THE government should not make any rash decision to abolish the death penalty, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam).
During the debate on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address, he said the people’s concerns over crime and punishment should be given priority.
“Please listen to the views of the people and don’t make any rash decisions.
“If you don’t take their views into account, it (the abolishment of the death penalty) will end up becoming a problem,” he said.
He noted that some 70,000 Malaysians had signed a petition against the abolishment of the mandatory death sentence.
“Over the past three months, the rakyat had suffered and kept begging the government not to abolish the mandatory death sentence.
“A survey revealed that 82% of the respondents were against the abolishment of the death penalty,” he said.
Dr Wee had proposed the setting up of a Parliament Select Committee to study the matter before a decision was made but was rebuffed by Pakatan Harapan lawmakers.
He said he had raised the matter up during debates in Parliament last October.
However, his pleas for the setting up of a select committee fell on deaf ears.
“The reply given by the deputy minister (Mohamed Hanipa Maidin) was that the country wanted to conform to international standards (on the abolishment death penalty) and that it did not want as a deterrent,” he said.
In a statement issued in February, Dr Wee, who is MCA president, urged the Pakatan Harapan government to consider the views of the majority of Malaysians before deciding to abolish the death penalty.
He said the government should not abolish capital punishment just to allow Sirul Azhar Abdullah, who was sentenced to death by the Federal Court in 2015, to be extradited from Australia.
The former policeman was sent to the gallows for the 2006 murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
In his statement, according to Dr Wee, he pointed out that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said if the death penalty was abolished, Sirul Azhar, who was convicted of murder, could be brought back to stand trial in Malaysia.
But then, he said, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong was reported as saying that said the abolition of the death penalty had nothing to do with Sirul Azhar.
Dr Wee then questioned the contradictory statements from both Dr Wan Azizah and Liew.