C - Political Reform C17. Abolish oppressive laws

C17-06: Revoke Mandatory death by hanging in all Acts

Pakatan Harapan May 10, 2018

Please note these historical updates display when articles associated to this promise were added, removed, or changed. The promise status matches the status of its most recent article, as determined by the article date.

In progress
Mar 2019

Malaysia to keep death penalty, but no longer mandatory

Channel News Asia March 13, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has rowed back on an earlier plan to completely repeal the death penalty, saying that while the government will abolish mandatory capital punishment, it will leave it for courts to decide whether a person convicted of a serious crime will hang. The mandatory death penalty for 11 criminal offences will be repealed, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin told parliament on Wednesday (Mar 13). These offences include committing acts of terrorism, murder and hostage-taking. “We have made a decision. The government will only repeal the mandatory death penalty. We will make the amendments,” said Mohamed Hanipa. “This is in keeping with the 27th pledge in the Pakatan Harapan (election) manifesto.” To a supplementary question on whether there are plans to set up a parliamentary select committee to discuss the repeal of the death penalty before tabling the amendment Bill, Mohamed Hanipa said he would forward the suggestion to the government. The minister in charge of law, Liew Vui Keong, had said last October that the Cabinet had decided to repeal the death penalty. “All death penalty will be abolished. Full stop," he was quoted as saying. LAWYERS GROUP CRITICISES U-TURN Lawyers for Liberty, a human rights lawyers organisation in Malaysia, slammed the government’s U-turn on repealing the death penalty. “The reversal of the earlier decision is shocking, unprincipled and embarrassing,” Lawyers for Liberty said in a press release. “This is all the more so as the decision for total abolition had made international news and was praised throughout the region and the world,” it added. “More seriously, the October 2018 announcement of total abolition had given hope and relief to thousands of convicted or charged persons and their families. To hold out hope of being spared the gallows, only to have the hope snatched away again is extremely cruel and unjust.” The group also called on the government to keep the current moratorium on executions, pending the total abolition of the death penalty. Malaysia's decision against a total repeal of the death penalty could also weigh on the future of a fugitive policeman, Sirul Azhar Umar, who fled to Australia just before a Malaysian court sentenced him to death for the 2006 murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu. Sirul and another policeman convicted of the crime had been serving as members of the personal security detail for Najib Razak, who was deputy prime minister at the time of the murder. The question of whether anyone had ordered them to kill the woman has never been answered. Najib went on to become prime minister and led the country for nine years before his spectacular defeat at last year's general election. Since then, Malaysian police have re-opened the case into the model's killing and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said his government could revoke Sirul's death penalty to make way for his extradition. Sirul, who has been held at an Australian immigration detention centre since 2015, faces the prospect of deportation after failing a bid for asylum in Australia. However, under Australian law, Sirul can only be deported if he does not face the death penalty. Source: Reuters/Bernama/gs(hs)

Jun 2018

DPM: Govt may abolish death penalty

Malay Mail June 29, 2018

BANGI, June 29 — The government is looking into the need to make amendments to do away with the mandatory death penalty in legislation pertaining to criminal offences, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today. As of now, the government had deferred the death penalty for drug-related offenders, she said. “The last Cabinet meeting resolved to implement the government decision to defer the death penalty imposed on 17 people convicted of drug offences. “In a broader context, we also touched on the need to consider whether the same thing can be applied for offenders in other crimes,” she said at a press conference after launching EduWAQF, an educational ‘wakaf’ (Islamic endowment) initiated by AWQAF Holdings Berhad, here. Wan Azizah said this measure would enable Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted and sentenced to death over the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, to return to Malaysia from Australia if he wanted to. She said Sirul Azhar, who had sought protection in Australia, was unlikely to be allowed to return to Malaysia so long as he had to face a death penalty upon his coming back. “That’s why we are discussing whether it is necessary for us to change the sentence or replace it with any penalty,” she said. It had been reported that Australia authorities had allowed a Malaysian request for Sirul Azhar to be extradited on condition that Malaysia agreed to bear the costs but the former Special Action Unit member reportedly refused to return home for fear of having to face the death penalty. — Bernama