860 on death row for various offences
KUALA LUMPUR (March 26, 2012): As of February this year, an accumulated total of 860 people have been sentenced to death for various offences such as murder, drug trafficking, firearms and kidnapping.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said this based on statistics from the Prisons Department in a written reply to Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera) in Parliament today.
“Of the figure, 616 cases are in the process of appeal in the Court of Appeal, 94 in the Federal Courts and 150 in the Pardon Board.
“Thus, the death penalty has not been carried out as all those convicted are (in various process of) appealing their sentences,” he said.
Hishammuddin further said the statistics also showed that since 2005 to 2011, 79,487 prisoners were caned.
“Of this, 46,338 or 58.3% are Malaysians while 33,149 or 41.7% are foreigners,” he said.
In a press conference later at the Parliament lobby, Liew said the number of people sentenced to death has increased from the figure in February last year.
Comparing to a written reply he received last year, he said as of Feb 22 last year, 441 executions have taken place between 1960 and 2011 while 696 people were sentenced to death.
He said during a roundtable discussion held in Parliament by opposition MPs last year, they collectively felt there is a need to review Section 39 (b) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
“We are not asking for a total abolishment of the death penalty but we are urging that judges (who preside on such cases) to be given discretion when it comes to deciding such cases,” said Liew.