Press Statement
Abolition of death penalty paves way for PH Govt to save M’sians on death row overseas
11 October 2018

Yesterday Law Minister Liew Vui Keong announced that Malaysia would abolish the death penalty entirely, and all executions would be put on hold pending abolition.

This remarkable decision by the Malaysian government is an absolute good, and LFL strongly supports it. It is beyond praise.

The death penalty is barbarous, and unimaginably cruel; it reduces the State which implements it to the level of the criminal who takes life.

Worst of all, it is pointless – because it has never been proven to deter serious crime. Long term or life imprisonment is adequate as a deterrent of serious crime.

By taking this step, the PH government has demonstrated that it is a force for moral good, and an example for the region and the world.

At this moment, let us also not forget the many hundreds of Malaysians who are languishing on death row in foreign countries, particularly for being drug mules. A large number of Malaysians are awaiting execution just across the causeway in Singapore, mainly for drug offences.

In July 2017, alleged Malaysian drug mule Prabhakaran was hanged in Changi prison, while the BN government did nothing to save him.

I myself as his lawyer was in communication with then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Zahid Hamidi, who personally assured me that he would help save Prabhakaran.

But in the end, Zahid was no help at all. Neither he nor the BN government said or did anything serious to stop the execution.

We call upon the government to vigorously speak up for our citizens facing death in distant shores. Having rejected the death penalty in this country, we now have the moral authority to fight for the lives of our citizens abroad.

The death penalty is abhorrent, and we must try and save our countrymen and women from judicial murder abroad.

This must become an important goal and priority of the Foreign Ministry, and the government as a whole. Let us show the world that for Malaysians, all life has great value.

Released by:
N Surendran
Lawyers for Liberty ( LFL )