Malaysia to abolish colonial-era Sedition Act, death penalty

Malaysian Government's plans to abolish death penalty could save Sydney grandmother's life

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said on Thursday that cabinet had made a decision to suspend use of the Sedition Act as they prepare a bill to repeal it altogether.

Foreign embassies and rights groups were supportive of the move.

Capital punishment is now mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes, and is carried out by hanging - a legacy of British colonial rule.

In Malaysia, death penalty is a mandatory punishment for murder, drug trafficking, treason, and waging war against the YDPA.

Liew Vui Keong, minister in the prime minister's office, said Thursday that the paperwork to abolish the death penalty in Malaysia is now in its final stages after the cabinet approved the measure on Wednesday.

"When commuted, they would have to face life imprisonment because there had been several deaths that were caused by the offender and so they were sentenced to death by the court", he said.

Apart from the death penalty, the Pakatan Harapan government also plans to do away with other controversial and draconian laws such as the Sedition Act 1948.

A Malaysian court past year ruled the case could proceed against Indonesian national Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam after Kim Jong Nam's murder at Kuala Lumpur Airport.

The senator asserted that a fully-functioning justice system is what deters criminal acts, not the imposition of the death penalty.

A total of 1,267 prisoners are on death row, making up 2.7 percent of the 60,000-strong prison population.

"It is a right that belongs to us all regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity and expression, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth or other statuses", she said.

He said until the abolishment of the death penalty rakes place there should also be in place a moratorium of death penalty sentences from being carried out.

"All death penalty will be abolished".

Mr Guterres called for all nations to abolish the practice of executions adding: "I call on those remaining, to join the majority and put an end to the death penalty now".

"Once the death penalty is scrapped, Malaysia will have the moral authority to fight for the lives of Malaysians facing death sentences overseas", he added.

Excluding China, Amnesty says Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan - in that order - carried out 84 per cent of all executions in 2017.

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