Save Malaysians on death row elsewhere too, says rights group

President George Varughese said in a statement that the government would need to work with the Pardons Board at both the federal and state levels to ensure that executions are not carried out

He said with the government's move in abolishing the death penalty, the Pardons Board will now be tasked at looking into the position of death row convicts, which would either see their sentences commuted or released.

Malaysia's Cabinet has agreed to abolish the death penalty, a senior minister said Thursday, in a decision hailed by rights groups.

More than 1,200 people are on death row in Malaysia.

"When commuted, they would have to face life imprisonment because there had been several deaths that were caused by the offender and so they were sentenced to death by the court", he said.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has called for a discussion on the death penalty, due to the high crime statistics in the country.

"Prisoners under sentence of death must be treated with humanity and dignity and held in conditions that meet worldwide human rights law and standards", the organisation said in a statement on Wednesday, which is World Day Against the Death Penalty.

"This is a positive move for Malaysia, as we are hoping more countries, particularly in South East Asia, to eventually demolish the execution practices", Usman Hamid, Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, told the ABC.

Capital punishment in Malaysia is now mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes.

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"The death penalty will also be imposed on those convicted of premeditated murder", the party says in its Safety and Security policy.

There are no jury trials in Malaysia for capital punishment.

Between 2007 and 2017, 35 individuals faced the gallows.

19 prisoners are now on death row but due to lack of infrastructure and capacity, PNG is still not ready to implement capital punishment.

He said until the abolishment of the death penalty rakes place there should also be in place a moratorium of death penalty sentences from being carried out.

"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.

Malaysian police stand guard as anti-death penalty activists protest in Kuala Lumpur.

Surendran claimed there were now "hundreds of Malaysians" on death row in foreign countries, particularly for being drug mules.

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