Minister: Putrajaya to abolish death penalty

Australian Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto leaves following her release at the High Court in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's Cabinet announced on Thursday it would abolish the death penalty for all crimes and halt pending executions.

Foreign diplomats and global human rights groups on Thursday praised Malaysia for plans to abolish the death penalty in the next legislative session.

Malaysia's cabinet has agreed to abolish the death penalty and halt pending executions, a move that has been hailed by worldwide human rights groups and foreign diplomats.

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Executions are now mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes, and is carried out by hanging - a legacy of British colonial rule.

Foreign embassies and rights groups were supportive of the move.

Liew said that with Putrajaya intending to abolish the death penalty, the Pardons Board will be tasked with looking into the applications of death row inmates.

The next parliament sitting starts on Monday.

"This is part of our election pledge and also in line with the move away from capital punishment in the rest of the world", he told The Associated Press.

The EU delegation to PNG reiterated their stance today, while recognising the World Day against death penalty.

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Between 2007 and 2017, 35 individuals faced the gallows.

"It is a right that belongs to us all regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity and expression, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth or other statuses", she said.

Surendran urged the government to not forget the hundreds of Malaysians who are languishing on death row in Singapore and other countries, particularly for being drug mules.

In a statement on Thursday, Amnesty International said the decision was a "major step forward".

Amnesty International reported in March that 799 people on death row were convicted of drug trafficking, including 416 foreign nationals.

The minister also called for a moratorium on all executions until the death penalty is abolished.

The minister finally revealed that the paperwork for the abolishment of the death penalty is nearly done.

While Indonesia carried out the highest number of executions over the past five years, Mr Hamid said the country had been making improvements.

"Our view is that executions should not be carried out".

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