KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 – Tun Dr Mahathir says the death penalty in Malaysia is still in effect and will remain until it is officially abolished.
The prime minister said the necessary legislation has yet to be put in place to abolish the death penalty.
“(Saying that the death penalty will be abolished) does not mean that it has already been abolished.
“We have to wait until the necessary Act is passed to repeal it,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Monday.
Last week, the Cabinet gave the green light to put in motion the end of the death penalty in Malaysia.
Malaysia will join 106 countries which have abolished capital punishment.
If Parliament approves its abolishment, it will serve as a reprieve for 1,267 prisoners currently on death row.
The pending abolishment, however, has triggered a storm of controversy. In an online poll conducted by NSTP, 82 per cent of the 22,000 netizens polled opposed the government’s move to axe the death sentence.
On Sunday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the death penalty will be replaced with a sentence of a minimum of 30 years behind bars.
He said this could be used in the proposed amendment to Section 39 (B) of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952, for instance, where a convicted offender was subjected to the mandatory death sentence.
In addition, there are also 17 other criminal offences that bear the same sentence. These offences include waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, terrorism, murder, attempted murder during a life imprisonment, killing victims during kidnapping, possessing and using firearms as well as rape leading to death and rape of minors. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd