Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Malaysian lawyers against the death penalty

Malaysia's leading legal organisation has called for the abolition of the death penalty and a moratorium on all executions, according to a report in the New Straits Times.

A motion, passed at the annual general meeting of the Malaysia Bar on 18 March 2006, called for an end to the death penalty and for all death sentences to be commuted.

Amer Hamzah Arshad, a co-proposer of the motion, told the New Straits Times that lawyers often discussed the death penalty but this was the first time a motion like this had been put to the Bar's Annual Meeting.

"It came about because a few of us realised that lawyers as a collective body had not made a clear announcement on the matter," Amer said.

The vote was overwhelmingly in favour of abolition, with 105 votes in favour and only two against. A further 21 abstained.

"We will work with the Bar Council, non-governmental organisations and the authorities to realise this,” Amer said.

"The workings of the moratorium will be looked into in detail."


Anonymous said...

I find it amazing that people even need to vote on this. Your site is very informative. Lets hope that site like this bring these issues to light.

lost fish said...

I'm surprised that you find it amazing, anonymous. Even if the results were unanimous, it's a bit dangerous and undemocratic to assume and go ahead without a vote taken and recorded on it.

As seen by the numbers - it was not unanimous even in the Malaysian Bar Council and, outside of the Malaysian Bar Council, the majority of the public in Malaysia (or the readers who responded to NST's call for comments and feedback in the least) appear to be "overwhelmingly" in favor of it being retained.

But I like that you found it amazing. And I second your comment that this site is quite informative, or at the very least a good starting point for this topic; my thanks go to the person or persons behind this blog.
And I raise my glass with anonymous, here's to hoping that sites like these do help bring these issues to light.