Govt halts execution of 1,200 death row inmates

Luqman Arif Abdul Karim

KUALA LUMPUR: The execution of the death penalty on 1,200 death row inmates nationwide will be halted with immediate effect. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman said the moratorium on death sentences was following the government’s decision to table an amendment to laws involving capital punishment in the next Parliament sitting on Oct 15. He said the decision involving capital punishment was in line with the government’s policy of championing more humane ways in dealing with such cases. “That is our stand and we will replace the death sentence with other punishment once the law is amended,” he said. Azis said figures as of October 1 showed that there were 59,245 prisoners nationwide, with 45,388 comprising of locals and the rest (13,857) foreigners.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman. Pic by NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

It was reported that the cabinet has given the green light for the death penalty to be abolished. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said on Wednesday that amendments to existing laws imposing the death sentence would be tabled in the next Dewan Rakyat sitting. Liew said the necessary paperwork to abolish the penalty which was in the final stages had received the go-ahead from the Attorney-General’s Chambers. In Malaysia, the death penalty carried out by hanging is mandatory for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and possession of firearms.

* Factfile

- 1,278 on death row

- 59,245 total prisoners (as at Oct 1)

- 45,388 locals

- 13,857 foreigners © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd