Malaysia is one step closer to amending the mandatory death sentence, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said.
Nancy told the World Congress Against The Death Penalty in Oslo, Norway, recently that a government-backed study on the death penalty had been completed and a paper is being readied by the Attorney General’s Chambers.
“There are positive signs in Malaysia and a steady momentum towards possible change in the death penalty legislation,” Nancy said.
The study was conducted by the International Centre For Law and Legal Studies (I-CeLLS). The consultant was then Roger Hood, Professor of Criminology and Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College Oxford.
Currently, in Malaysia, the death penalty is mandatory for 12 offences while 20 other offences are punishable with discretionary death penalty. Murder, drug trafficking, and offences related to security are instances of offences which are punishable with death.
However, Nancy said empirical studies showed that the death penalty had not led to “the deterring effect that such a penalty was created”.
“Although Malaysia is generally in compliance with international standards in so far as the relevant safeguards [on capital punishment] are concerned, Malaysia’s position on death penalty has always been subjected to national and international criticisms.”
The global anti-death congress was the sixth edition. Nancy expressed her “deepest appreciation to Norway” for inviting Malaysia to participate.