Press Statement

Bukit Aman should not interfere in govt policy on the usage of the death penalty

13 June 2022


We refer to the statement made by the Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department Director, Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay yesterday in which he suggested that the possession of 15 grammes of syabu should be made a capital punishment offence.

There is a total disconnect between Ayob’s statement and the government’s historic announcement just 2 days ago on doing away the mandatory death penalty. This is precisely why it is undesirable for enforcement bodies such as the police to make public statements on politically controversial policy issues such as the usage of the death penalty.

The objective of the govt as well as the Malanjum special committee is clearly to reduce and limit the usage of the death penalty in drugs and other cases. Contrary to this, Ayob’s proposal adds another new category of drugs offence punishable with death.

The Bukit Aman director’s complaint of Thailand’s decision to decriminalise planting of marijuana is narrow and misguided. It fails to take into account the fact that decriminalisation of marijuana is a part of a global trend based on scientific evidence of it’s medicinal and health benefit.

Issues regarding drug usage and the decision as to whether it should be allowed or criminalised is a multifaceted issue that should be left to experts, based on proper and thorough information, scientific studies and research. There is no rational basis for Bukit Aman’s proposal that possession of 15 grammes of syabu should be punished with death.

The duty of enforcement authorities are to uphold and enforce the laws enacted. They have no business to take public positions on policies and legislation.

As such, we remind the IGP and his Narcotics Chief to respect the government’s recent approach and position on the usage of the death penalty. The police must focus on dismantling the operations of the drug kingpins who send drug mules to their death; leave drugs legislation to the government of the day and Parliament.


Issued by:

Zaid Malek


Lawyers for Liberty