Monday, September 13, 2010




Kuala Lumpur - 2 September 2010.  CCM Youth refers to the Sunday Star special focus feature on the death penalty and the Sunday Star report entitled “Abolish death penalty, it’s incorrect to take someone’s life, says Nazri”, both articles dated 29 August 20101.

We take this opportunity to openly thank our Malaysian Government, in particular, our Law Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz for his frank and open call to abolish the death penalty, as well as our Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Hj Aman, in appealing to the Singapore Government for the clemency of fellow Malaysian, Yong Vui Kong against his death penalty conviction for drug trafficking.
We bring to the public’s attention a similar case of Umi Azlim Mohamad Lazim in 2009 who was also sentenced to the death penalty in China for a similar offence.  In this case, the Chinese Government subsequently reconvened on the death penalty after having taken into consideration the full background of the case, the circumstances and clemency appeals by our Government. Consequently, the Chinese government commuted her death sentence to life imprisonment in March 2010. We also noted that the Chinese government is the latest country looking into reforming their criminal laws with the view to abolishing death penalties for non-violent related crimes, following a worldwide trend to abolish the death penalty.
We extend our full support on all the points raised by many distinguished parties, such as former High Court and Court of Appeal judge Datuk K.C. Vohrah, Suhakam Chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, and Bar Council vice-president Lim Chee Wee, among others, which has further strengthened the call to abolish the death penalty by Datuk Seri Nazri2.
In line with this, CCM Youth is appealing to our Government to heed to strong public opinion, and exercise its political will to implement the following constructive steps which are outlined below for consideration:-
1. Announce a Moratorium on the Death Penalty
We urge our Government to duly comply with the Resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on 18 December 2007 calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty and eventual abolishment of such penalty. In reference to this Resolution, we appeal to our Government put into motion a thorough review of the criminal laws pertaining to capital punishment through our Malaysian Law Reform Committee, with the view to “progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed”.
2. Remove the Mandatory Death Penalty
Following the above, we seek the Government to begin with the cessation of capital punishment as a mandatory sentence, avoiding it as far as possible.  We ask that judges be provided with full discretionary authority to look into all aspects of each individual case to ensure that justice is fully served, allowing for the commuting of the death penalty for non violent cases to life imprisonment as a start. We seek for such removal to begin with the current death row inmates for non violent cases to be commuted to life imprisonment with immediate effect.
3. Abolish the Death Penalty from the Judiciary System
We believe that Malaysians of all religions hold on to the sanctity of human life as divinely given by God.  As Christians, we also share this same belief that it is God who gives life to human beings (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:18-23) and it is also He who prohibits human beings from taking another’s life (Genesis 9:6).  
We fully agree that the offender is to be held accountable for his or her actions and he or she must accept responsibility for the pain caused. As in the case of David (2 Samuel 12:10-12) and Paul (Acts 9:15-16 c.f. 2 Corinthians 11:30), the requirements of restitution are not abrogated.
There is also the essential requirement for the victim’s loved ones to have their anguish and loss acknowledged, their anger affirmed, and their questions answered to help them deal with what has happened and to allow healing and restoration to happen.3
Retributive justice has its limitations.  It  has been well documented that bitter, hateful revenge, by contrast, has no real therapeutic value in the treatment of grief, nor does it promote social well-being in the long run.4 Furthermore, we cannot ignore that society too has its share in the social maladies that spawn the crime.5   Neither can we ignore the possibility that capital punishment to-date is still subjected to painful prejudicial discrimination by race, economic class, and gender.6  These are surely harsh realities that appear inconsistent with the Biblical teachings of Jesus in Luke 4:18-19.
Contrary to popular views, the cost of implementing capital punishment is actually no less compared to lifelong incarceration7 but the impact would be far reaching if the money were instead channelled to developing victim-support plans or crime-prevention policies.8
Also we are already all aware of arguments from articles and studies showing that capital punishment works poorly as a deterrent to serious crime9, neither does it protect the innocent10 and demands of justice11 are arguably not met entirely as well.
Undeniably, as Datuk Seri Nazri articulated, the frequency in miscarriage of justice in carrying out capital punishment is extremely troubling because, unlike all other judicial mistakes, it is irrevocable.12   It should never be forgotten that to carry out an execution, it requires deliberate, carefully planned, and premeditated killing of another human being, so much so that those who have had to supervise or carry out these executions often speak of its devastating impact on them.13   This continues to prove that it is against human nature to take lives and God’s prohibition to do so.
In conclusion, CCM Youth reiterates our call for the Government to table this matter urgently as a show of consistent and united action following our country’s appeal to fellow ASEAN counterpart, Singapore, who shares the same capital punishment laws as ours. 
We need to urgently set into motion plans to protect the basic human rights of all people made in the image of God and set an example to regional ASEAN leaders in this same call to abolish the death penalty. By doing so, we believe that Malaysia will lead as a moral and compassionate society, promoting peace and justice through reconciliation and rehabilitation rather than retribution.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Chai
Youth Secretary
CCM Youth
September 2, 2010


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Nazri reiterates call for abolition of death penalty...

Nazri reiterates call for abolition of death penalty...

Nazri called for the abolition of the death penalty in 2006....and again in 2010, he has done so again...Hopefully, this UMNO led BN government under new PM Najib will take the same position and abolish the death penalty.

KUALA LUMPUR: It is time for Malaysia to abolish the death penalty, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz.

“If it is wrong to take someone’s life, then the Government should not do it either. It’s ironic and not correct,” he told Sunday Star.

The de-facto law minister believed there was always the possibility that the accused person was not guilty.
“No criminal justice system is perfect. You take a man’s life and years later, you find out that another person did the crime. What can you do?”

In Malaysia, the death sentence is mandatory for murder and drug trafficking among other crimes. Recently, there have even been calls to classify fatal baby dumping cases as murder.

Nazri pointed out that worldwide, the trend was to abolish the death penalty.

However, he believed a change in the people’s mindset was needed before the law could be amended.
“It has been discussed informally (in the Government) but we don’t have the political will to do it at the moment,” he admitted, adding that the death penalty did not seem to be a deterrent to drug trafficking and murder.

Former High Court and Court of Appeal judge Datuk K.C. Vohrah is also in favour of abolishing the death penalty.

“The law is the law but I wish Parliament would abolish the death sentence because if a mistake is made, it would be irreversible. There are other ways of dealing with heinous crimes,” he said.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said the commission was against capital punishment and had recommended its removal to the Government.

The Bar Council is also all for doing away with the death sentence.

“It is a form of punishment to exact vengeance but society has to learn to be more compassionate,” said council vice-president Lim Chee Wee, adding that resolutions to abolish capital punishment were made during the council’s AGM in 2006 and 2007. - Star, 29/8/2010, Abolish death penalty, it’s incorrect to take someone’s life, says Nazri

Well, he also called for the abolition of the death penalty in 2006, and then later said that it was his personal viewpoint but not the position of the UMNO-led BN Government....

Justice Minister backs abolition of death penalty

For Nazri Aziz "a life is a life. No one has the right to take someone else's life, even if that person is a murderer". From 1970 to the present, 359 people have been condemned to death; 159 are on death row.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Malaysian Justice Minister has said he supports abolishing Malaysia's death penalty. "For me, a life is a life. No one has the right to take someone else's life, even if that person has taken another life," Nazri Aziz, minister in charge of law, was quoted as saying to a local newspaper.

The minister's statement comes as the Malaysian Bar Council launched a campaign for abolishment of the death penalty: "I welcome this proposal. This is definitely something which should be looked into."

The Council said the death penalty is "barbaric, inhumane and an insufficient deterrent for crime", and called for an immediate moratorium on all death sentences.

But the minister said this would not be possible: "The death sentence has been part of our laws for a long time. It goes with the fabric of the whole system. After discussions are held, hopefully the attorney general will advise the government."

Malaysia is one of 76 countries which still impose the death penalty. It is mandatory for murder, for trafficking in heroin, cocaine, opium and marijuana, and for offences against the king. In the national penal code, possession of drugs is presumed to be trafficking.

At his discretion, a judge can also hand down the death penalty – administered by hanging – for crimes like kidnapping, associating with people carrying arms or explosives and waging war against the ruler.

Since 1970, Malaysia has hanged 359 people, 40 of them in the last 10 years. Most were convicted of drug trafficking. There are 159 prisoners on death row. -, 21/3/2006, Justice Minister backs abolition of death penalty
See also: MALAYSIA:Justice Minister backs abolition of death penalty ,

PENANG, May 8, 2006 (IPS) - While there is a global trend toward abolishing the death penalty, the Malaysian government is set to add more entries to its list of capital offences - like contamination of water and rape.

A new Water Services Industry Bill is one of two water-related bills due for a second reading in parliament this week. The bill seeks to revamp the way water is managed in the country, transferring control of state water authorities and privatised firms to a single federal regulatory body.

But it also provides for capital punishment for serious cases of water contamination that result in loss of life.

Anyone who contaminates the water supply with the intention of endangering lives or causing death could face the death penalty. The death penalty could also apply to those who contaminate the water supply with any substance that would likely endanger lives.

Opponents of the law believe the proposed rules are draconian and unworkable. Moreover, they do not address the real causes of water pollution.

"Most of the time, the real offenders are likely to be companies and you can't hang the companies," said Charles Hector, a human rights lawyer who was one of the coordinators of the campaign network Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET). "So who would face the death penalty then - the chairman of the board? All the directors? The general manager? The administrative officer? It's absurd."

Hector told IPS there was no need to add to the death penalty laws as there are already provisions in the penal code that cover the intention to kill someone. "Besides," he added, "we are against the death penalty as it doesn't address the real issues."

More than half the rivers in Malaysia are polluted by raw or partially treated sewage as well as industrial effluents, agricultural run-offs, waste from animal husbandry and land development, and municipal rubbish.

These can pollute sources of drinking water. After a flood in February, residents around Kuala Lumpur complained of smelly water coming from their taps. A common complaint at other times is of murky water in parts of the country.

The soaring costs of maintaining the rivers prompted the government of the developed state of Selangor to announce in February that it would privatise three key rivers to firms, which would be tasked with ensuring their cleanliness. Critics argue that this is not the solution as the sources of river pollution have to be tackled.

The new water bills are being tabled at a time when the private sector has been eyeing a larger stake in water treatment, supply and distribution.

Top officials at the Energy, Water and Telecommunications Ministry could not be reached for comment about the provision for the death penalty despite several attempts. That leaves Malayasians only speculating why that provision was added.

"I think the death penalty was included because they had terrorists in mind" who might deliberately contaminate water sources, opposition Parliamentarian Teresa Kok told IPS, adding, however, that she was opposed to the death penalty.

Others have a different view. "It seems that the intention of the bill is merely to randomly prosecute harshly some nobodies to give an impression something is being done," was one comment in response to a blog entry on the issue at the popular website, Malaysia Today.

By including the death penalty in the bill before parliament, Malaysia is bucking a global trend against capital punishment. It is one of 74 countries where the death penalty is still allowed, while 123 countries have abolished capital punishment.

In contrast, Malaysia's neighbour, the Philippines, commuted the death sentences of all prisoners last month. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has appealed to the Philippine Congress to abolish the death penalty, while Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban has described the country's death penalty laws as unconstitutional.

In Malaysia, however, the death penalty remains mandatory for drug trafficking (including possession), murder, certain firearms offences and offences against the king.

The majority of the death sentences meted out are for drug trafficking. Out of 52 people sentenced to death from 2004 until July 2005, 36 were convicted for drug offences. Last December, Deputy Internal Security Minister Chia Kwang Chye said that from 1960 through last October, 434 convicts were hanged while 172 cases were pending appeal.

But despite the country's tough stance, the drug menace remains serious. For MADPET, that proves that capital punishment is not the solution. It has never been proven that the death penalty effectively deters crime, the group says.

Parliamentarian Kok, however, is under no illusions that it will be easy to abolish capital punishment. She was a member of a Parliamentary select committee, made up predominantly of ruling coalition members, which traveled the country in 2004 seeking public views on proposed amendments to the penal code and criminal procedure code, which will be brought to Parliament on Thursday.

During the hearings, she said she got the impression that public sentiment was in favour of the death penalty. "The problem is that many among the public still want the death penalty in cases where the victim loses his or her life."

Kok told IPS that among proposed amendments to the codes is the provision for the death penalty for any act of terrorism involving the "release of poisonous substances into the environment". The death penalty would also be handed out to those found guilty of rape resulting in the death of the victim.

Kok pointed out that when the cabinet minister responsible for the law, Nazri Aziz, spoke out against the death penalty in March, he did not receive much support from his ruling coalition colleagues. "For me, a life is a life. No one has the right to take someone else's life, even if that person has taken another life," he had said.

Public opinion may be changing though. Nazri's comments were in response to an unprecedented resolution opposing the death penalty by the Malaysian Bar Council, the governing body for the country's 12,000 lawyers, at its annual general meeting on Mar. 18. The resolution, calling for the death penalty to be abolished and for a moratorium on all executions, was passed by a thumping 105-2 majority, with 21 abstentions.

And, during a recent morning talk show programme aired on state-run television station RTM2, a cell phone text message poll showed that just over 60 percent of those who responded supported the abolition of capital punishment. (END)  - IPS, 8/5/2006, Death to Malaysian Water Contaminators?

And, in September 2006, the same Nazri said that Malaysia would not abolish the death penalty as it served as a ‘good deterrent’? Read this posting to understand why he said this.

I hope that in 2010, the UMNO-led BN government has changed its position and it is the same as what Nazri stated...

To abolish the death penalty would also be in line with 2 United Nations General Assembly Resolutions in 2007 and 2008 which calls for an abolition of the death penalty...and an immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition.

Vui Kong given more time to seek clemency

Vui Kong given more time to seek clemency


SINGAPORE: The Singapore Prisons Depart­ment has extended the deadline for death row prisoner, Malaysian drug trafficker Yong Vui Kong, to file a plea for presidential clemency, from yesterday to a date to be fixed later.

Bernama reported that the decision was conveyed to Vui Kong’s lawyer, M. Ravi, in a letter on Wednesday afternoon.

Spare the noose: Protesters at the gathering outside the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur yesterday urge the Singapore government to pardon Yong Vui Kong.

Vui Kong, 22, from Sabah, was sentenced to death after he was convicted on Jan 7 last year of trafficking in 47gm of a controlled drug diamorphine on June 13, 2007 which is a capital offence under Singapore’s Misuse of Drugs Act.

He was only 18 when he was arrested on June 13, 2007.

The High Court recently rejected Vui Kong’s application for a judicial review of the clemency process.

His lawyer is now appealing against the High Court ruling to the Court of Appeal, and until the appeal is disposed, the Prisons Department has to extend the deadline for Vui Kong’s clemency plea.

Vui Kong’s case had attracted the attention of many Malaysians, including Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who wrote a letter of clemency to his Singapore counterpart.

More than 100,000 signatures collected during the Save Vui Kong campaign and a petition were given to President S.R. Nathan by Vui Kong’s family who knelt at the gates of the Istana, hoping for the youth to be pardoned.

In KOTA KINABALU, Vui Kong’s elder brother Vui Leong said his brother spent time reading Buddhist scriptures for comfort.

He added that Vui Kong, the fifth in a family of six siblings, had become a vegetarian and had his hair cut short.

Vui Leong said his family was grateful for the extension granted and also for allowing them to spend an hour a day with Vui Kong for three days.

In KUALA LUMPUR, a group of Malaysian lawyers and parliamentarians submitted a memorandum to Singapore High Com­mis­sion’s first secretary Walter Chia asking for clemency for Vui Kong.

It was presented by Fadiah Nadwa Fikri of Lawyers for Liberty.

Later, several religious and non-governmental organisations and the Save Vui Kong campaign organisers declared Sept 5 as the “Say Sorry Day” to encourage all to forgive each other regardless of their background, race and beliefs as it showed strength of character. - Star, 27/8/2010, Vui Kong given more time to seek clemency