Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mkini: It's the gallows for abolish death penalty call

It's the gallows for abolish death penalty call

Ng Eng Kiat
Jun 28, 06 7:20pm

The government will maintain capital punishment for serious and heavy crimes as it is preventive in nature and protects public interest.

In a parliamentary written reply today, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department M Kayveas said that as such, the death penalty would not be abolished .

Replying to Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) at the Dewan Rakyat, he said the government was strict in dealing with serious crimes, hence the death penalty would remain.

It is also the government’s view that there are enough safeguards to ensure that the death penalty is not simply dished out, he added.

Kayveas said among the existing safeguards was an ‘experienced police force that was efficient in completing thorough investigations’ before someone is accused in court for an offence that carries the death penalty.

Apart from this was a ‘wise and knowledgeable Malaysian judiciary’ which tries cases fairly coupled with fact that those accused of offences that carry the death penalty are only tried in the higher courts, he added.

Review possible

With the existing court hierarchy in Malaysia, those convicted have two chances to appeal their capital punishment sentences, this being at the Appeals Court and the country’s highest court, the Federal Court, said the deputy minister.

Kayveas said those on death row could also bring their cases to the Pardons Board for a review if they have exhausted all avenues of judicial appeal.

The Malaysian Bar Council had, in March this year, passed a resolution calling for the death penalty to be abolished and for a moratorium on all executions.

Malaysia remains
one of the 74 countries yet to abolish capital punishment while 123 other countries have.

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