PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MALAYSIAN COALITION AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY CONCERNING RECENT COMMENTS MADE BY A FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE

This press statement is issued in response to comments made by a former Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor, reported on 15 January 2019.

We refute the claim by Tan Sri Abdul Rahim that the Government was hasty in its decision to abolish the death penalty.  As early as 2010, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, the then de facto Minister of Law, had publicly stated that the death penalty is not suitable for Malaysia.  He recognised that Malaysia had an imperfect criminal justice system since there was a high risk of miscarriage of justice.

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Death Penalty Delivers Violence and Cruelty, not Justice

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) offer our condolences for the family of Prabu N. Pathmanathan for their loss and condemns the execution of Prabu N. Pathmanathan by Singapore on the dawn of 26 October 2018.

The pursuit of justice through death penalty can only be described as a folly as death penalty itself does not provide for justice but merely inflict violence upon another. The pursuit of justice cannot rely solely on punitive measures but must include an opportunity to rehabilitate the offender and an opportunity for there to be reconciliation, not just for the family of victims but the greater society which the crime has harmed.

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OPPORTUNE TIME TO SEEK JUSTICE FOR ALTANTUYA

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 12 Oct 2018

First, we would like to congratulate the PH government for finally imposing a moratorium on hangings in the country with a view to abolish the death penalty in the next parliamentary seating. We have been calling for the abolition of the death penalty ever since SUARAM was founded in 1989.

There is no better time for our country to abolish the death penalty than the present predicament we face in trying to extradite Sirul, one of the convicted murderers of Altantuya from Australia. Since the Australian government cannot bring itself to return someone to Malaysia where he will be facing the death penalty, the just and reasonable thing to do is to abolish the death penalty so that this other convicted killer of Altantuya can be extradited back to face justice in our country.

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ABOLISHING THE DEATH PENALTY & EXTRADITE SIRUL

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 21 May 2018

SUARAM has been calling for the abolition of the death penalty ever since we have existed. There is no better time for our country to abolish the death penalty than the present predicament we face in trying to extradite Sirul, one of the convicted murderers of Altantuya from Australia. Since the Australian government cannot bring itself to return someone to Malaysia where he will be facing the death penalty, the just and reasonable thing to do is to do away with the death penalty once and for all. In so doing, we can ensure that this other convicted killer of Altantuya faces justice in our country.

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On the Execution of Kho Jabing

For Immediate Release
20th May 2016

On the Execution of Kho Jabing

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemns the execution of Kho Jabing by the Government of Singapore on the 20th May 2016.

Despite the unanswered concerns regarding the impartiality of the appeal proceeding, the Government of Singapore have refused to answer the public plea for clemency and unconscionably carried out the sentence at 3.30PM after the dismissal of Kho Jabing’s appeal on the morning of 20th May 2016.

The concerns that Kho Jabing’s right to fair trial was violated was affirmed when Justice of Appeal, Andrew Phang failed to recuse himself and sat as part of the coram of judges who heard his motion on the 19th May 2016. SUARAM would like to reiterate the importance of an impartial tribunal especially in cases involving the use of capital punishment and remind the Government of Singapore the importance of the notion that justice need not only be done, but seen to be done. The failure to ensure justice had been done in this case would forevermore tarnish Singapore’s ability to provide a fair trial for those seeking justice in its legal system.

Further, the doubt as to whether Kho Jabing the prosecution had adequately proved the necessary mens rea for Kho Jabing’s act to tantamount to murder expressed by some of the presiding judges during the trial should have been taken into account during the sentencing. Despite the existing doubts, the death sentence was still imposed on Kho Jabing. The failure to account for this clearly violates the recognized international norms where capital punishment can only be imposed when the crime meets the threshold of ‘most serious crimes’.

In light of these concerns, the refusal to provide for a stay of execution and the apathy shown by Government of Singapore in regards to the plea for clemency by the family and members of the public can only be described as callous and unconscionable to say the least.

The death penalty does not provide justice and in this case it has caused a great injustice to the family of the deceased. This execution also marks Singapore departure from the norms of developed states where the use of capital punishment has been gradually phased out. The insistence that capital punishment remain a facet of its criminal justice system clearly show its disinclination to join the rank of developed country in regards to its recognition of human rights. SUARAM reiterate our stance that the use of capital punishment must be abolished and call upon governments which still endorses the use of capital punishment to re-examine the use of capital punishment and instate a moratorium on it immediately!

In Solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM