MALAYSIA. BAR VOTES AGAINST DEATH PENALTY, CALLS FOR MORATORIUM
March 20, 2006: the Malaysian Bar called for the abolition of the death penalty and an immediate freeze on all executions. Lawyers also urged that death-row sentences be commuted, or reduced to life sentences or fixed jail terms.
The resolutions were part of a motion carried out by the Bar at its 60th annual general meeting.
Co-proposer Amer Hamzah Arshad said although the abolition of the death penalty was often discussed by lawyers, this was the first time such a motion had been proposed at a Bar AGM.
"It came about because a few of us realised that lawyers as a collective body had not made a clear announcement on the matter."
Lawyers voted overwhelmingly in favour of abolishing the death penalty, with 105 in favour, two votes against and 21 abstentions.
One of the resolutions passed called for an âimmediate moratorium on all executions pending abolitionâ.
"We will work with the Bar Council, non-governmental organisations and the authorities to realise this.
"The workings of the moratorium will be looked into in detail," added Amer. (Sources: www.nst.com.my, 20/03/2006)