Home Ministry says death penalty under review, reprieve for 17

Deputy Secretary General of the Home Ministry, Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron, speaks during the agenda workshop on Malaysia Accession to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment in Kuala Lumpur July 2, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Deputy Secretary General of the Home Ministry, Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron, speaks during the agenda workshop on Malaysia Accession to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment in Kuala Lumpur July 2, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — The sentences of 17 inmates on death row have been put on hold pending a government review of the penalty, the Home Ministry announced today.

The ministry’s deputy secretary-general Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron indicated that the outcome may take a while as the Cabinet will have to deliberate on the review findings.

“The review process will begin as soon as possible, as it is a directive from the government,” he said during the agenda workshop on Malaysia Accession to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (Uncat) here.

Nadzri said the review will involve all laws where the death penalty is prescribed, including the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and the Firearms Act 1971. 

“The PH manifesto clearly stated that the use of the death penalty would be reviewed. Whether it will be retained or abolished will depend on the Cabinet,” he said, using the initials for the Pakatan Harapan coalition that came into power after the May 9 general election.

On the government’s accession to the Uncat, Nadzri said the ministry will soon form a special committee to review seven acts pertaining to detention without trial. 

“We have been instructed to review these laws as soon as possible alongside the Attorney-General’s Chamber. The review will most probably conclude by the year’s end,”

“Three of the seven acts to be reviewed include the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, the Prevention of Crime Act 2014, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015,” he said. 
 

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