Malaysia has made a decision to abolish the death penalty, a senior minister said Thursday, with more than 1200 people on death row, including Australian Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, set to win a reprieve following a groundswell of opposition to capital punishment.
Malaysia has announced plans for a new bill that could abolish the death penalty within weeks and bring in a moratorium on executions effective immediately, a move that could save a Sydney grandmother now facing execution for drug charges.
Its promises included eradicating corruption and bolstering human rights.
"Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out."
Apart from the death penalty, the Pakatan Harapan government also plans to do away with other controversial and draconian laws such as the Sedition Act 1948.
Mr Guterres noted the lack of transparency in some countries, where the death penalty was still used, underscoring its incompatibility with human rights standards.
It looks like we may soon get rid of the death penalty and other extreme laws, after all.
Two Chilean tourists, now on trial for the murder of a Malaysian man, would also have faced the death penalty if found guilty of murder.
The minister finally revealed that the paperwork for the abolishment of the death penalty is nearly done. There has been continuous calls by local and global NGOs like Amnesty worldwide and SUHAKAM (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) for such laws to be repealed as it has been subject to abuse by the executive power against its critics such as politicians who oppose the elected government, activists, journalists and even writers.
19 prisoners are now on death row but due to lack of infrastructure and capacity, PNG is still not ready to implement capital punishment.
Once capital punishment is scrapped, Malaysia will have the moral authority to fight for the lives of Malaysians facing death sentences overseas, he added.
"All death penalty (sic) will be abolished".
Excluding China, Amnesty says Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan - in that order - carried out 84 per cent of all executions in 2017.