Govt: We’re still studying the death penalty

PETALING JAYA: Recommendations regarding the abolition of the death penalty were rejected as a comprehensive study is still being undertaken on the matter, said the government.
The recommendations were made by Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Process to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the second round of the third process on Oct 24 last year.
In its written response to the UPR, the government said that Malaysia was not in a position to accept the recommendations.
In clarifying, it said the Attorney-General’s Chambers was undertaking a comprehensive study to examine the legal and policy frameworks related to the application of the death penalty in the country.
The study is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
“The findings of the study will subsequently be presented to the government for policy consideration and decision,” it said.
As such, it reiterated that it was not in the position to commit to put in place an alternative to the death penalty and to establish a moratorium on its application.
Although Malaysia has discontinued application of the death penalty on minors, under the current law, drug dealers and drug traffickers may still be subject to the death penalty.
Stressing that the death penalty was not prohibited under international law, it further reiterated that matters pertaining to the administration of justice fall under the State’s sovereign authority and jurisdiction.
“Malaysia further notes that several States that have previously imposed voluntarily moratorium on the death penalty have recently reintroduced its application.”
In a statement last Thursday, Comango co-secretariat member Yap Swee Seng said it was disappointing that although Malaysia received the most recommendations regarding the abolition of the death penalty, all such recommendations were rejected.
Criticising the death penalty as being cruel and inhumane, he stressed for the government to take immediate steps towards the abolition of the death penalty for all offences.
“In the meantime, there should be an official moratorium on all executions and commute all death sentences to prison terms,” said Yap.
Currently, Malaysia has over 900 death row prisoners.