PUTRAJAYA: Families of murder victims have spoken out against the abolition of the mandatory death penalty for heinous crimes, including murder resulting from premidatation.
Members of the families expressed their disagreement at a two-hour meeting here with the government’s select committee on the abolition of the mandatory death sentence.
Christine Teng, a lawyer representing the families, said the select committee was merely paying lip service by calling up the victims’ families for a meeting.
“The families feel that the committee has already made up its mind to go ahead with abolishing the mandatory death sentence.
“The committee has made engagements with NGOs who are mostly pro-abolishment. Their voices are louder than the victims and their families.
“We have been excluded from exchanges with the government and are also blocked from going to Parliament to submit our petition, ” said Teng.
Philanthropist Tan Sri Robert Phang, who was also at the press conference, urged the government to call for a public referendum to decide on whether the mandatory death penalty should be abolished.
“I am sure if a referendum is called, more people would vote against the abolition.
“The government should not turn Malaysia into a haven for criminals to get away with their crimes, ” said Phang.
Tan Siew Lin, 57, whose daughter Annie Kok was a victim of serial murderer and rapist Rabidin Satir, said that she would not rest until the killer is hanged.
“He must be hanged. I want him to die, ” she said at the press conference.
Rabidin, infamously known as Rambo Bentong, had been sentenced to death for his crimes.
However, if the government proceeds with its plan to abolish the mandatory death penalty, Rabidin would be spared from the gallows.
The 11 offences which the government is looking to remove the mandatory death penalty fell under two acts - nine under the Penal Code and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.
The government last year set up a nine-man select committee chaired by former Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to study and advise on replacing the mandatory death sentence.