KUALA LUMPUR: The pardons board of various states reduced the sentence of 165 people who were sentenced to death from 2007 to 2017, said the Prisons Department.
During the same time, 35 executions took place, said its deputy director (policy) Supri Hashim (pic).
Supri said that those who had their death sentence reduced, were usually given life or 20 years imprisonment.
He said this during a press conference on the proposed abolition of the death penalty organised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysian (Suhakam) on Thursday (June 28).
At the moment, Supri said there were 1,267 people on death row or 2.7% of the prison population of about 60,000 people.
Supri said they are at various stages of appeal - 336 in the Court of Appeal, 128 in the Federal Court and 442 at the states' pardons board.
He did not mention the stages of the other remaining prisoners on death row.
He said executions can only take place if they got orders from the states' pardons boards or a warrant of execution from the High Court.
With nine executions in 2016, Malaysia was among 23 countries that executed 1,032 people globally.
This figure excludes China, which Amnesty International believes executes thousands of people yearly.
Malaysia imposes the death penalty for several crimes, including murder, drug trafficking, treason, waging war against the King and terrorism-related offences.
Last year, the Dewan Rakyat voted to remove the mandatory death penalty for drug offences, giving judges the power to decide the sentences.
Human rights groups, however, have called for the total abolition of the death penalty.