Thursday, April 23, 2009

Malaysia wants death row man's death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment

We need to abolish the Death Penalty in Malaysia.

We need to immediately commute all executions in Malaysia - in compliance with the UN General Assembly Resolutions of 2007, and 2008..

On 18 December 2007, the UN General Assembly endorsed a resolution calling for "a moratorium on executions" by an overwhelming majority: 104 votes in favour, 54 against and 29 abstentions. - RESOLUTION 62/149

On 18 December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a second resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.- see earlier post :- Malaysia executes - hours after passing of 2nd UN Resolution asking for stop of all executions

All death sentences should be commuted to life imprisonment in Malaysia...just like what the Malaysian government is now asking for China to do for a Malaysian.

The Malay-sian Government has sent an appeal to its Chinese counterpart for Ong Kim Fatt, who is on death row in China, to be granted clemency, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said.

“We have sent a letter to the Chinese government appealing for Ong’s death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment,” Lee told a press conference at Wisma MCA yesterday.

He said the Malaysian Embassy there had also been appealing to the Chinese court to reconsider Ong’s death sentence, the first such sentence for a drug offence in China since World War Two.

“We want to remind all Malaysians to respect and abide by the laws of the countries they are travelling to,” he said.

Ong, 44, was found guilty of trafficking 13 packets of heroin weighing 1,480gm at the Xiamen Gao Qi International Airport on Sept 19, 2007.

Earlier last week, MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong sought the Foreign Ministry’s help to obtain clemency for Ong, who was supposed to face the firing squad in February.

However, the execution was postponed to April 29 to allow him to fulfil his last wish of meeting his siblings.

MCA Bukit Bintang chairman Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng, who was also at the press conference, said he would accompany Ong’s brothers, Hock Hooi, 38, and Hock Kiang, 41, to China on April 27 to meet Ong and hopefully get his clemency appeal approved.

“I hope that Ong will be given some leniency as I believe that he was used by a drug syndicate. He is not a smart man, and he can be very naive,” Dr Lee said.

He added that it was unlikely Ong had enough money to buy the heroin himself.

Meanwhile, Chong said he had spoken to Interpol’s National Centre Bureau assistant director Supt Gan Tack Guan, who infor-med him that Interpol was still investigating the case.

“Investigations will carry on until they find out who the real culprits are.

“We want the drug syndicate exposed,” he said. - Star, 24/4/2009, Govt asks that death row man be given life sentence instead

I applaud the actions of the Malaysian government, and hope that a similarly all death sentences in Malaysia also be commuted to life imprisonment (or even imprisonment till death naturally).