Saturday, February 25, 2017

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 24th February, 2017
It is time that the Malaysian government should speed up the efforts to abolish death penalty
Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM) has called on  the Government to stop the execution of Brothers Rames and Suthar Batumalai today in view of a pending application for a royal pardon.
The two brothers were convicted for murder in April 2010. AIM executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu revealed that the clemency application was submitted to the Negri Sembilan Pardons Board on Thursday by Haresh Mahadevan & Co.

Shamini said that the Pardons Board must be given time to review the application.
It is most unfair and unjust if the brothers are denied of the right to have their appeal studied by the Pardons Board. It is also totally unacceptable if the Pardons Board is not given the time to review the application.
The most puzzling question here is why the rush? Here is a case where two lives are involved and they do have right to exhaust all avenues of appeal as provided by the laws.
In fact, it is time that the Malaysian government should speed up the efforts to abolish death penalty.
While speaking on “Abolition of Death Penalty” organized by Amnesty International of Ipoh on 21st August 2016, I had said the following:-

“In Malaysia the number of individual currently under death sentence is at least 1,043. 
In a reply to Parliament on 12th November 2014, the Minister of Home Affairs informed Members of the House of Representatives that there were 975 persons under sentence of death. Among these, 347 had filed for appeals (310 to the Federal Court, and 37 to the Court of Appeal), and 255 to the Pardons Board. Prison Department Director Abdul Basir told the press in May 2015 that there were 1,043 death row inmates nationwide.”
1043 is no small number.

I also touched on the research done overseas. I said the following:-
“A report released by death penalty information centre on April 18 by the prestigious National Research Council of the National Academies based on a review of more than three decades of research concluded that studies claiming a deterrent effect on murder rates from the death penalty are fundamentally flawed. The report concluded: “The committee concludes that research to date on the effect of capital punishment on homicide is not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on homicide rates.”
Being a member of parliament and the secretary of the Parliamentarians for Global Action, I have highlighted the injustice related death penalty in parliament. It is significant that Attorney General Apandi has stated that the government plans to review the death penalty on certain crimes. Former minister in the Prime Ministers department Nancy Syukri has also assured me in parliament that there is a comprehensive review on the death penalty. 

It is hoped that efforts towards the abolition of death penalty in Malaysia will be doubled and sped up.

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