Kuala Lumpur (Agenzia Fides) - Christians in Malaysia have welcomed the decision of the Malaysian government to take concrete steps to abolish the death penalty: this is what Catholic, Hector Fernandez, activist and supporter of the abolitionist campaign, engaged in the organization "Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture" (MADPET) says to Agenzia Fides. The association rejoiced following the announcement, formalized by the Malaysian government, to present a bill to abolish the death penalty in the next parliamentary session, which begins on October 15th.
On the evening of 10 October 2018, in the "World Day against the Death Penalty", the Council of Ministers announced its intention to abolish the death penalty, said Liew Vui Keong, head of the Prime Minister's Legal Affairs Department, stating that in the meantime, all executions have been suspended.
As for the people currently on death row, a special commission will be given the task to examine their request. "Our opinion is that the sentences imposed on capital punishment must not be carried out and we support the possibility of commuting their sentences", said Fernandez.
According to official data, there are 1,267 people on death row or 2.7% of the prison population that in Malaysia represent 60,000 prisoners.
Although the announcement of the government has generally been well accepted, it will be necessary to wait for Parliament to approve the bill and that this will come into force, hopefully by the end of 2018.
"We hope that the promise to present and approve the law during the next session will be fulfilled. As citizens, we invite members of the opposition to support this government move to abolish the death penalty", concludes Fernandez.
"Our MADPET network is waiting for the day when we can celebrate the abolition of the death penalty, and death row will disappear in Malaysia", adds Charles Hector, another member of the organization. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 11/10/2018)