Section 39(b)(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act provides capital punishment (death penalty) to offences prescribed under first para of the said act. It is one of a few offences under Malaysian Laws where death penalty is applied. The others are offences that relate to murder, treason and possession of fire arms, ammunition and explosives under Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971. Death sentences are carried out by hanging as provided under Section 281 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Based on statistics from the Prisons Department, 860 offenders have been meted the death penalty as of Feb 2012. While there’s be a long standing debate on whether death penalty should be abolished in line with Article 3 and Article 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the capital punishment still remains part of Malaysia law.
The question whether or not we should move to a more revolutionary approach and uphold the ‘right to life’ in our society is something that Malaysians will decide. After all, we are a democratic country, aren’t we? Judging from current outlook, it looks like we are headed toward that direction.
According to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, The AG’s Chambers are studying the proposal to abolish the mandatory death penalty for drug offenders. Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri said a moratorium on the mandatory death penalty for drug offenders might be imposed following discussions with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Nazri added that the decision to review the mandatory death penalty was mooted to save the lives of Malaysians who were now detained in China, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela because of being suspected drug mules. He said a majority of these countries imposed the death penalty on drug offences [Source: NST].
”Malaysia must get rid of the mandatory death penalty before we can appeal to these countries not to impose capital punishment on our citizens who are detained there. How can we justify our appeal if we still implement the mandatory death sentence for similar offences?” – Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz
I will not look beyond what happened outside our country. Seriously, should we tell China, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela what they should do with drug mules in their country?
However, I do support the proposal to abolish the MANDATORY death sentence. Though, I hate the people involved in drug dealings very much, I can’t help but feel sympathy with those who are being used by drug lords. Some of them did not even realize what they were carrying until they get caught. The next thing they know, they are in the death row. It could happen to any of us.
While it is so easy to label these people as stupid but the truth is when we are so desperate, our judgment will be clouded by many things. At this moment there will be many people that will try to take advantage upon us, especially those no-good-devil-in-disguise drug kings! If anyone should be hanged for offence under Section 39(B), then it should be the drug kings and drug lords. Therefore, the penalty SHOULD NOT BE MANDATORY! It should be decided on a case by case basis.
As for suggestion to totally scrap death penalty in line with UN Declaration, well, I’m not in favour of such opinion. We should give the small fishes a chance but the big ones, hmm.. are you sure you want to give them another chance too?
- NO To Mandatory Death For Drug Offenders