out," Mr Liew said, adding that the Pardons Board would be directed to look into various applications for convicts on the death penalty waiting list.

"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. "We also need to comprehensively consider all cases, especially when it concerns the families of murdered victims."

The Pakatan Harapan government had indicated after winning the General Election in May that it would conduct a review of the death penalty and draconian national security laws.

At present, Malaysia imposes the death penalty for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2018, with the headline 'KL to table Bill to abolish death penalty'. Print Edition | Subscribe