29 March 2023 :
The government should consider retaining the death penalty for serious and heinous crimes, Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow said on 26 March 2023.
The Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Faculty of Syariah and Law associate professor asserted that death penalty “is still relevant” and must be strictly implemented to deter serious and heinous crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking and murder.
“The government should consider the implication over the commission of serious and heinous crimes to the victims, their family and the society.
“There should not be any compromise on subjecting criminals to punishment,” he said in the statement.
Last year, the previous federal government agreed to do away with the death penalty. Recently, the federal Cabinet gave its green light to several new policies in a bid to abolish the mandatory death penalty.
Muzaffar opined that there was concern that without capital punishment like the death penalty, more serious and heinous crimes would be committed in the society.
Towards this end, he feared that more innocent people would fell prey to serious and heinous crimes.
“Among the suitable punishments to prevent serious and heinous crimes is by having strict capital punishment. There have been many debates for the last many years over the issue on the abolishment of mandatory death penalty in not just Malaysia but all over the world.
“There are pros and cons over the proposal to abolish the death penalty. It has been argued that death penalty is an important tool for upholding law and order within the society as well as to deter crime.
“This group of people also argued that retribution or ‘an eye for an eye’ would honour the victims, help console grieving families, and ensure that the perpetrators of serious and heinous crimes never have the chance or opportunity to commit similar crimes towards other people,” he elaborated.
According to Muzaffar, those who oppose to capital punishment believe that such penalty serves no deterrent effect on crimes, and that it is morally wrong to empower governments to take human lives.
He said this group asserted that life sentence “is a more severe punishment than the death penalty”.
“Since many serious and heinous crimes still happen in our country, the government needs to re-consider its position over the issue concerning the abolishment of mandatory death penalty especially for serious and heinous crimes.
“The government needs to establish a special committee to analyse its latest intention to abolish mandatory death penalty in the country before making any final decision on such matter,” he added.
The academician said the special committee should comprise experts like judges and lawyers, academicians, relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and concerned individuals like family members or relatives of the victims of serious and heinous crimes.