Foreign diplomats and international human rights groups on Thursday praised Malaysia for plans to abolish the death penalty in the next legislative session.
In Malaysia, death penalty is a mandatory punishment for murder, drug trafficking, treason, and waging war against the YDPA.
Capital punishment has recently been extended to acts of terrorism, rapists that cause death, child rapists and kidnapping.
When someone is sentenced to death, the head of state automatically receives a report on each case and can either commute the sentence to another punishment, pardon the offender, or set the time and place for execution.
There are no jury trials in Malaysia for capital punishment.
Liew Vui Keong, a minister in the prime minister’s department, said on Wednesday that amendments to the existing laws would be introduced in the next session, which begins on Oct. 15.
“The death penalty will be abolished, full stop.
“We need to look into it and hear the views of all, but as it stands today, the decision is to abolish the death penalty,’’ Liew stressed after a law reform talk at a Malaysian university.
Foreign embassies and rights groups were supportive of the move.
“We strongly welcome announcement by Malaysian Government of its intention to abolish the death penalty,” Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, the Swedish ambassador to Malaysia, wrote on Twitter.
He said: “Impressive & bold move.’’
Amnesty International also cheered the news, calling it “an astounding announcement.”
Local news reports noted that all pending executions have been halted in the meantime.
According to local reports, over 1,200 people have received death sentences in Malaysia for murder, drug trafficking, terrorism acts, treason and other crimes.
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