Malaysia’s government declared that it will remove the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking offences, this comes after Singapore’s recent execution of a Malaysian national Prabagaran Srivijayan for drug trafficking crimes on the 14th last month.
According to the Malaysian cabinet, law makers have agreed to amend the colonial-era Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952 to remove the mandatory capital punishment for drug traffickers and give judges more discretionary power over sentencing. However, any changes still have to be approved by Parliament.
Malaysia’s Bar Association welcomed the declaration and said that it hoped that in future, the death penalty should be removed for all offences. Malaysia still imposes the death penalty for drug trafficking, murder, terorrism and violent crimes.
Some 800 people are on death row in Malaysia for drug offences. It is not clear whether they will still face execution pending the review.
An Amnesty report from 2016 showed Malaysia was ranked 10th in the world for the number of people it executes, among 23 countries who killed 1,032 people globally.