Friday, March 02, 2012

Nazri: Oppose strongly if you want death penalty abolished (Star 2/3/2012)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is open to views on the death penalty but it would require strong opposition from the people to abolish it, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He said the Government had shown its determination for reformation by abolishing some laws which were considered draconian in the past two years.

“Certainly, the death penalty is something you can discuss with the Government.

“There must be a mass movement and strong opposition from the people for us to abolish the death penalty.

“Otherwise, nothing will change,” he said at a debate to abolish the death penalty here yesterday.

“Personally, I am all for the abolition,” he said.

Nazri said the Malays and Muslims were rigid when it came to the death sentence as they believed it was an issue of an eye for an eye, adding that it was important to convince them that this was not so.

“In Islam, a murderer is provided a way out of the offence that he or she had committed by paying compensation or blood money' to the victims or their family members.

“The family has the right to say that the murderer should be spared,” said Nazri.

On the deportation of Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari, Nazri said the Government would be hypocritical if it did not deport him because the death penalty was also implemented in Malaysia.

“It would have been inconsistent if we were one of the European Union countries.

“But the penalty is what we currently impose and we do not want to be looked upon as hypocritical,” he said.

Kashgari, 23, was arrested last month at KL International Airport at the request of Saudi Arabian authorities.

The columnist had posted a series of tweets on Prophet Muhammad that allegedly tantamount to blasphemy, an offence punishable by death. - Star, 2/3/2011, Nazri: Oppose strongly if you want death penalty abolished

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