Public opinion will be considered before abolishing death penalty

Public views and opinions must be taken into account concerning the proposal to abolish the death penalty in this
country, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He said any move in this direction has to come from the public as was the case when the Internal Security Act (ISA) was urged to be abolished.

“Like the ISA, when we have a lot of members of the public wanting to abolish the act, then we follow the majority.

“Public opinion is very important to us, at the moment you cannot really see whether the people are in favor of abolishing the death penalty,” he told reporters after delivering the keynote address at a public
event to promote the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia, yesterday.

Nazri said although currently there was no discussion on the immediate abolishment of the death penalty in Malaysia despite calls from some quarters, the government was commited to re-evaluate, re-think and review the
capital punishment.

Malaysia currently still practices the death penalty and as of last year, there were 114 death sentences and another 744 person on death row, while one execution was reported.

Earlier in his speech, Nazri said in his opinion the death penalty review was a timely effort, and was in line with ongoing efforts by the government to review outdated laws and several emergency ordinances to introduce new laws which complied with the principles of human rights.

“Our task in the government is to find the most humane and effective ways to uphold justice for our citizens and humankind in general,” he said.

The public event to promote the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia was jointly organised by a delegation of the European Union, the Bar Council Malaysia and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia in conjunction with the
International Day against the Death Penalty, which is held the 10th of October each year.

Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU to Malaysia, Vincent Piket in his welcoming remarks said, the abolition of the death penalty worldwide was one of the main objectives of the EU’s human rights policy.

– Bernama