Malaysian Bar urges Pakatan govt to abolish death penalty ‘once and for all’

Varughese reminded the government that the right to life is a fundamental right that must be absolute, inalienable and universal, irrespective of the crimes committed by an accused person. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Varughese reminded the government that the right to life is a fundamental right that must be absolute, inalienable and universal, irrespective of the crimes committed by an accused person. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The Malaysian Bar has called upon the Pakatan Harapan government to keep its promise and abolish the death penalty at the upcoming Parliament sitting.

Bar president George Varughese in a statement today urged for the penalty to be abolished once and for all, saying the decision to remove the punishment was correct, conscionable, and being eagerly awaited.

“This would be in tandem with the strides we have made to become a ‘new Malaysia’ that now abides by the Federal Constitution and upholds the rule of law, as has repeatedly been asserted by the Prime Minister,” he said.

The decision to abolish the penalty was announced in October last year by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

The Act to repeal the death penalty was supposed to be tabled during the last Parliament sitting but failed to meet the timeframe.

Varughese reminded the government that the right to life is a fundamental right that must be absolute, inalienable and universal, irrespective of the crimes committed by an accused person.

He also called upon the government to stop all executions and review all cases of those already sentenced to death prior to the abolishment.

The Bar recommended that alternative punishments be given to those already on death row, a sentence that will commensurate with the circumstances of each case.