KUALA LUMPUR: All Malaysians should be against the government’s decision to abolish the death penalty in order to ensure the safety and security of the people and the country, says former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.
“The death penalty should be imposed because I’ve seen many violent crimes being committed,” he said during a press conference at Hotel Putra yesterday.
In order to ensure that the death penalty is not abused by anyone with a vested interest, Musa said the present judiciary and police investigation system must be improved.
“Police investigations must be thorough and the judges must be able to verify statements (by the accused) in order to determine whether the individual is really involved with crime.
“If we can do that, then God willing, I think there would not be any abuse.”
The press conference was held after a roundtable discussion on the government’s plans to abolish the death penalty, which was also attended by legal practitioners, activists, academicians and representatives from 80 NGOs.
Also present during the press conference were lawyer Christina Teng and Malay Muslim NGO Ummah secretariat head Aminuddin Yahya.
Teng said de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong’s decision not to hold a referendum over the matter was “wrong” based on the principle of democracy.
“Two press conferences were called, asking the government to call for a referendum. But they said nothing like that will be done because public opinion doesn’t count.
“That is wrong because Malaysia is based on the principle of democracy. If you don’t follow public opinion or interest, that is against democracy,” she said.
Previously, Liew had ruled out holding a referendum on the matter as suggested by former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor, saying that there was no provision for it in the Federal Constitution.
In an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily on Feb 10, Liew said that Pakatan Harapan MPs who voted against the proposed abolishment of the death penalty might face disciplinary action.
Aminuddin said that if the government decided to ignore dissenting views against the death penalty abolishment, a ... rally might even take place.
“This is a fundamental issue that affects the community at large,” he said.
The next parliamentary sitting will take place from March 11 to April 11.
The abolishment of the death penalty involved 33 offences provided for under eight Acts of law, including Section 302 of the Penal Code, which deals with murder.
At present, there are some 1,200 people on death row for crimes including murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking.
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