KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor today lambasted Putrajaya for its decision to abolish the death penalty, saying those who were convicted must be brave to face the consequences.
Abdul Rahim pointed said a convicted murderer in a fair trial must take personal responsibility of their actions and must bear the punishment of death willingly after taking another life.
“The murderer still goes through the court of law and it may take years to appeal however when they take someone’s life, it is done in seconds.
“If someone is murdered then the murderer must face the eventuality,” he said in a press conference at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampung Baru here.
In October last year, the Cabinet agreed to abolish the death penalty and halt pending executions following a moratorium.
On January 8, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong said a new law is expected to be tabled sometime this year in Parliament to abolish the death penalty.
The former top cop argued that Malaysia being an Asian country must emulate Asian traits and culture of respecting the life of a human being by ‘exchanging a life for another taken in a fair manner’.
He then cited several examples of countries such as China, Japan and Singapore which still maintained capital punishment to this day.
“Those countries retain capital punishment because they view capital punishment as an effective deterrent to crime,” he said.
Abdul Rahim also called on the government to conduct a thorough study and call for a national referendum on the matter to reaffirm public opinion.
“As a former policeman, the abolishment is a serious matter to me. There must be a referendum despite a decision being announced previously.
“I think the democratic process has not been followed,” he said.
He also cited that while several NGOs have shown support to the government’s move, there exist public apathy towards those affected by the abolishment who may not be able to seek justice against the perpetrators.
“There is a support imbalance. NGOs like Suhakam, Lawyers for Liberty and the Malaysian Bar have thrown their support to abolish.
“But what about those from the other side (kins of slain victims)? Does Suhakam asks about them? It seems nobody is concerned with their plight and all the (victims) can do is grieve if capital punishment is removed,” he said in reference to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.
However Abdul Rahim remained optimistic that the government will reconsider its decision and retain capital punishment.
“A blanket moratorium on all offences punishable by death is too drastic,” he said.
The move to abolish has drawn mixed reaction from the various layers of Malaysian society, with civil rights groups largely welcoming the move but conservatives arguing that it be retained for particularly heinous crimes.