‘No intention yet to repeal death penalty ’

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KUALA LUMPUR: The government does not intend to, as yet, do away with the death penalty for murder and other serious crimes, the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday.

Datuk Liew Vui Keong

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said such a matter had to be given a thorough study as it would have a major impact on the judicial system and appropriate amendments would have to be made to certain criminal laws.

“Nevertheless, the government welcomes suggestions for the death penalty to be repealed, following close study in various aspects and taking into account the views of various quarters,” he said when replying to a question from Datuk Seri Mohd Radzhi Sheikh Ahmad (BN-Kangar).

Liew also said that the government did not propose to change the method of carrying out the death penalty, which was by hanging as provided for in Section 281 of the Criminal Procedure Code since the colonial era.

However, he added, the government would consider views on more humane forms of capital punishment in this modern and technological era, such as lethal injection as suggested by Mohd Radzhi.

Replying to a supplementary question, from Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), Liew said judges had discharged their responsibility and meted out punishment based on the testimony of witnesses and evidence adduced at trials, and this could not be disputed.

Providing statistics, Liew said 1,601 murder cases had been registered in the High Court since 2000.

“After completing the process of appeal at the Court of Appeal, convictions were confirmed in 47 cases under Section 302 of the Penal Code,” he said.

The death penalty had been carried out in only nine of the cases, and the rest were awaiting the decision of petitions to the state pardons boards, he added. — Bernama