PETALING JAYA: Malaysia was listed as the 10th biggest executioner last year out of all the countries which carried out capital punishment, Amnesty International Malaysia (AI-Malaysia) says.
AI-Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said the statistics on the number of executions was not provided by the government in 2015.
“The home ministry had confirmed nine executions in 2016. The number of executions carried out last year appears to represent a considerable increase compared with previous years,” she said during an Amnesty International media briefing on Death Sentences and Executions Report 2016, here, today.
In the report released globally today, it was noted that aside from the nine people executed, at least 36 people were sentenced to death in Malaysia.
Shamini said the home ministry had finally revealed in a Parliamentary reply in October last year that Malaysia had executed six people in 2014, one in 2015 and nine in 2016.
She also called for the government to disclose more data on the death penalty.
“Firstly, we want to know the demographics, including race and nationality. We do monitor the data but only from the news.
“We want to be able to study who is being sentenced to death to be better informed for the debate on the death penalty. The US and other countries have good data. We see people who are poor sentenced to death. Rich people don’t often get the death penalty.
“We want to see if the death penalty trend is the same here but we are not able to see it without sufficient data. It does not allow death sentence penalty to be debated properly,” Shamini said.
In March 2017, Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Azalina Othman Said announced that Putrajaya was looking at allowing judges the sentencing discretion in drug trafficking cases where the mandatory death penalty is currently applied.
“While the move could result in a significant reduction in the use of the death penalty, the Malaysian authorities should not limit reforms to drug trafficking offences.
“The government must go further and immediately establish a moratorium on all executions as the first step towards full abolition of the death penalty,” she said.
According to the report, China once again was the world’s leading executioner.
The report added that 1,032 people were executed in 23 countries last year while in 2015, 1,634 executions were carried out in 25 countries, which is a 37% drop.
Most of the executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. However, the number of people executed in China remains a state secret while the remaining 87% were carried out in the next four countries, Amnesty said.
The report also stated that in 2016, two countries, Benin and Nauru abolished the death penalty for all crimes.