Asia Malaysia Death row is not only a Singaporean problem, lawyer tells Malaysians

Death row is not only a Singaporean problem, lawyer tells Malaysians

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A lawyer on Twitter named Beatrice Chin with the @Beatricecyx and a member of the newly formed MUDA party reminded Malaysians that the death penalty is not uniquely Singaporean.

She says while Malaysians are calling out Singapore for the cruel and inhumane execution of drug mule Nagaenthran, “we must be reminded that the death penalty is still alive in Malaysia. We must renew calls for the abolishment of the death penalty in Malaysia, especially for drug-related offences.”

“In Malaysia, those who are prosecuted for drug-related offences are often the poor and marginalised. They have been entangled in our criminal justice system due to their life circumstances. The odds are stacked against them from the start.

“First, many of them do not have access to legal advice and representation from the beginning when they were first arrested, which is crucial. Second, the investigations often focus on convicting those who have been arrested, instead of catching the mastermind.”

Activists in Malaysia are calling for the end of the death penalty in the country without success.

While the lawyer did not call for the end of the death penalty in this Twitter post, she wrote:

“So we have to ask ourselves, are we really doing justice or are we punishing the poor and marginalised? The death penalty is cruel and inhumane not just because of the hanging but who they end up hanging. It’s certainly not those who are most responsible like the drug lords.”

Escaping death row

Malaysians are still talking of the Mongolian murder case in which one of the policemen sentenced to death managed to leave the country while on release pending an appeal.

Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, still cannot be extradited to Malaysia from Australia where he flew after winning an appeal against the sentencing.

A Malaysian court in 2013 had overturned the conviction of the two policemen found guilty of shooting and blowing up a Mongolian model.

In 2020 a court set aside the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of Azilah Hadri, the second accused, and Sirul Azhar for the murder of Altantuya.

It also restored the decision of the Shah Alam High Court, which had found them guilty and sentenced them to death. Sirul is in detention in Australia.

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