Death penalty: Wrongful convictions and unfair sentencing in Malaysia

Source: Asian Correspondent

Lawyers Chong and former HAKAM President Abdul Rashid Ismail speaking on death penalty at @freedomfilmfest in Kuala Lumpur. Source: @AmnestyMy. Taken from Asian Correspondent.

WHILE the death penalty in Malaysia is an issue that divides the nation and continues to be a hot topic in parliament, there is a group of people whose voices never enter the debate. They are the silent victims of this colonial-era law and the ones that pay the ultimate price for the errors of others – the wrongfully convicted.

Splitting public opinion pretty much down the middle, the death penalty in Malaysia is a hangover from British rule and is still the mandatory punishment for murder, drug trafficking, treason, and waging war against the King.

Last year, Malaysia executed nine people – up from one the previous year – and handed down 36 death sentences. In its latest report on the issue, rights group Amnesty International ranked Malaysia tenth in the use of the death penalty among 23 countries where executions were recorded. Read more

Landmark case set to decide how much Putrajaya must pay for rights breach

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 ― The Federal Court granted leave today in a landmark gender discrimination case to decide how to determine damages for a breach of constitutional rights, which could set a precedent for other such violations by the government.

The plaintiff, Noorfadilla Ahmad Saikin, posed three questions of law to the apex court to answer: whether damages must be specifically proven when assessing damages for breach of the constitutional right to gender equality under Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution; whether the quantum of damages should reflect a sense of public outrage, emphasise the importance of the constitutional right and the gravity of the breach; and whether the quantum of damages should deter against further breaches.

Noorfadilla had won in 2014 RM300,000 in damages for breach of her constitutional right to gender equality after she sued the government for revoking her appointment as a temporary teacher due to her pregnancy. But the Shah Alam High Court slashed last year her award to RM30,000, claiming that the original sum amounted to a “handsome profit” for the woman.

“It’s really important because so far, we don’t have any case in Malaysia on how to assess the quantum of damages,” Noorfadilla’s lawyer Honey Tan told Malay Mail Online. Read more