Just three days after a study into the mandatory death sentence reached its final stages, Malaysia has decided to abolish the death penalty for criminals.
This means offenders of crimes like drug trafficking, firearms possession, murder and terrorism could soon be spared the noose.
The study, meant to signal Malaysia’s commitment to achieving international human rights standards, was conducted by the Attorney-General’s Chambers and presented to the Cabinet earlier this week, Bernama reported.
The Bill abolishing the death penalty will reportedly be tabled during a Parliament sitting that begins next week.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Liew Vui Keong – who is also in charge of legal affairs – said that executions should be halted immediately, including for inmates currently on death row, according to the Star.
Liew said that the government will still ensure an “appropriate penalty” for offences, but said that death penalty was “overly hard” on offenders of crimes like drug-trafficking.
“Drug-related offences will be different and consideration must be given to convicts who, for example, were drug mules, as compared to those who committed heinous crimes,” he was quoted as saying.