PUTRAJAYA, Jan 14 -- The murdered victims’ families and representatives have came out strongly against the abolition of mandatory death penalty (MDP) for heinous crimes including premeditated killings.
They expressed their strong views after attending a meeting with members of the Select Committee for Abolition of Death Penalty here today.
The families, among other, comprised of the late deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais, cosmetics entrepreneur Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, banker Stephen Wong Jing Kui as well as Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) graduate Chee Gaik Yap, and teenager Annie Kok Yin Cheng, who were both raped and murdered in 2006 and 2009 respectively.
Social activist Tan Sri Robert Phang said the justice system should be about giving justice to the victims but unfortunately it seems to protect criminals.
“Don't ever make Malaysia a ‘haven’ for criminals,” said Phang, who is also the chairman of Social Care Foundation, told reporters after the meeting with the committee headed by former Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum.
Lawyer Christina Teng, representing the victims’ family members, said the families could not accept compensation from government or killers or killers' family in order to absolve the criminals from capital punishment.
“If they have the courage to kill, they must also have the courage to take responsibility for their action, for example, to be hanged. This is our rule of law,” she said.
“Have you done your research to see how neighbours, most ASEAN countries keep the death penalty to protect people and keep the city safe? Have you done research to see that death penalty is an effective deterrent against crimes and to save lives,” she said, referring to the government’s proposal to abolish the mandatory death penalty.
It was reported the bill to abolish the mandatory death penalty for 11 serious offences is expected to be tabled in the next parliamentary sitting in March, and in line with the Pakatan Harapan's election manifesto as well as to show the government's commitment to human rights.
Meanwhile, Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah) secretary-general Mansor Ibrahim, representing the late firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kasim, who was killed while on duty in 2018, said he was unhappy with the committee members whom he described as too rigid in their opinions.
He said Ummah, comprises more than 500 Islamic non-governmental organisation (NGOs), will stage a massive rally to protest if the government decided to ignore the views of the victims’ families.