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Malaysia authorities to abolish mandatory death penalty ensuring the protection of the guaranteed rights

Malaysian Law Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar Friday announced the state’s abolition of the mandatory death penalty and replacement with “substitute punishments” at the courts’ discretion.

The Attorney General’s Chambers, Legal Affairs Division, Prime Minister’s Department and Ministries in collaboration will conduct research and study on the proposed substitute punishment to make certain that the amendments to the relevant acts take into account the principles of “proportionality” and the constitutionality of any proposal. Law Minister Jaafar said “the government’s decision shows commitment in ensuring the protection of the guaranteed rights, reflecting the transparency of the country’s leadership in improving the dynamic criminal justice system.”

Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, supported the decision and said,

Malaysia’s public pronouncement that it will do away with the mandatory death penalty is an important step forward, especially when one considers how trends on capital punishment are headed in precisely the opposite direction in neighbouring countries like Singapore, Myanmar, and Vietnam. We need to see Malaysia pass the actual legislative amendments to put this pledge into effect because we have been down this road before, with successive Malaysian governments promising much on human rights but ultimately delivering very little.

Amnesty International says 33 offenses are punishable by death in Malaysia and is used mostly for murder and drug trafficking. Before the Law Minister’s announcement, 12 offenses carried a mandatory death sentence, including murder and discharge of a firearm during the commission of an offense. In July 2018, the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad implemented a moratorium on executions.

Article: Malaysia authorities to abolish mandatory death penalty

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(UN General Assembly, 1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1. All human beings are free and equal 2. No discrimination 3. Right to life 4. No slavery 5. No torture and inhuman treatment 6. Same right to use law 7. Equal before the law 8. Right to be treated fair by court 9. No unfair detainment 10. Right to trial 11. Innocent until proved guilty 12. Right to privacy 13. Freedom to movement and residence 14. Right to asylum 15. Right to nationality 16. Rights to marry and have family 17. Right to own things 18. Freedom of thought and religion 19. Freedom of opinion and expression 20. Right to assemble 21. Right to democracy 22. Right to social security 23. Right to work 24. Right to rest and holiday 25. Right of social service 26. Right to education 27. Right of cultural and art 28. Freedom around the world 29. Subject to law 30. Human rights can’t be taken away