Chandran Paskaran was almost hanged to death in Malaysia on 7/2/2014 - but this time, we found out about this just before the carrying out of the death penalty, and many acted swiftly pleading for a stop of the hanging. And, the Sultan of Johor responded and ordered a stay of execution ...
Yes, the Sultan and the King do have the power to stay execution and even commute death sentences... until Malaysia formally abolishes the death penalty ...and the mandatory death penalty from its laws. Mandatory death penalty gives judges no choice but to sentence persons to death when they are found guilty of the offence - irrespective of the circumstances, and as such the first to go must be the mandatory death penalty returning to judges the discretion when it comes to sentencing. But more importantly, death penalty itself must be abolished...
Sultan intervenes, inmate escapes gallows
According to his brother Thamotharan, the order came late last night.
"Our family is extremely happy with the news received at the last hour. Our deepest gratitude goes to the Sultan for intervening at the last moment," he was quoted as saying by online news portal Free Malaysia Today.
Chandran was convicted for a murder in 2003 and sentenced to death by the Johor Baru High Court in 2008.
However, Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni said Chandran's life was still at risk and urged that his sentence be commuted immediately, as well as that of other death row inmates.
"We urge the Malaysian government to immediately halt all plans for executions, commute existing death sentences and put in place a moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a first step towards abolition," she added in a statement today.
Echoing Sahmini's statement, Human Rights Watch Asia division deputy director Phil Robertson said: "The Malaysian government should recognise that the death penalty is an irreversible, inherently cruel and unusual punishment that should be done away with once and for all."
"If Malaysia made a decision to abolish the death penalty, this would be greeted with significant support and applause at Malaysia's upcoming session at the UN Human Rights Council to discuss the results of last year's Universal Periodic Review session for the country," he added in a separate statement.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Bar also welcomed the sultan's decision to spare Chandran’s life, and commended the prime minister and his government for their role in the matter.
Bar Council president Christopher Leong urged the government to now move ahead with its stated aim, since 2010, to relook at the the mandatory death penalty, with a view to its possible abolition or the reintroduction of a discretionary death penalty.
“The Malaysian Bar reiterates its proposal to the Malaysian government to abolish the death penalty without delay. Those who have been sentenced with the mandatory death penalty should all be resentenced,” Leong said in a statement.
He noted that the matter was already under review by the Attorney-General’s Chambers. -Malaysiakini, 7/2/2014, Sultan intervenes, inmate escapes gallows
|Press Release | The Malaysian Bar Welcomes Show of Mercy in Stay of Execution of Death Sentence|
|Friday, 07 February 2014 05:17pm|
The Malaysian Bar is heartened by, and welcomes, the show of compassion and the swift intervention of the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan of Johore, which resulted in the stay of execution of the death sentence on Chandran s/o Paskaran, scheduled for today.
The Bar also welcomes the chorus of voices of civil society actors that called for the execution to be stayed.
In addition, the Bar commends the Prime Minister and his Government for their role in this matter. The Bar notes that the Malaysian Government has since 2010 announced its willingness to relook at the mandatory death penalty, with a view to its possible abolition or the reintroduction of a discretionary death penalty.
At an event entitled “Dialogue with Members of Parliament on the Reintroduction of Discretionary Sentencing for Capital Punishment” held at Parliament on 14 November 2013, the Government and the Attorney General’s Chambers informed those present that they were in the midst of reviewing the mandatory death penalty.
In light of such review, the authorities and the Government should, in the interests of justice, impose an immediate official moratorium on any and all executions of the death sentence.
The Malaysian Bar is of the view that the death penalty should be abolished, as every individual has an inherent right to life. This right is absolute, universal and inalienable, irrespective of any crimes that may have been committed. The death penalty has no place in a society that values human life, justice and mercy.
The Malaysian Bar reiterates its call on the Malaysian Government to abolish the death penalty without delay. Those who have been sentenced with the mandatory death penalty should all be resentenced.
7 February 2014