Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia may amend the death sentence mandatory for 12 criminal offences after government-backed studies showed that the capital punishment had not led to the desired effects.
"There are positive signs in Malaysia and a steady momentum towards possible change in the death penalty legislation," Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri told the World Congress Against The Death Penalty in Oslo recently.
Currently, the death penalty is mandatory in Malaysia for 12 offenses while 20 other offenses are punishable with discretionary death penalty.
"Murder, drug trafficking, and offenses related to security are punishable with death", Nancy said.
The minister said that a government-backed study on the death penalty had been completed and a paper was being readied by the Attorney General's Chambers.
The study was conducted by the International Centre For Law and Legal Studies (I-CeLLS).
However, Nancy said," empirical studies showed that the death penalty had not led to 'the deterring effect that such a penalty was created'."
"Although Malaysia is generally in compliance with international standards in so far as the relevant safeguards (on capital punishment) are concerned, Malaysia's position on death penalty has always been subjected to national and international criticisms."