Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Malaysia: Vote to end mandatory death sentences welcomed

© Amnesty International

‘All eyes are now on Malaysia’s Senate to take the next steps and make these reforms a reality’ - Katrina Jorene Maliamauv

Responding to Malaysia’s House of Representatives repeal of the mandatory death penalty today, Katrina Jorene Maliamauv, Amnesty International Malaysia’s Executive Director, said:  

“Today’s vote has been a long time in the making, and while there is still more to be done it lays the foundations for further reform that must put human rights and fair trial proceedings front and centre.  

“These historic measures will repeal the mandatory death penalty in full, reduce the number of offences for which the death penalty is applicable and establish a resentencing process for those already sentenced to death.

“All eyes are now on Malaysia’s Senate to take the next steps and make these reforms a reality. Once these changes are enshrined in law, those applying for resentencing must be provided adequate time, resources and access to legal representation, as well as the right to appeal any decision.

“The moratorium on executions, which has been in place since 2018, must also be maintained until the death penalty is fully abolished and all death sentences are commuted.

“The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

“Malaysia can and must swiftly work towards scrapping the death penalty once and for all.”  

Death penalty previously applied to 12 offences

Previously, 12 offences in Malaysia carried the mandatory death penalty, including for drug-related offences, which make up most death penalty cases in the country. The move by Malaysia’s lower house of parliament - which is expected to be ratified by the Senate - would give judges discretion in sentencing. Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime, the guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. 

View latest press releases